Berlin

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FirstWeTakeBerlin

From yesterday until the 7th September is Berlin Music Week and there are all kinds of events taking place at venues across the city. But we wanted to highlight First Week Take Berlin, which is a showcase of new and up and coming acts hosted by a number of different venues in Kreuzberg. Tickets for the two day event (4th and 5th September) cost €22, and there are way more gigs taking place than we have space for here, so we have picked one of our Circus favourites, who has performed here in the past, and whose music we love very much… Phia.

Here’s her bio from the First We Take Berlin website:

“The Berlin-based Australian uploaded her track “Do You Ever?” to her Soundcloud page in late 2013 and it quickly racked up over 30,000 plays, featuring on MTV’s “Faking It”, receiving regular rotation on Berlin radio and prompting Indie Shuffle to dub her “one of the most underratedof Australia’s musical exports”. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Phia, otherwise known as Sophia Exiner, studied classical and improvised piano at university, before growing restless and moving to Berlin, Germany. Recently invited by Rolling Stone Magazine (Germany) to record a David Bowie cover for a special CD compilation, Phia and her producer Josh Teicher are finishing the mixing of the album this summer, in-between touring and playing festivals.”

Phia is performing at Listen to Berlin @ Fluxbau tomorrow evening, and is due to take to the stage at 9.45pm.

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Teenage kicks

One of our favourite literary blogs Love German Books and our friends at Slow Travel Berlin are launching a new literary event next week at the ACUD club – just around the corner from Rosenthaler Platz. It looks like a fun evening of readings followed by the excellently named DJ Döner Summer on the decks… see you there?

TEENAGE KICKS!
an evening with Brittani Sonnenberg and Christiane Neudecker

Two writers – one American, one German, both with teenage protagonists. How do they create believable characters without getting patronizing or embarrassing? How do they capture the language and the lives of their teenage narrators? What’s the hardest thing about drawing on your own youth as literary material? And are teenagers the same the world over?

Brittani Sonnenberg will read from Home Leave and Christiane Neudecker will give us a sneak preview of her work-in-progress, Sommernovelle, with English translation – all in conversation with translator extraordinaire Katy Derbyshire.

Stick around afterwards for drinks and conversation with musical kicks selected by DJ Döner Summer: soul, funk, electronica, chill out, experimental and lit-beats.

Tuesday, 9 September, 8 p.m.
ACUD Club (rear Hof)
Veteranenstraße 21, Berlin-Mitte
€ 3 on the door

Facebook Event Page

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On the 18th October 2014 four members of the Circus team – Jonathan, Sam, Jan and Annika – will be taking part in the Krassfit Challenge to test not only themselves, but to raise some money for the Schülerpaten Berlin, a mentoring project here in Berlin that Circus has been supporting over the past year or so. Of course, to run thirteen kilometres over a variety of obstacles is not easy, and so our fantastic four need to get in training…

…and this is where you come in! Every Wednesday morning from now until the event on the 18th October, our Krassfitters will be running a stretch of the Berlin Wall here in Berlin as part of their preparations. The route is about seven kilometres, door-to-door from the Circus Hostel, and takes you past some of the principle Berlin Wall sights, including the Memorial and the Documentation Centre on Bernauer Straße, a watchtower that now houses a museum to Günther Litfin, the first person killed attempting to cross the Wall, and other sites of memory from the period in which Berlin was divided.

Jonathan, alongside Circus colleagues Paul and Jared , tested the route out this morning… and if you want to join in the fun, and see some historical sights along the way, the runners will be meeting each Wednesday morning at 9.30am in the Circus Hostel reception. A great way to start the day, and also you will be helping to motivate our brave team as they get ready for what promises to be one heck of a challenge. You can follow their progress here on the blog, and Jonathan will be writing something for us in the next few days to explain a little more about what Krassfit is all about… for now, take a look at some pics from our running route:

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Pop

Coming up in our neighbourhood on Saturday is the fourth instalment of the Torstaßen Festival, taking place at venues along and close to the street that runs past both the Circus Hostel and the Circus Hotel:

“In cooperation with the venues, cafés, shops and bars in our neighborhood we present a musical matinee showcase with a current leftfield and cross-genre soundtrack. We see ourselves and our festival goers as explorers, who are not afraid to trust their curiosity instead of big headliners. We strive to be a forum for current and relevant development within Berlin’s music scenes: for locals, transients and their influencers.”

To join in the fun, you will need a ticket (€13 in advance, €15 on the day) which works as a pass to all participating venues. At the same time, other places in the neighbourhood are joining in the fun as “partycipants”, offering up a varied programme of side events and other fun and games.

At the Circus Hostel we will be hosting a special Pop Quiz in honour of the Torstraßen Festival, which will take place downstairs at Katz & Maus on Saturday evening from 9pm (admission for this is free). So if you fancy yourself as a bit of a pop culture brainiac, know your Backstreet from your Beastie Boys and your Flaming Lips from your Falco, then come and have a go at the quiz… it is hosted by Ally, our very own Queen of Pop, and there are some funky prizes to be won.

