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Berlin Notes

News and views from Germany's federal capital in easily-digestible blog format.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Another week, another Friday: more Berlin-Splitter.

Berlin's largest "brothel", Artemis (link not work safe), (apparently a vast sauna / "wellness" club with very lax clothing rules and a lot of freely circulating ladies near the Messe Berlin), has placed adverts on three BVG buses in Berlin. No-one is in the least shocked.

The Berlin elections are over, thankfully, and all those beautiful posters will soon be disappearing. Gay mayor Klaus Wowereit will be staying in office, but possibly with a different coalition partner. In Pankow every 10th election worker failed to turn up, so the count was delayed by half a day: the district election office will be dealing out fines of up to €1000 to those without a very good excuse.


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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Well, that was a pleasant week. Sunny but not too hot, and it looks like it might continue that way for a couple of days more. Meanwhile here are some more factoids from the last seven days in Berlin.

The Tiergarten Tunnel, the north-south road tunnel under the Tiergarten which opened earlier this year after many delays, is becoming more popular with Berlin's drivers - in the six months since opening more than 4 million vehicles have passed through it, according to Berlin's traffic bureau.

The French are suffering from US foreign policy again: the new American embassy, located onPariser Platz, will be protected in part by some solid bollards in the ornamental rectangular flower-beds on the square itself. For reasons of symmetry Berlin's gardening heritage people have insisted the same pollards be build on the square's opposite side too, "protecting" the French Embassy in Berlin as well. (Why the Americans didn't build their embassy on one of Berlin's many islands is a mystery to me - it'd be much safer for all concerned).


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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Berlin's finest department store, KaDeWe - Kaufhaus des Westens, has opened a new restaurant on its top floor. It's a buffet style restaurant, and has a new gastronomical concept: all dishes are prepared in plain view, so you can see exactly what you're getting. The press release quotes the decor as being in "violet and dark brown" - hopefully more restful on the eye than it sounds.


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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Jewish Museum Berlin is celebrating its fifth anniversary on Wednesday (September 13). It's putting on a series of events between 10am and 10pm, including a range of tours, a children's rallye, a T-shirt workshop, live music, birthday cake, interviews with eyewitnesses, and a peek at the back of paintings. The museum's archive will also be presenting the bequest of Elisabeth Wust and Felice Schragenheim, who inspired the film "Aimée and Jaguar". Entrance to all events and exhibitions is free.


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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Summer is back, according to the weather boffins, and apparently it will be with us until Friday with temperatures hitting the 27°C mark. Plenty of opportunity for those outdoor activities which make life in Berlin such fun, and open air locations such as the Oststrand will be opening longer in the evenings and putting more events on to take advantage of the unexpected "heat wave".


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Monday, September 11, 2006

Jews in German Football The Centrum Judaicum in theOranienburgerstrasse is opening an exhibition with the title "Kickers, Fighters and Legends: Jews in German Football". Running until December 15, the exhibition will show the history of Jewish players in pre-war German football. Exhibits include film sequences, photos and historical artefacts such as postcards and pennants.

The Centrum Judaicum is located at (S-Bahn Oranienburger Strasse). The exhibition is open daily except Saturdays and Jewish high holidays from 10am. Closing times vary according to weekday and season; see the website for details.


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Friday, September 8, 2006

Once more Friday comes round: time for another blob of useless Berlin news.

A 20 year old Russian was kidnapped and held hostage by compatriots in the middle of the city for 10 days, until his parents coughed up a million Euros in ransom. The police are now looking for a building, thought to be in the Tempelhof area, with distinctive red windows in the Hinterhof (rear courtyard).

The BVG's "Metro Line" project, where some of the more important bus and tram lines were declared as so-called "Metro Lines" and given an M-number, much to the confusion of everybody, has turned out not to be quite the lucrative money-spinner it was supposed to be. What a surprise. The idea was that the new lines would be easier to use, attracting new passangers and more revenue.

Being generally broke and after having spectacularly failed to secure the 2000 Olympics, you might have thought the city has better things to do with its energy. But no - the successful World Cup has got everyone excited, and all the main political parties have agreed that Berlin should apply for the 2016 or 2020 Olypmics.


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Friday, September 8, 2006

The rail transport exhibition Innotrans is holding its traditional open weekend (Publikumstage at the Messe Berlin (Messegelände, Berlin's exhibition center) on the weekend of September 23 - 24, where the general public get to crawl all over the latest innovations in rail technology. There'll also be a real live steam engine there, although that presumably isn't one of the innovations.

Entrance is entirely free and gates are open from 10am - 6pm on both days. The location is the Frei- und Gleisgelände der Messe Berlin and access is via the Haupteingang Süd (main entrance south) in the Jafféstrasse, nearest station is Messe Süd (S75, S9). It'll probably be possible to follow the crowds from the station - Berliners love their traditional freebies and will probably turn up en masse. Note that this is also Berlin Marathon weekend, so it'll probably be easier to use public transport unless you're coming in from the west.

Some more information and photos of past events are available here (German only).


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Friday, September 8, 2006

The rail transport exhibition Innotrans is holding its traditional open weekend (Publikumstage at the Messe Berlin (Messegelände, Berlin's exhibition center) on the weekend of September 23 - 24, where the general public get to crawl all over the latest innovations in rail technology. There'll also be a real live steam engine there, although that presumably isn't one of the innovations.

Entrance is entirely free and gates are open from 10am - 6pm on both days. The location is the Frei- und Gleisgelände der Messe Berlin and access is via the Haupteingang Süd (main entrance south) in the Jafféstrasse, nearest station is Messe Süd (S75, S9). It'll probably be possible to follow the crowds from the station - Berliners love their traditional freebies and will probably turn up en masse. Note that this is also Berlin Marathon weekend, so it'll probably be easier to use public transport unless you're coming in from the west.

Some more information and photos of past events are available here (German only).


Comments (0) Posted at 7:09 AM in


Thursday, September 7, 2006

Update: Muji will be opening a branch in Berlin in early 2008: more details.

Muji sales exhibition, Q110 One brand sadly lacking from Berlin's wide range of shops is the Japanese "no name" lifestyle brand Muji. Although they've had shops in London and Paris for a few years, and opened the first German store in Düsseldorf in November 2005, their eastwards expansion has not yet reached Berlin. They're testing the market though: the Deutsche Bank's "show branch" at Friedrichstrasse 180 (U-Bahn: Stadtmitte) is hosting a temporary sales exhibition until November 4 featuring over 500 items.


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