As a city, Berlin seems more concerned than most with its own self-definition. Conversation abounds about what “the real Berlin” is and how to attain it. I experienced this whole “real Berlin” dialogue when I set up a satirical blog called When You Live In Berlin, only for another to spring up in its wake, called When You Really Live In Berlin, begging the question: what does this “really” signify?
In my hometown of London, people are snobby about where in the city you live and what your postcode is. If you have a London postcode, you’re pretty much a Londoner: no “if”s, no “but”s, and definitely no “really”s.
The whole “authenticity” argument seems to have spilled over into the startup environment of Berlin. As the tech industry here develops, it becomes more and more ridiculous to imagine startups as little havens of hype, supported by nothing but hot air.
As the city continues to define and redefine itself, here are the bloggers who’ll be writing about all its future evolutions with their heads above the hype.
Everything you need to know about being an expat in Berlin. Bonus startup insight: one half of Uberlin, James Glazebrook, works at Factory Berlin, the new flagship startup space and home of Soundcloud and 6Wunderkind.
Kalie Moore brings a San Franciscan point of view to the startup scene in Berlin. Bonus startup insight: she’s currently bootstrapping her own startup, alongside blogging for Berlin Social Media Week.
As suggested by the name, the focus here is on places, people and things that take a little longer to appreciate. Sustainable, seasonal and thoughtful, the longer reads are what make this blog stand out.
This magazine-blog celebrates the neverending creativity of Berlin’s residents in a series of inspiring interviews that remind you just why there is such a buzz around the city.
Fresh out of co-founding daily Berlin newsletter Sugarhigh, freelance writer Hilda Hoy set up this more personal take on the city she calls home. She’s interested in the offbeat charm of Berlin and often looks at aspects of traditional German culture (like Berlin’s oldest ice cream shop) in a new light.
You can tell that Stilinberlin’s Mary Scherpe started as a streetstyle blogger: her eye is impeccable. For enviable fashion, interiors and shopping, this should your first stop.
Photographer Zoe Spawton sees a gentleman called Ali walking past her work every morning, and decides to start taking photos of his incredible outfits. A fashion icon, and award-winning blog is born.
As well as being a resident Australian and self-proclaimed “femme of sass, sometimes”, Lucy works in client relations of crowdsourcing design company 99designs here in Berlin. She does music, advice and general lolz, all in her inimitable “g’day mate” style.
WATP’s Kevin Junk blogs about the stuff that some of these others only skim the surface of: the dirty and outrageous side of Berlin. The one that caused Klaus Wowereit’s famous “poor but sexy”. Ja, it’s in German but Junk’s blog, which is deeply personal (yet somehow never attention-seeking), is worth getting your Google Translate out for.
Digital Cosmonaut explores abandoned urban geography of the German capital, as well as weird trivia about Berlin, like when to press the button at the traffic lights. Bonus startup insight: DC’s Georg is Vice Editor in Chief/Head of Online Marketing of AndroidPIT, the world’s largest Android user community.