News and views from Germany's federal capital in easily-digestible blog format.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Following yesterday's storm, the Berlin-Hauptbahnhof's upper section - the east-west tracks of the Stadtbahn - is closed due to damage to the
station's structure. This affects both the S-Bahn and regional / inter-city trains. S-Bahn
trains from the east are terminating in Friedrichstraße, while trains from
the west terminate at Zoo Station or Bellevue Station.
Trains which run through the North-South Tunnel are not affected.
However, as a result of the suspension of
all intercity trains yesterday, and storm damage in the region, most
trains are running with delays and some are cancelled.
Currently it is not known how long the closure will last.
the S-Bahn is now running through Hauptbahnhof again; regional and
intercity services on the Stadtbahn are expected to be restored during
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
As befitting its status as a fast-developing fashion and cultural metropole, Berlin now has a new online fashion magazine, "modekultur.info" (http://www.modekultur.info/). In its own words modekultur.info wants to be "a magazine that opens up
new perspectives on fashion in and from Berlin". The first edition is already available, and while the main content is in German there's an English version
which should contain translations of some of the articles, although at
current the selection is pretty limited and the site still has that
certain "under construction" flair.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Anyone who's lived in Germany for any length of time will no doubt
have come into contact with the GEZ (Gebühreneinzugszentrale),
the organisation which is responsible for collecting the compulsory
fees for Germany's public broadcasting system. In the last few days
threatening-sounding, but quite plausible e-mails from the GEZ have
been appearing in many people's inboxes. Be warned: these are fakes and
the attachment contains some sort of virus or trojan - just delete the
mail without reading.
Should the real GEZ want something from you, they will communicate via an ordinary (albeit equally threatening-sounding) letter.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Is winter in Berlin a thing of the past? This week saw the
highest January temperatures ever recorded, with the thermometer
reaching around 15°C on Wednesday. In the surrounding state of
Brandenburg the storks - which usually fly south for the winter - have
chosen to stay at home. And more exotic
creatures can be expected in the region - Berlin's government is
planning ahead and
will be creating 53 new zebra crossings - partly because
they're cheaper to build than traffic-light controlled crossings,
although 29 of these will also be built during 2007.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
The two Sundays on which shops can open in Berlin (verkaufsoffene Sonntage) for the first half of the year have been announced: January 28th (Grüne Woche, International Green Week)
and May 20th (on the occassion of the 88th X-Ray Conference). Shops can open
from 1pm until 8pm, although most will close earlier, generally at 6pm.
See Shopping in Berlin for general information on shop opening hours in Berlin.
Sunday, January 7, 2007
The Hi-Flyer balloon
Friday, January 5, 2007
The Tempelhof Airport saga
continues: it looks like the airport's closure date will be put back a
year, to October 31, 2008. Personally I don't think they'll ever
actually manage to close it... We'll see. Meanwhile, it appears someone
has been taking pot shots at Tempelhof's radar tower, a
structure erected in 1984 by the US Army. Traces of seven bullet holes
were found in the radar tower's outer shielding, although it is not
clear when the shots were fired or by whom. German military
intelligence is investigating.
financial scandal: the Technikmuseum (Museum
of Transport and Technology) was promised a donation of five million Euros
by British millionaire and transport fan Glenn Lacey to buy a plot of
land adjacent to the museum. It looks like Mr. Lacey is not actually
going to cough up the cash - and for legal reasons too boring to go
into here, it looks like Berlin's government will have to scrape
together the 5 million from its own meagre resources.
Friday, January 5, 2007
Berlin is to get yet another hotel, this time a 4-star establishment onAlexanderplatz
Spanish Sol Meliá hotel chain, who have just opened the Hotel Melia Berlin
in the Friedrichstraße
. The hotel, whose name has not
yet been decided upon, will be located on the site of the former GDR
health ministry, a 13-storey prefabricated building in the Plattenbau
style which has stood empty since German reunification.
Thursday, January 4, 2007
The Television Tower in Berlin
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
The Warschauer Brücke (Warsaw Bridge) in Friedrichshain by night
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