Berlin Notes

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

According to the boffins at the Free University's meteorological station in Dahlem, 2007 has so far been the wettest year they've ever experienced. Up until yesterday afternoon they've measured 781.5 litres of rain per square metre, which is not far below the current record of 805 litres in 1926. With over three months to go, it looks like Berlin's market for umbrellas might be experiencing a renaissance.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's one of West Berlin's retail traditions: the shopping areas around Ku'damm, Tauentzienstrasse and Breidtscheidplatz hold a bi-annual shopping evening, when shops open until midnight, timed to coincide with the dates the clocks are changed (from summertime to wintertime, or vice-versa).

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Once again Berlin's less-than-vibrant economy has failed to impress: according to the statistics office, the city's GDP growth rate in the first two quarters of 2007 was 1% (2.5% if inflation not taken into account), putting it last among Germany's 16 Bundesländer). Across Germany, on average, GDP grew by 2.9% after accounting for inflation.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Sternradio. once a must-go club for clubbers new to, or only a short time in Ber lin, is no more. Following a change of owners, it's now to become "Centrum (Club)" (the name plays on the former GDR department store, located across the road on Alexanderplatz where Kaufhof now stands. It'll be interesting to see if the club will becom e the "centre of good taste" the new owner wants it to be. Music direction: electronic sound, from Techno via Elektro and Minimal through to House. Opening on October 19th.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Berlin's property market might be booming, and some investors are even looking to the surrounding state of Brandenburg for bargains. But watch out: that nice picturesque village might be in the direct path of a huge excavator, a number of which churn through vast areas of eastern Germany to extract brown coal (Braunkohle).

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Berlin's "hotel boom" shows no sign of ending: two new hotels, both close to the Alexanderplatz, have just been announced.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

The 12th Art Forum Berlin is taking place in 2007 from September 29th to October 3rd at Berlin's Exhibition Center. Presenting itself in a brand new design by Gerwald Rockenschaub and Alexander Rendi (Berlin/Vienna), over 120 galleries from more than 25 countries will be showcasing the works of established artists and newcomers.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

From Tuesday September 25th onwards, the highly successful "Metropolitan in Berlin" exhibition at the Neue Nationalgalerie each day from Thursday to Sunday until midnight. On the night of October 2 - 3 it will hold a special "Nuit blanche" and remain open through the night - with reduced entry charges.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Berlin has more miles of canal and more bridges than Venice - blah blah. Venice is a tiny place, so any decently-sized city can make this claim. However Berlin has seen a lot of bridge-building activity in recent years - since reunification more than 190 have been built. The Galerie Ingenieurkunst in Mitte is celebrating this with an exhibition showing some of the more impressive constructions titled "Berliner Brücken - Verbindungen nach der Wende" (Berlin's Bridges: Post-unification connections") running until November 4th.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

One of Berlin's more prominent locations, the Friedrichstraße / Unter den Linden crossing, is finally taking shape. Construction work on a new real estate project on the site of the old Hotel Berlin is well underway, with the foundations now complete, and the tenants for the new building - a 200 million Euro investment grandly named Upper Eastside Berlin - have just been announced by the backing company behind the project, MEAG (Munich Ergo Asset Management).

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