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We are extremely pleased to announce the details of the next  Circus Talks evening in cooperation with the ZeitZeugenBörse (Centre for Witness to Contemporary History) which will be taking place on Tuesday 26th August in Fabisch at the Circus Hotel.

Alexander Longolius was born in Berlin in 1935, two years after the Nazis came to power and four before the outbreak of World War II. In the early 1950s he went on a school exchange to the United States, before studying in Berlin. He has been strongly involved in Berlin politics, and was a member of the Berlin Senate (state legislature), as well as being the Chairman of the executive board of the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation.

In 2005 he was awarded the German Order of Merit in recognition of his work for German-American friendship. He has lived in Berlin through the war, the Allied occupation, the division of the city and its eventual reunification, and he will be coming to the Circus to share his experiences of the last 79 years. It promises to be another fascinating evening, and we are really excited to welcome Mr Longolius to the Circus and hear the thoughts of someone who has lived through and been a participant in the modern history of the city.

Details:

Eyewitness History Talk with Alexander Longolius
Tuesday 26th August 2014, 6pm
Fabisch at The Circus Hotel, Rosenthaler Str. 1, Berlin-Mitte
U-Bahn Rosenthaler Platz

The talk is open to all and is in English. Admission is free, and we will be collecting contributions for the ZZB to help them continue in their important work

Photo credit: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F015843-0016 / Schmitt, Walter / CC-BY-SA

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Thanks to our mates at ocelot, not just another bookstore we have a new selection of books for you to explore in the Fabisch Library at the Circus Hotel. Not only have Maria and Frithjof helped us make our picks, but we have made some our own and you can read about why we have chosen the books that we have. First up for Circus staff picks are Hotel Manager Katrin, who chose ‘Why we took the car’ by Wolfgang Herrndorf, and the Communications team Lisa and Paul, who chose ‘All the Lights’ by Clemens Meyer and ‘The Berlin Wall’ by Frederick Taylor respectively. Keep an eye out on the Fabisch Library during the upcoming renovations, as we will be extending our choices and adding more staff picks for you to try, and thanks again to our friends at ocelot for helping us with our selection.

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About ocelot, not just another bookstore…

You can find ocelot on Brunnenstraße 181, only a few meters away from The Circus. What makes ocelot so special is not only the café, where you can hang out with your friends and family after an exciting tour through the city or read your new book right away, but the fact that it’s a place full of people who love literature. And who won’t hesitate to help you with even the most desperate calls for help – “I’m looking for this book with the blue cover, it shows a dog on the beach”. It is a short walk from the hotel, so why not go check it out?

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Olympic-Stadium

How long has it been…four, five weeks, since that glorious night in Rio when the German National Team were crowned Champions of the World? It seems like only yesterday, and – unbelievably – the new season is already upon us, as local heroes Hertha BSC welcome their Bundesliga rivals Werder Bremen to the Olympic Stadium for the opening game this coming Saturday.

Not only are the Germans World Champions, but we also have one of the most popular leagues in the world… and the Bundesliga has become legendary for its model of fan-ownership of clubs, a great atmosphere, proper beer in the stadiums, and decent ticket prices. As always, here at the Circus we give our guests the opportunity to sample the matchday experience at its best, as we have tickets for every home game of Hertha BSC. Tickets cost a barely believable €15, and include public transport both to and from the Olympic Stadium. An incredible deal.

And at the same time, whatever happens on the pitch, it is worth making the journey just to see the stadium itself. Built for the 1936 Olympics, when Jesse Owens won four gold medals in a games hijacked by the Nazis for propaganda purposes, it was completely renovated in time to host the 2006 World Cup, when Zinedine Zidane (literally) bowed out in his own unique way.

As for what you can expect on the pitch, Hertha BSC have been something of a yo-yo club in recent years, taking turns to play in the top flight and the second tier. But last year they kept their place in the Bundesliga, and with the opportunity to play two seasons in a row with the elite, they will be hoping that this new found stability will give them the chance to kick on from their 11th place finish last season, one place ahead of the team they are playing on Saturday, Werder Bremen.

Tickets are limited, so if you wanna go the match, get on down to reception!

Hertha BSC vs Werder Bremen
Saturday 23 April
Kick-Off: 15.30
Tickets: €15 – available from reception (and include public transport)

(Image: © visitBerlin | Scholvien)

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This is (some of) us at the opening of UVR Connected in the Hotel building on the corner of Rosenthaler Platz. Those of you who have been keeping an eye on the blog will have seen the announcement of the opening a few months ago, and after a lot of work clearing the space and getting it ship-shape, the big event took place last week. Here’s what we said about our new neighbours back then:

“Alongside carefully chosen brands, UVR Connected stores also sell their own collection, much of which is produced in the countryside north of Berlin in a region known as the Uckermark. Using fabrics from Italy and France, UVR Connected creates clothing that is timeless, classic and, in their own words, “grown up”. We think it is great that we will have on the square another local company, committed to production in Germany and Europe, and we are looking forward to welcoming our new neighbours to the square.”

Well now they are here we are certainly happy to have them next door, and as the dust settled on the opening party we sent Lisa around to take some pictures so you can get an idea what to expect. Rosenthaler Platz just got a lot more stylish:

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