• Germany's news in English

The best of Berlin in June

Exberliner · 8 Jun 2009, 12:50

Published: 08 Jun 2009 12:50 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Freitag in Berlin

Markus Freitag was a young bike messenger in need of a good bag - so the story goes - on a snowy day in Zurich when he stumbled across some unwanted lorry tarpaulin and tyres on the side of the motorway. The proverbial lightbulb flashed above his head and before long Freitag’s baby was born, named after him and grew up into a Trendy Young Thing.

And, like any TYT, it has now moved to Berlin to be with other TYTs. Launched in May with a fabulously recession-proof Mitte party replete with flowing champagne and celebrity guests, the Mitte flagship store features concrete, couches and catwalk lighting - all of which provides the perfect backdrop for 1,600 colourful, durable bags in every shape (tote, clutch, laptop, satchel etc) imaginable. They’re all made in Zurich (hence the prices: €100-€150 for a bag; €60-plus for a Mac sleeve) and still entirely crafted from materials fresh off a Swiss motorway. So head on down to Mitte, open those fun little shoebox drawers and start agonising over which bag to leave with. /JB

Freitag Taschen, Max-Beer-Straße 3, U-Bhf Weinmeisterstr., Tel , 246 36 961, www.freitag-taschen.de

BerlinRodeo: stand by your trans

The country and western scene in Berlin is older than the Wall - and even bridges it. East and West Berliners alike have been fascinated by cowboys’n’indians since long before working class Ossis first line danced in their Kleingärten and Wessis held their first Karl May festival. So, really, it was only a matter of time before queer rodeo took off in Berlin. Think about it: the Brokeback Mountain factor, the undying love for Dolly Parton, the persistent trend for plaid shirts … and SO36’s determination that everyone learn how to dance.

From 20:00 on the second Saturday of every month, a strange but very friendly mix of queer SO36 folks, serious 50-somethings line dancers from Marzahn and Wedding, American ex-pats and others with a penchant for boots, hats and country music meet to cut a rug (swing, line, two-step), watch great live performances and generally have a good ol’ hoedown.

Every month there is a special twist: in June, it’s a barbeque in the club’s great outdoor space and some kind of comedy rodeo that involves dressing a goat. Beginners are welcome, but don’t forget your hat - tickets cost €5 with one and €7 without! /JB

Jeder ist Tanzbar, Rudolfstraße 1-8, Friedrichshain, U-Bhf Warschauer

Str., Tel 2123 9824, www.myspace.com/berlin_rodeo

(Not so) free fallin’

If you fancy jumping off a 41-storey building with a rope around your waist, then the Jochen Schweizer event group’s new base flying platform (the first in Europe) on the top of the Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz is the place for you. All you have to do is show up at the hotel lobby and throw down €99 to book your session – although your ‘flight’ scheduling will be highly dependent on the will of the weather gods. Needless to say, storms and jumping don’t mix.

And the ‘flying ’ itself takes more that just a wad of cash: it takes serious guts. You’ll be falling from a height of 125 metres at a staggering 20 metres per second. What a rush! The team itself is always good for a laugh: it consists of a cool bunch of adrenaline junkies who really know their way around. /CN

Jochen Schweizer, Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz, Alexanderplatz 7, Mitte,

Tel 01805 606088, www.jochen-schweizer.de

Obamania at the Kennedys

Story continues below…

Since the earliest days of his presidential campaign, Barack Obama has been enthusiastically compared to JFK by the media and supporters alike: besides being his natural heir as the embodiment of hope, tolerance, change and all the rest, Obama also shares the same personal photographer as JFK - Pete Souza of the Chicago Tribune.

Thanks to Souza’s extensive (and similar) coverage of the two leaders, Berlin’s Kennedy Museum has been able to put together a small exhibition aimed at those who still dare to be skeptical about this parallel. In fact, the collection proves several likenesses beyond any reasonable doubt: both presidents play(ed) with their children in their spare time, occasionally relax(ed) in their office, intently follow(ed) lectures in congress and take (or took) planes very often.

But most importantly, and as this exhibition is here to show, they both inspired a rock star-like treatment from fans and photographers alike. Several pictures of JFK's visit to West Berlin in 1963 are also included, but - regrettably - none of Obama's Siegessäule speech last summer. /VC

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA - On the tracks of the Kennedys?, Kennedy Museum, Pariser Platz 4a, Mitte, S-Bhf Unter den Linden, Tel 2065 3570, 10-18:00, through August 2, www.thekennedys.de

Click here for more from Berlin's leading monthly magazine in English.

Exberliner (editor@exberliner.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd