Berlin’s garden colonies are under threat as investors try to replace flowers with flats. We interview garden owner Trevor Sears from the campaign Da Wächst Was (Something’s Growing Here). He tells us why Kleingarten are important for the city, and how you can get one.
What should you do if an architect visits your apartment building asking to take photos? It’s usually the first sign your owner wants to sell or renovate. Green Party representative Georg Kössler tells us five things you can do to halt a rent increase. The Greens have launched a campaign Rette Deinen Kiez (Save Your Neighbourhood).
Joel presents some ideas of his own about how to stop runaway property prices. Berlin could increase the property sales tax from 6%, tax second homes and rental profits vigorously, ban companies from buying residential property, restrict foreign investors.
This episode was recorded on Thursday September 13, 2018. Hosts Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern.
TV series Babylon Berlin is searching for 3000 extras, but bearded men need not apply. You must be over 1.86 meters tall and be prepared to get a 1920s haircut. Maisie is thrilled about the mass make-over of Berlin blokes. Sign up at Agentur Filmgesichter.
The Berlin Wall is being rebuilt to create a totalitarian theme park in Mitte. The art project Dau will submit visitors to mild oppression and screen lengthy films. It will run from from October 12 til November 9, when the “Wall” will be demolished. Couldn’t they use it to patch up the East Side Gallery?
Algae is blooming in Berlin lakes post-heatwave. But don’t worry, it’s still safe to swim. The Berlin health authorities have tested the water and found no deadly blue-green algae. Meanwhile, Alternativ für Deutschland leader Alexander Gauland is now pushing a new and rather bleak right-wing position, acknowledging the reality of climate change but saying humans can’t do anything about it. Is this the start of ‘climate change realism’ – to borrow from Mark Fisher’s capitalist realism?
Wondering why Berlin doesn’t have any electric scooters yet? The stand-up scooters are appearing in cities worldwide as investors rush to find the next trend after shared bikes. But in Germany motorized scooters are classified as road vehicles, restricting their use.
This episode was presented by Maisie Hitchcock and Joel Dullroy, and brought to you by RadioEins.
Our annual outdoor recording at the Mobile Kino Lakeside Film Festival at Klingemühle in Brandenburg. Now in its fifth year, the event many improvements – a new name, a new stage, more guests and more fun all round.
Like playing card games while camping? Our guest Julia Weiss tells us what it’s like to work for a card game company. Julia is the lead writer for Cards Against Humanity, as well as a cast member on the podcast The Improvised Star Trek. “If our goal is to live in a post-capitalist space future, watch Star Trek,” Julia says. Caroline’s review of Star Trek: “A lot of ambient music and three-dimensional board games.”
Berlins’s garden plots are being targeted by property speculators. Investors are snapping up Kleingarten hoping the city will allow them to build apartments. One such investor is an alleged crime gang from Neukölln. Police recently seized 77 of their properties worth €9.2M, including garden plots. It’s alleged the real estate was bought with the proceeds of a spectacular bank robbery.
Temperatures hit 38.5°C in Berlin on August 9, just short of the record. BSR, the city’s street cleaning service, plans to spray the roads with water to cool things down – though some think it might make the city more humid and uncomfortable.
hich side should cyclists pass a right-turning vehicle? Our guest asked the question after being stopped by police for passing a car on the right-hand side. Was she in the right? We get the answers.
Hosted by Joel Dullroy, Jöran Mandik and Caroline Clifford.
Berlin’s scorching summer is breaking records. Earlier this week the city experienced its hottest night ever, with a minimum of 25°C. The city’s trees are suffering, and residents are being asked to go out and water them. U-Bahns are getting noisier, as there’s no moisture to lubricate between the metal wheels and tracks. The drains are stinking, so the water authority is putting “drain deodorant” down the pipes. The pools are all at capacity. But Berlin has only 48 public drinking fountains to help citizens rehydrate.
A Berlin man who tried to become a police officer had his application rejected because he failed a drug test. A blood sample showed he had THC in his system. Undeterred, he took the matter to court, unsurprisingly rejected his case.
The S-Bahn is trialling automatic doors to improve punctuality. All doors will pop open at stations between Ostkreuz and Hauptbahnhof from 6am to 8am. Instead of 24 people pushing 24 buttons, one person pushes one button. Why haven’t they ever done this before?
This month the new home sharing regulations come into effect in Berlin. You’re now allowed to rent out up to 49% of your flat online, but first you have to get a registration number from the Bürgeramt and display it on the various rental portals.
A Berlin man who has been in a coma for four months has been identified because someone recognized a photograph of his house keys. The 74-year was found unconscious in a Wilmersdorf park after apparently having an accident while jogging in March, carrying only his keys. A police operation to test all the locks in the area failed. Publishing a photo of his keys worked. It seems Berliners prefer to memorize the grooves of their keys rather than look their neighbours in the eye.
The first of Berlin’s many bike sharing company has gone bust. O-bike has filed for bankruptcy in its home country Singapore. In some cities, the bikes have been sold to a collection company and are being taken from the streets. But it’s not clear what will happen to the 700 bikes left in Berlin. One bicycle activist has created a website called Librebike.info calling for people to liberate the left-behind bicycles by hacking the locks. Update: now Ofo has announced it will pull out of Berlin too!
