Happy Easter from Berlin!! 💐🐇 Frohe Ostern! #froheostern #berlin #picnic  (at Stadtpark Lichtenberg (Parkaue))

Happy Easter from Berlin!! 💐🐇 Frohe Ostern! #froheostern #berlin #picnic (at Stadtpark Lichtenberg (Parkaue))

Just enjoyed what is probably the best BBQ in Berlin! These guys know what they’re doing. Pulled pork, ribs and craft beers, I think I’m in love! Look them up: pignut.de and check my blog today for more about my favorite foods from Texas #bbq #texascooking #pignut #berlin #berlinfood  (at Pignut BBQ)

Just enjoyed what is probably the best BBQ in Berlin! These guys know what they’re doing. Pulled pork, ribs and craft beers, I think I’m in love! Look them up: pignut.de and check my blog today for more about my favorite foods from Texas #bbq #texascooking #pignut #berlin #berlinfood (at Pignut BBQ)

Pretty building in Berlin Mitte 🍰 #berlinstagram

Pretty building in Berlin Mitte 🍰 #berlinstagram

Got the best seat in the bus: top-level, front. 👊 #selfie (at Berlin)

Got the best seat in the bus: top-level, front. 👊 #selfie (at Berlin)

Exploring Berlin’s Modernist Architecture at the Hufeisensiedlung

By Adam Groffman

If you remember…one of my goals before turning 30 is to explore more of my own (adopted) hometown. So the other weekend I hopped on the u-bahn and made me way to Neukölln to do some urban exploring. At the Parchimer Allee u-bahn station, there’s a small sign signaling the exit toward the Hufeisensiedlung (Horseshoe Estate — named after its horseshoe layout of buildings). This massive housing estate in southern Berlin was built in the 1920s by modernist architect Bruno Taut and was named part of a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008 celebrating Berlin’s six modernist housing estates.

The housing estate is notable for its modernist architecture (hence it’s UNESCO World Heritage designation) of which it’s one of the first places employing modern thinking in architecture. Following WWI, Berlin had a serious housing shortage and needed nearly 100,000 apartments built to accommodate newly unemployed soldiers and others who flocked to the liberal city of Berlin. During that period, city planner Martin Wagner enlisted Bruno Taut to design the Hufeisensiedlung in an undeveloped area of Neukölln (not far from the Schloss Britz). Whether because there was an immediate need to get the housing estates built, because of Martin Wagner’s foresight or because of the newly formed Social Democratic Weimar Republic, Taut was given quite a bit of flexibility in the design and construction of the new housing estate. Today Taut is considered a forerunner of Bauhaus architecture and it’s easy to see in this Berlin modernist housing estate why.

The social democratic ideals that made Berlin such a liberal place in the 1920s are represented through Taut’s design of the Hufeisensiedlung (and the other modernist housing estates). The buildings are noticeably different from the traditional German architecture styles of earlier years (pointy roofs, anyone?) and Bruno Taut selectively employed the use of color to ornament what would otherwise be relatively stark buildings. Perhaps not surprising, there was a lot of throwback from the community during construction as this was a completely different look and style to what people were used to.

Today the style might not seem as impressive as it is, but imagine how these buildings looked set against more traditional buildings with wooden shutters and tapered roofs. Even still, though, I found the colors to be impressive. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of building corners where colors changed from one to another. This is a relatively easy site to visit so if you have a few hours, it’s a great place for taking photos.

TRAVEL TIP: Historical tours of the Hufeisensiedlung and other architectural sites through Berlin are available from StattReisen — a tour operator  offering guided walking tours. If you want to enjoy the full historical significa Berlin modernist housing estates, I recommend taking a tour. Learn more at stattreisenberlin.de

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Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Across the street from the “Red Wall” of the Hufeisensiedlung, other apartments were built though in a more traditional style

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Little boxes?

