The best of Berlin in March
This month Exberliner, Berlin's leading English-language magazine, picks the best places to show off your Wii moves, hang out with the cool crowd in Mitte and play bingo with a twist.
A Porsche Boxster for €157.90? There’s something fishy about an auction website “selling” top-end sports cars for pocket change. You start to dig deeper into hammerdeal.de and it dawns on you that this is no eBay. First of all, the item up for auction goes to the “lowest unique bidder,” meaning the guy who got the Porsche was the only one who typed in that price – all lower guesses were made by more than one bidder. So where’s the catch? Each bid costs 50 cents and you have no idea how many other people are bidding. In other words, this “reverse auction” is really just a guessing game with more in common with a lottery or raffle than a proper auction. Each bid is really just a 50 cent bet. Hammerdeal.de, which is run by the UK’s bidster.com, denies it’s a lottery – for obvious legal reasons – and their position has been supported by a UK court. The phenomenon is pretty new in Germany but has already piqued the interest of lawyers. Meanwhile, why not take your chances? A Porsche … Or an iPhone, a laptop or a Mini … They could all be yours for a bargain. /MF
www.hammerdeal.de, see also www.dubli.de and www.auktionclick.de
Where shall Wii play tonight?
Imagine a long, ambient-lit room with a cocktail bar, white leather seats and rows of flat-screen monitors. Dozens of 20-somethings stand before the screens punching and swinging their bodies for no apparent reason. No, they’re not entirely insane: they’re using wireless game controllers. Play Berlin, which opened in November, is the world’s first Wii gaming club: it offers a full bar along with hours of virtual golf, tennis, skiing, bowling, karaoke, air guitar and more. The concept fits perfectly into Nintendo’s desire to reach beyond the usual gaming demographic - meaning that a lot of girls play too. The vibe feels more like a bowling alley than an arcade. Friends compete, clap and cheer while getting liquored up in nightclub-style surroundings. The prices (€5 per console per hour, €15 per console per hour for a private area) are perfectly fair. For Wii novices it’s a good place to get acquainted with “numchuk” controllers and the like, while the experts can strut their stuff in the public eye. Our only grievance: Play Berlin serves Carlsberg instead of decent German pilsner. /SM
Play Berlin, Alexanderstr. 7 (entrance Otto-Braun-Str.), Mitte, S+U-Bhf Alexanderplatz, Tel 275 81 0 80, www.play-berlin.de. Be sure to book ahead, especially on weekends.
For weeks now Dice Club has been an open secret. Having started the hype in December with a mysterious countdown on its website and blurry Youtube videos of its location, Dice opened its doors on January 15, with a somewhat improvised “private“ Baustellenparty. Only one of the three planned dancefloors was accessible. The floor was still raw and definitely not suitable for the high heels of the hip MTV-style staff, freelance Mitte designers and usual Berlin nightlife suspects. What could be seen of the location, a former power station, looked promising, and the first DJ line-ups were reputable enough (Marc Houle, Jeremy P. Caulfield). Dice's mainfloor opening was planned for Valentine’s Day but had to be postponed due to a burst water pipe, so there is uncertainty as to when the official opening party will be - probably in early March. Or so hopes Dice boss Isan Oral. Hang in there and keep an eye on the website./LAM
Dice, Voltairestr. 5, Mitte, S+U-Bhf Jannowitzbrücke, www.dice-berlin.de
Bingo in the barrio
In the Kreuzberg concert hall where so many famous punk bands made their Berlin debut, long rows of picnic tables are lined up. A wave of excitement passes through the crowd as a bunch of trash trannys hustle towards the bar. Their grandpa knickers aren’t quite the show hit – but at that moment the Wild Flamingo Bingo Band launches into a tune and the tranny gang prances towards stage. They perform under the flashing B-I-N-G-O letters with high-kicking flare until a sparkling, evening-gown clad Inge Borg and Gisela Sommer arrive to set things straight. Kiezbingo has been going strong for 11 years. The numbers are pulled – with hardly a moment to spare – out of a garlanded cement mixer. Winners are prodded and questioned before they are allowed to return to their seats. “Hetero? Well, OK, nowadays that’s not something to be ashamed of.” One male winner of a pair of panties is met with a loud cheering from the croud: “Ausziehen! Ausziehen!” (Undress!) The lights dim, the band sets in. Bingo! The prizes are donations from local stores and all revenue goes to a good cause: in March, Papiere für Alle! and Respect, two projects that offer support to female illegal migrants, will benefit. Entrance costs €3; bingo cards are between €1.50 and €2.50./ABB
Kiezbingo at SO36, Oranienstr. 190, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Kottbusser Tor, U-Bhf Görlitzer Bahnhof, Tel 614 013 06, www.so36.de. Every second Tuesday of the month from19:00