Archive for the 'Berlin Life' Category

Life-changing cities

Berlin, a life-changing city? apparently yes. Check this article on Repubblica.

…and 60s armchairs chez nous in Berlin

We’ve been looking for a suitable armchair for more than a year. Now we’ve found it. An original Soloform piece of 1953, designed by Albrecht Lange and Hans Mitzlaff for Schmitt, which from time to time appears at auctions around the globe.

It’s efficient: no excess of material, just what’s needed to be comfortable. It’s light: I carried it upstairs to the 4th floor. It’s ergonomic and perfect for reading a book, a newspaper or an iPad. It’s beautiful…and its linden-tree green (washable) upholstering is just the color I wanted. Recycled in Berlin!

Living in a vintage gas station, in Schoeneberg

Andreas Meichsner for The New York Times

Have a look at the fabulous article by the New York Times on a very lateral-thinking renovation: from gas station to apartment-cum-art-gallery!

Actually, I remember seeing an Aral gas station teamed up with a bar/restaurant at Schlesisches Tor U-bahn station, close to Club der Visionäre. I wonder if it is seasonal or open all year round…have to check it out.

The full article can be found on the New York Times website together with a beautiful slide show. An excerpt of the article follows.

In Berlin, a renovated gas station

by KIMBERLY BRADLEY

Continue reading ‘Living in a vintage gas station, in Schoeneberg’

…and here are the flats!

color kitchen

It took some time, to refurbish them, to stitch up proper mini-websites, but eventually here they are. Click on the links on the right…

The 1920s flat has a surface of only 54 square meters – plus a mezzanine! – and is located in a beautiful Altbau. The 1960s flat is cuddly, only 30 square meters but its location is magic!

Both are located in the Bayerisches Viertel in Schöneberg…our ideal neighborhood!

Recycling furniture and collecting ideas in Berlin

Yesterday I looked at magazines to take with me on my easyjet flight on monday…and I was surprised to see the cover of Elle Decoration, British edition. First of all, holidaying at home. Exactly our plan for this summer! And secondly, green. Lastly, a 60’s sideboard. Tout se tient!

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But let’s proceed with order. In the recent posts several themes were launched.

– Green glass…

– Green bookshelves…

– DDR design…

– German iconic brands of the 60s….

Well, Elle decoration seems to follow Aflatinberlin steps! 😀

In fact part of the time spent holidaying in Berlin will be dedicated to the finishing touches and furnishing of the “cub” 60s flat. With items seen and collected over the past 2 trips to Berlin (with a little help from our friends in Viktoria Luise Platz), and with ideas pondered during the last 4 easyjet flights. Let’s see how all these items come together…

One year later…1 candle on the cake!

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One year ago we started this blog. Two main reasons: to report about our “flat in Berlin” experience. And to keep track of our renovation adventure, which had just started and needed a bit of a public kick – an official timekeeper online!

One year later, we are going to spend soon our first ever real holiday in our flat in Berlin, having dedicated 1/4 of our weekends in the past 12 months to blitz-trips to Berlin in order to follow the renovation works, sort out paperwork, choose tiles, buy furniture and make the flat feel like our home in Berlin.

One year later, and 3/4 of a global financial crisis later, we’re happy about our choice. It is true, other real estate markets plunged so deep that now there are several “cheap” real estate markets in the world. But we were not just looking for a bottom-fishing real estate opportunity, we wanted something very specific: an apartment with good bones in Schöneberg at a reasonable price, not a seaside flat in Spain or a maisonette in England. In the meantime, garage prices in Rome plunged by 3%. Maybe the Italian real estate market will undergo a correction one day, but the reality is, a 1-car garage in Rome still costs more than a flat in one of the nicest areas of Berlin. Period. Continue reading ‘One year later…1 candle on the cake!’

Berlin, the anxious punk…

Now that’s what I call a well-documented analysis. The Irish Times reports on Berlin, the fractured metropolis. The anxious punk?

Graveyard of ambitions?

A collection of individuals pursuing their interesting paths outside national ghettos?

A local management culture difficult to grasp?

A city attracting people who don’t know what to do next?

Or a place where – if you know what you want and fight for it in an equally disciplined way as you would do in Paris or London – you can find an unparalleled quality of living (after gray-sky vaccination)?

Find out…

The fractured metropolis?

THE IRISH IN BERLIN

Is Berlin a capital of creativity, as the hype would have you believe, or rather a slacker’s paradise, where every day is a Saturday? DEREK SCALLY talks to some Irish immigrants who have managed to forge careers there.

JOHN LENNON ONCE remarked that life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. For many Irish, the German capital is a place they never intended to make their home but, to stretch Lennon’s logic, they have found Berlin to be a fine spot to live while making other arrangements.

Continue reading ‘Berlin, the anxious punk…’

Boring, tedious, envious or just plain lazy?

“Gentrification has hit Prenzlauer Berg at a speed unmatched even by the most tarted-up quarters of other European capitals. Ninety per cent of the district’s apartments have been vacated by their original East German inhabitants since the Wall’s fall. They have been replaced by a generation of young Germans who have arrived as rich invaders from the West. The standing joke in Prenzlauer Berg is that the borough is populated exclusively by Swabians from wealthy south-western Germany. Like most jokes, it contains an element of truth”.

This morning I found this article on my virtual shore, the Google tide brought it from The Independent.

A flavor on the pros and cons of gentrified Prenzl’berg. A panoramique on the former-DDR Länder demographic, economic and neo-nazi problems. All in all not so original. Frankly, I expected something better from the Independent. This piece feels stale, like a “Panorama” article, full of clichés and made of rechauffé themes.

Or is it just envious? To me, the british society doesn’t seem so “full or harmony” or heavenly homogeneous in terms of economic and social opportunities. Heathrow airport or some stops of the Tube don’t even evoke “poor but sexy” thoughts like some rusty rail platforms in OstBerlin. And there was never an iron curtain in between Putney and Islington.

If you want to read articles criticizing Germany, read the German press…it’s more interesting. Be it on the debate on prams in Prenzl’berg. Or the unemployment rate in Mecklemburg. Or Rostock gangs. Or the Swabian invasion.

Continue reading ‘Boring, tedious, envious or just plain lazy?’

And the best city to live in is…

Vienna. Recently a survey by the consultancy firm Mercer declared Vienna the best city to live in. Thirteen of the top 20 cities in which to live and work are in Europe, including Munich, Vienna, Brussels, Frankfurt, Bern, Copenhagen and…Berlin! Not surprisingly Australia, New Zealand and Canada score high.

The bear town keeps her 16th position, ahead of Melbourne, Paris, London, Madrid, Barcelona, but also Hamburg and Stockholm.

Weighted by the cost of living and the vibrancy of cultural life, for us Berlin remains number one, when it comes to quality of life.

Herebelow a FT article gives you an idea of real estate prices in prinzessin Vienna. Continue reading ‘And the best city to live in is…’

Goldbären and Golia

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Goldbären and Golia side by side. Goldbären for gemütlichkeit, Golia for simplicity. Goldbären because in Berlin the house is a shelter from the cold and the rain, like a cavern for the fatty bear. cimg0346

Golia because we need to remind ourselves that every object needs to have a precise function, and the only decorative items must be transient and lightweight, like a bunch of flowers, a colourful pillowcase, but furniture and walls need to remain plain and quite neutral, without constraints.

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Goldbären because it’s süß, Golia because it’s strong…and both because I wanted to put something in the budget IKEA jars I had bought months ago!


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