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Simple architectural flourishes (brick lined windows) add the only bit of design to the Hufeisensiedlung

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Many of the row houses have large gardens located behind their houses

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Bricks and concrete were used in the design

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

The monotonous design of the Hufeisensiedlung is only broken up with colorful buildings

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Color played a big part in the Hufeisensiedlung design

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Cherry blossoms in Berlin

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Is it a change of seasons or a change of color?

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Cherry blossoms line some of the streets which just add even more color the already colorful houses of Hufeisensiedlung Britz

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Window panes with different colors

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Tell me this doesn’t look Bauhaus?!

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Color can pop up anywhere in the Hufeisensiedlung

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

At Lowise-Reuter-Ring 43, one of the Berlin modernist houses (this one’s a single family home) has been converted into a rentable museum. The house has been furnished with authentic furniture from the time period and is available for overnight stays. Learn more at tautes-heim.de

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Street sign

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Notice the blue highlights painted on the inside of the windows?

Hufeisensiedlung Britz (Berlin)

Streets in the Hufeiseinseidlung are named after fictional characters from the works of German novelist Fritz Reuter. Jewish character names were changed during Nazi Germany.

TRAVEL TIP: Want to know more about Germany’s UNESCO sites? Visit http://ift.tt/1h9kWK4 for a complete listing along with photos, suggested itineraries and travel tips.

The post Exploring Berlin’s Modernist Architecture at the Hufeisensiedlung appeared first on the Travels of Adam blog.



via Travels of Adam (Hipster Blog) http://ift.tt/1h9kWcU
Hbf #berlin  (at Berlin Hauptbahnhof)

Hbf #berlin (at Berlin Hauptbahnhof)

That building on the right with the red roof is Germany’s oldest museum - which is older than America 🙊 #welterbegermany  (at Martin Luthers Geburtshaus)

That building on the right with the red roof is Germany’s oldest museum - which is older than America 🙊 #welterbegermany (at Martin Luthers Geburtshaus)

My Berlin Story: The How, Why & When I Became an Expat

By Adam Groffman

Berlin expat

Berlin is beautiful.

Recently I rediscovered my love for Berlin. If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ll have seen about a gazillion photos of springtime (Frühling) in Berlin. In today’s blog entry though, I want to share my story as a Berlin expat…

I came to Berlin in the summer of 2011 while on my trip around the world. I’d been traveling for about a year at this point. After spending a month in Vietnam and with my bank account dwindling, my tax refund from my previous year of employment showed up. It was with that last little splurge of cash that I booked my plane ticket from Hanoi to Berlin. And it was that money which I used to fund my short-lived Eurotrip. Because while my original plans included a summer traveling around Europe, after spending one week in Berlin, I knew that this was the place for me.

Berlin is my home now. I love returning here after a trip. And while you’re reading my blog about my various trips around Europe (and further abroad, on occasion), know this: the vast majority of the time I’m really just here in Berlin. Living my day-to-day life and doing all those oh-so-Berlin things which have come to define me. The city might not always reciprocate its love, but Berlin is mine. My home. My love.

* * *

How I came to Berlin

My Berlin story begins in June 2011 when I arrived in Berlin just a few days ahead of the annual CSD gay pride parade. That first week in Berlin still stands strong in my memory. There were long summer nights, a brief romantic fling, free festivals in the park, public drinking and a bit of sightseeing too. I stayed mostly with Couchsurfers during that week and it’s probably because of my kind and gracious hosts that I realized it was perfectly possible to stay in Berlin longer than intended. But I didn’t stay just then: I kept moving. Onwards to Prague and Vienna, until I realized — why am I still traveling?

I realized during that brief Eurotrip that I just wasn’t having as much fun as I had had the week before in Berlin. So I returned. And sitting in my dorm room hostel, I spent hours searching for a suitable apartment to rent. After a few days of searching, I got lucky and found a room to rent for a month. I vowed to give myself 30 days to see what would happen. It was the remainder of my travel money so it was now or never.

