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We have something very special coming up on Saturday 13th September at Katz & Maus – a reading hosted by our favourite publishers of small-yet-perfectly-formed books Readux. Three times a year Readux publish a series of four teeny-tiny books of (mostly) translated literature in English. Sometimes stories, sometimes essays and sometimes poetry, one thing is for sure is that they are perfect to slide in your pocket for that next train or plane journey, and if you want to get a copy to see for yourself, then we sell them in the Circus Hotel.

On the 13th Readux will be crossing the street to the Circus Hostel for an event hosted by Readux Publisher Amanda DeMarco, under the title “The Wall, the City, and the World”. This is the title of Eliot Weinberger’s upcoming Readux release, and Eliot will be at the Circus to give us a sneek-peak (and the only chance you will get to buy an advance copy). We will also hear from two of the stars of the last Readux series – David Wagner and translator Katy Derbyshire – about the Mauerpark, in keeping with the Wall theme, as well as poetry from Maren Kames.

Sounds good? The event will start at 7pm, and after the reading there will be plenty of time to stick around for drinks and some good conversation. We are really excited to be welcoming the different members of the Readux crew to the Circus, and we are sure it is going to be a great evening.


Circus co-owner Tilman Hierath has been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge… the only problem is, that is a very nice suit he is wearing and so he decided to take a different approach inspired by a certain actor out there. The ALS Association website is here… and we nominate everyone to do what they can for whichever cause is closest to them, whether it is time, money or raising awareness. Prost!

Yep… watch the video if you don’t believe us… and have a read of this from Jurgen, one of the lucky (or crazy) gang that found themselves falling out of the sky somewhere in Brandenburg…

If you do not know what to do with your time in Berlin you can always jump out of an Airplane. Jumping out of an airplane? Yes you heard it right! Our friends of GoJump in Gransee convinced us that jumping out of an airplane is the coolest thing you will ever do in your life. We were a bit skeptical but nevertheless decided to check it out. I can tell you it was one of the coolest experiences in our lives!

Together with our hostel owner Jim, our crazy bartender Ally, the lovely receptionist Veronika and our cool Designers Julia and Sandra we took the train from Berlin Hauptbahnhof towards Gransee. The brave Julia had no clue what we were going to do until the morning we left. Did I already mention we were afraid? We were very afraid! I have never experienced such a weird form of anticipation.

However, all our fears were taken away the moment we met the GoJump crew. After a short trip on the train, they picked us up from the train station Gransee and before we knew it, we were already making jokes again. After some formalities we immediately went on with the real stuff. After a short but very comforting introduction about the place we went on to put on our hip jumpsuits.

Every single one of us got an assigned tandem partner, the guy or girl that is hanging on your back and is basically doing all the work. The crew of GoJump exists of a group of professional passionate Skydivers, whose aim is to get as many people experiencing jumping out of an airplane as possible. If there were any fears left, they were all taken away by our tandem partners. Such a lovely and funny crew.

The next step was the actual skydive instruction. We thought we would go through an extensive training, but in fact the introduction was very short. They ended with a wicked smile and the words: “don’t worry, everything will be alright, you will see”.

And we did! All that was left to do was stepping into a (hypermodern) airplane and enjoy the view. Our tandem partners made some “scared of death” videos and photos of us, to share with our friends and families. Before we knew it, we were at 4000 meters high.

Afterward it all happened very fast. The door went open and first the professionals jumped out. Then it was time for us to jump. Every 30 seconds one of us would jump out with 220 km per hour. The instructions proved to be sufficient. We moved to the opening of the airplane, put our legs around the edge and our head on the shoulders of our tandem partners.

The moment you jump out of an airplane is amazing! The first few seconds you have absolutely no idea what is going on, but after a while you get to enjoy the full explosion of adrenaline for almost a minute. After the parachute opens the feeling changes to something, I think, comes very close to absolute freedom. The tandem partners let you steer the parachute around and this creates yet another fantastic feeling. After exactly 9 minutes you are back on your feet again.

After a good period of celebrating we were still alive and hugging each other, we got to see our photo and video footage. The result is hilarious. The rest of the day we could do nothing else than smile and feel happy.

So, if you would also like to experience something that is almost as cool as meeting David Hasselhof in real life, go and join GoJump and jump out of an airplane.

Thank you GoJump for this amazing life changing experience!

Love,

Jurgen and The Circus Crew

PS. Here are some more pics from the day… and don’t forget to check out the GoJump website

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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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So… struggling with the local lingo? Need a bit of help to tell your Bratwurst from your Bratkartoffel? Never fear, because Jimbo is here! Now, our very own Jimbo might have been born within a Peter Schmeichel throw of Old Trafford on the edge of sunny Manchester, but he has been here in the German capital for fifteen years and during that time he has done daily battle with the German language… the result has been a honour-filled scoring draw, and so who better than to put together a very special podcast with the most important phrases you will need during your time with us in the German capital. Thankfully, he enlisted the help of Lisa in creating his very special non-essential guide to the German language, so have a listen for yourself… after all, you might even learn something.

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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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So the Circus Creativity Bonanza continues apace… anyone who has been to Rosenthaler Platz in recent weeks will see that the renovations to both the hostel and hotel buildings are in full swing. On the hotel side, the new corner shop from our friends at UVR Connected has opened – we will be bringing you some photographs from the interior in the coming days – whilst across the street the Apotheke space has now joined the opticians under the deconstruction hammer.

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But what to expect in the future? Well, behind the scenes the Circus team and our buddies at Unit Berlin have been formulating their plans for both inside and outside the hostel building, and today we are offering a sneak peak of what you can expect for the façade of the building. We have so many ideas that we cannot wait to share with you, so keep following us here on the blog to find out more in the coming weeks and months.

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Next Tuesday (July 22nd) we are extremely pleased to be welcoming back to The Circus Jutta Hertlein, as part of our series of talks in cooperation with the ZZB – The Centre for Witness to Contemporary History. Frau Hertlein has been to The Circus before, and it was an extremely interesting evening as she told us all about her life and experiences of living in Berlin during the time the city was divided by the Berlin Wall.

Frau Hertlein grew up in East Berlin until the age of 13, when she moved with her mother to West Germany. At the age of 25 she moved back to Berlin with her husband, living in the West of the city for 24 years until the fall of the Berlin Wall. During that time she made many visits to friends and family in East German and the GDR, and some of the stories she tells about the border crossings are not only fascinating, but at times barely believable when we look back on it now.

After the talk Frau Hertlein will be available to answer any questions you might have. Once again we are expecting it to be an extremely interesting and informative evening and, as always, the talk will be in English and is open to everyone. We will be collecting donations to the ZZB, to help support them in their important work.

Details:

Where: Fabisch @ The Circus Hotel, Rosenthaler Strasse 1, Berlin-Mitte
When: Tuesday 22nd July 2014 at 6pm
Topic: Life in the Divided City
Speaker: Frau Jutta Hertlein

Image Credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-L0521-0015 / Kutscher (verehe. Kubiziel), Sig / CC-BY-SA

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