All posts filed under “Berlin

Berlin Social Media Week pt 1 – Social Media Monitoring

Today started the social media week in Berlin (and other 12 cities in the world), which is either an excuse to promote your company (it doesn’t really matter what you do: you can easily come up with a made up name like social media business model future correlations and speak about how tasty your cookies are) or an excuse to spend more time on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube (like we needed one).

Anyway, I decided to attend a couple of events because I kinda work in this field and whatever, I’m a curious person. My first choice was called Social Media Monitoring and the speaker was Gabriel Escalona.

The moment he entered the room I knew that I liked him (even only for his resemblance with actress Michelle Rodriguez) and after a brief introduction I came to like him so much that I actually hated him.

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On the Regenfest

Last weekend I attended this little Berlin independent festival called Regenfest. I’m usually against festivals in principle, but this one was short, cozy and the atmosphere was so relaxed that it felt like being with friends in someone’s backyard on a lazy late summer afternoon. But oh, yeah, the bands were good. I think the highlights were:

+ Petula +
I actually got there while he was about to finish, ’cause I got stuck in a delicious portuguese original brunner (breakfast+lunch+dinner). Anyway, I’m sure he was good and I already spoke about him on stage here.

+ Empire Escape +
They sound a little like The Smiths (and who doesn’t, these days?) but there’s also some unique chemistry going on in their (extremely catchy) music. I’m curious to see what they’ll evolve into.

+ This Mess is Mine +
Don’t know where this guy came from, but his heartbreaking acoustic ballads are clearly my cup of tea. Also, I managed to be moved by this performance even though in the meantime I was going through the five stages of grief cause my camera got lost and when I found it (on the grass) it basically didn’t work. RIP.

 

Berlin Music Week of Epic Failure

“You wanna come and see Sigur Ros for free?”.

That’s what Alex told me on the phone, almost causing an heart attack in my poor 28 years old body. He told me he won two accreditations for the Berlin Music Week and he wanted to give me the second one.

“OMFGOFCOURSEIWANNACOME!”

But then we went to get our badge (which, just so you know, was basically the size of a surf table) and found out our accreditation didn’t cover the Berlin Festival (where Sigur Ros were playing). We were disappointed, true, but also curious about all these events we could suddenly be a part of.

Or not.

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Monumental Breakdowns #1 – Bebelplatz

Babelplatz

I would have set on fire every word you’ve ever told me. Starting with the W of  What’s your name? ’til the Y of I’m sorry. Dipped your voice in gasoline and watched every letter of every lie coming out of your mouth as it would burn to the ground. They were as empty as these shelves, and still I wanted to escape their meaning.

pic by Scott Cawley

 

:about:
Monuments are built to maintain and arise collective memories. But personal memories, even microscopic ones, are somehow stronger and can infiltrate the intents of a monument, hijack its meaning or maybe merge with the history we know.

Searching for a room in Berlin – Three Case Studies

Warning! The following is a humorous text about the tragicomic experiences I had while looking for a room in Berlin. If you’re room-hunting and were expecting to find tips and resources, you might wanna check out this Facebook Group, where people publish new room offers every day

 

Let’s say it out loud: finding a room in Berlin is a bitch, especially if you’re a foreigner and your german is Scheisse. If you obsessively refresh WG-gesucht‘s home page every fifteen seconds and you’re haunted by words like Genossenschaftsanteil o Parkmöglichkeiten, then you know what I’m talking about.

I wrote three case studies to report my nightmarish experience, in the hope i can be useful or at least take some drama off the whole looking-for-a-room-process.

1) Horror Vacui

Frightmare-blonde

Vera and Katia welcome me in their huge, cool, ultra-furnished flat in Adalbertstrasse with a (stereo)typical cold german kindness. After some small talk in the kitchen along with the most typical interview-food (peanuts and gummy bears, never a surprise) we move to the room that could become mine. Once they open the door a mix of fear and disgust shows up in my face. Not only the room is smaller than Guantanamo cells and completely unfurnished, but the white walls are decorated with random schizophrenic stripes of color. It looks like one of the paintings from Ruby the elephant, from her post-modern period. The two hostesses turn to me asking for a first impression, and my mind goes completely blank. I stay silent like i did when the Analysis professor asked me to multiply matrixes (who am i? Jesus?). I stay silent, and I blow the interview.

The first golden rule when you’re looking for a room, therefore, is always being prepared to give  a positive feedback about said room, no matter how terrible the first impression is. Of course this requires time, but with some practice you’ll learn how to hold on to the most insignificant details and still look convincing. And if you’re really, really out of ideas, you can always rely on one of the most classic but useless comments: “I like high ceilings!”. Even if you’re one-meter-and-a-smurf tall, therefore genetically suitable to live even in the seven dwarfs’ house, go with the high-ceilings-feedback and you won’t regret it.

 

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Abandoned Places

teufelberg - simone montanari

You told me that you like abandoned places, so I took you to one. And hoped you would have liked as well my heart (might be deserted enough). There’s ruined thoughts and empty rooms for you to fill; within these cracks you won’t regret the time you kill. There’s haunted spaces with memories unchained, with ghosts of fears of blues of previous pains. I’ll let you in and beg you not to stop, no matter if it’s brain or body or soul you’ll squat.

 

photo by Simone Montanari