Das ist so Berlin

A popular saying here… hard to resist saying it sometimes

During that first month I lived in Berlin (documented in a fun-to-read but very casual daily blog online), I split my time between having fun and working hard. I went out clubbing as often as I could (which was quite a bit), met new friends at bars and meetups, had movie nights and spent time hanging out in Berlin’s many beautiful parks. But I also worked hard: I spent my afternoons (because I also got a lot of sleep that month) trying to find a job, which I ultimately succeeded in. The job was just a 3-month contract internship (as I’d come to learn so many jobs in Berlin actually are) but it turned out to be a great way to get initiated into the city. I hated the company (and still do) but it was my foot in the door that is Berlin.

From that first summer in Berlin to today, I’ve had a strange and interesting time in Berlin. I’ve worked for various startup companies either in online marketing or graphic design. I’ve taken German language classes, worked freelance, traveled frequently and thought about leaving. This summer marks three years in Berlin — which is incredible when I stop to think about it. Berlin was never in my plan. GERMANY was never in my plan. And yet here I am. And with my new 2-year residency visa, Berlin is likely going to remain in my future for time still to come.

* * *

Why live abroad?

Berlin refelction

Is there any better time of year than a summer in Berlin? I don’t think so.

I had always wanted to live abroad at some point in my life (it’s part of the reason why I had studied abroad in London and in Sydney during college). When I was working as a graphic designer in Boston for a large, international company I quickly learned that the best way to get a job and live abroad was to just go for it and make it happen myself. I saved up some money and eventually was able to afford quitting so that I could travel and see the world on my own time. The original plan included moving to Australia at the end of my trip, but when the time came, I suddenly changed my mind. Europe was calling.

While backpacking around the world, I met other travelers and backpackers who had nothing but amazing things to say about Berlin. Many of them, after meeting me and getting a sense for the types of things I liked to do, told me flat out that Berlin was just my kind of city. Never having had an interest in Germany or Berlin before, I decided to just take a leap of faith and show up as a tourist to see what all the fuss was about. Turns out everyone was right: Berlin is incredible. The city has its problems, for sure, but right now, right here, the city is so full of potential and has this incredible energy it’s hard to imagine myself anywhere else.

When people hear the word “Berlin” it usually conjures up an image of a very open-minded and liberal-thinking city. And for the most part they’d be correct. Thanks to its healthy reputation from the 1920s as a bit of a gay mecca, the city seems to have a pretty good history with that kind of stuff. It’s also got a reputation as a party destination thanks to its legendary nightlife (ie, Berghain – “best club in the world“), but I think what a lot of tourists might miss out on is the fact that this is a living city. There’s this cultural movement here – Berlin today is adapting and evolving. Even though Berlin is Germany’s largest city, it’s also still growing. It’s what makes it so exciting and interesting to be here – to be a part of the change and see the change.

* * *

Some of the above has been extracted from an interview I gave to PASSPORT Magazine earlier this year. You can find the full story about gay American expats on their website.

Berlin life

The Berlin lifestyle… beer.

The post My Berlin Story: The How, Why & When I Became an Expat appeared first on the Travels of Adam blog.



via Travels of Adam (Hipster Blog) http://ift.tt/1h6trW6
❤️ (at Eisenach Hauptbahnhof)

❤️ (at Eisenach Hauptbahnhof)

Wartburg Castle 🇩🇪 Where the German language was born (because Martin Luther translated the Bible into German here unifying all of the random German dialects) #welterbegermany  (at Wartburg)

Wartburg Castle 🇩🇪 Where the German language was born (because Martin Luther translated the Bible into German here unifying all of the random German dialects) #welterbegermany (at Wartburg)

Lovely day for a train ride! #germany #travel

Lovely day for a train ride! #germany #travel

Following the Luther Trail through Lutherstadt-Eisleben. These markers signal the route through the German city where you’ll find historical sites related to Luther’s life. #fromwhereistand #welterbegermany #germany

Following the Luther Trail through Lutherstadt-Eisleben. These markers signal the route through the German city where you’ll find historical sites related to Luther’s life. #fromwhereistand #welterbegermany #germany

Travels of Adam is a hipster travel blog of interesting stories from around the world. This is the more hipster version of said travel blog.

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