The S-Bahn wants to improve punctuality by introducing express trains that skip a couple of stops on the Ring. Stations to be skipped are Halensee and Hohenzollerndamm in the south-west. A trial could start later this month. And a ticket checker has to pay €900 to a passenger in compensation for ripping up his partially invalid ticket.
This episode of Radio Spaetkauf was brought to you by RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.
Are you paying too much rent? Probably: 70% of Berlin landlords are illegally overcharging, says lawyer Daniel Halmer of WenigerMiete.de. He’s offering a no-win no-fee service to fight your landlord for a rent reduction. He’s helped people save up to €600 a month. Tricks landlords use include overstating apartment size by up to 30%. Everybody who has rented an apartment in the last three years could win a rent decrease.
Berlin could soon get public electric grills – thanks to a very unexpected source of money – East Germany’s stolen millions hidden in Swiss bank accounts. The DDR leaders stashed state money abroad as the socialist state collapsed. Now it’s coming back. The Mitte district wants to use it to put coin-operated grills in Monbijou Park. Maisie thinks it could be used for better purposes.
The Breitscheitplatz Christmas Market truck attack in 2016 might have been prevented if Berlin police weren’t so obsessed with trying to evict anarchist squatters. A Berlin parliamentary inquiry has heard that police monitoring the alleged truck attacker, Anis Amri, were called of his case in June 2016. They were instead reassigned to focus on left-wing squatters in Rigaer Straße in Friedrichshain, who were illegally evicted from their squat. Amri allegedly went on to join a terrorist cell, undetected. Former justice minister Frank Henkel’s ideologial war against hippies had serious consequences.
This episode was recorded live ahead of the Mobile Kino open air screening at Insel der Jugend. Hosts are Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern.
KFC is standing by their actions. They say their managers were right to “act in the interest of our other guests.” We asked them how often the police have been called to evict other noisy customers. The answer: very rarely. You can read their full response to our questions (in German and English) here.
Why have so many kids started using the latest shared bike company Ofo? Is it because their system accidentally allows anonymous endless free rides? Perhaps they can all join in the ADFC cycle demo on June 3 through the center of the city.
This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern, and brought to you by RadioEins.
What will it take to get Berliners to pickup trash – the offer of a free beer, perhaps? The Big Görlitzer Clean Up happens on July 7. Organizer Lubomila Jordanova from the group Plan A tells us how they plan to incentivize volunteer cleaners. Join the event here.
Empty flats in Neukölln? They do exist! Unfortunately they’re being left unavailable on purpose. Activists squatted several buildings to protest, but were promptly evicted. In some cases, flats are left empty by speculators who prefer to wait for prices to rise rather than rent to problematic tenants. This case involved a publicly-owned building left empty because of slow bureaucracy.
Dan’s search for a kindergarten for his child is going badly. It’s not all his fault – Berlin has a shortage of kita spots. Thousands of people protested against the kita crisis. Dan tells us the rumors he’s heard on the playground – parents offering to help kitas cheat the system to collect more fees from the government, for example.
This episode was recorded live at the Comedy Cafe Berlin on Sunday May 27. Hosts: Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern.
Sick of cars parking in bike lanes? Write own parking tickets during Falschparker Aktionswoche, which starts on May 28. Illegal parkers are fined just €20 in Berlin if caught, while the EU average is €100. You can use an app called Wegeheld to report drivers to the authorities, if you don’t mind being called a Spießer.
Trees in Berlin parks are being wrapped in white webs by an invasion of oak processionary moth caterpillars. Watch out for their bristles – they contain a toxin which irritates the skin and causes respiratory problems. The trees should recover in a few weeks, though.
Karneval der Kulturen is on again this weekend all around Kreuzberg 61, but it might be the last year it’s held there due to rising security costs. If you don’t like crowds, try the Berlin Mural Festival, found on walls across the city.
Our next live show is on 6pm, Sunday May 27. We’re back at the Comedy Cafe Berlin.
This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern, and brought to you by RadioEins.
A special live recording of the fourth and (maybe) last episodein our BER series. Join us for a tour of all four of Berlin’s under-construction, out-of-use, falling-apart and over-capacity airports. Each has had a part to play in the story of how Berlin fucked up an airport.
At BER, we hear the airport company’s side of the story: damn high regulations got in the way, they say. Tempelhof is closed, Tegel is operating precariously, and only socialist-built Schönefeld is muddling through. The end is in sight – October 2020. But even now Berlin is planning to double BER’s floorplan and build a new government terminal.
BER critic Dieter Faulenbach da Costa tells us the building is rotten to the core and should be scrapped. “I am convinced this airport can never open. They should pray for a miracle.”
We are joined on stage by Martin Delius, the former Pirate Party politician who led the Berlin parliamentary investigation into BER. Who was responsible for BER? All Berliners, he says. We ignored warning signs and re-elected incompetent politicians.
This episode was recorded live on stage at Prachtwerk Neukölln on Sunday April 29, with audio support from Craig Schüftan from Ducks.
How To Fuck Up An Airport is presented by Radio Spaetkauf and RadioEins.
Producer: Joel Dullroy
Presenters: Joel Dullroy, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern
Artwork: Jim Avignon