#106: €9 ticket news, windmills, Sunday Spätis
Plus: vegan donuts!
Hey 20 Percent!
Sometimes I fear that our Berlin fanboying and interest in the city’s history may lose some of you, and this is one of those times: Grüne politician Hans-Christian Ströbele died this week at 83 after battling cancer. Whatever you think of his left-wing ideals, unassuming Ströbele was pivotal in German politics with a high-profile career that stretched back to 1970s West Germany.
As a young lawyer he defended far-left Rote Armee Fraktion (RAF) terrorists and later went on to help found Germany’s Green party — Bündnis 90/Die Grüne — which is now supplying this country’s business and foreign ministers (Robert Habeck and Annalena Baerbock, respectively).
He also helped his party gain national cred in 2002 by becoming the first Grüne politician to be directly elected to the Bundestag and was a founding member of the left-wing taz newspaper, whose former headquarters boasts this city’s perhaps most bizarre piece of public art (NSFW and itself another Teutonic deep dive).
But despite all that he was a familiar figure in Kreuzberg and, in a way, the face of Kreuzberg for Berlin.
Enough history, have a good weekend!
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Berliners may not be joiners but they are subscribers. Be a Berliner:
The Berlin corona stats for Friday, September 2
New cases in one day: 1,106 (1,555 Tuesday)
Total deaths: 4,767 (+11 over Tuesday)
🔴 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,000): 207.3 (283.3 Tuesday)
🔴7-day hospitalization incidence (also per 100,000): 9 (11.4 Tuesday)
🟢 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 4.4% (4.1% Tuesday)
Source: Berlin’s corona page
Brandenburg may join €9 ticket replacement. Maybe.
It’s almost like we launched as the unofficial corona guide for non-Germans in Berlin and we’re now transitioning to the €9 ticket guide, which, TBH, feels like progress. Berlin politicians continue to work on a local replacement for the banger €9 national public transport ticket but continue to tussle with Brandenburg officials in order to extend it to Zone C — and the rest of our neighboring state starting in October. Politicians in both Berlin and Brandenburg are still irked with mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) for going to the press with the idea late last week without consulting coalition partners or Brandenburg colleagues, according to RBB24. However, some politicians in Brandenburg seem in favor of a local €9 ticket, they just want to know where the money will come from — after all, a recent study showed Brandenburgers have some of the longest commutes in Germany.
Spätis to open legally on Sundays?
Local politicians from the pro-business FDP want to make it legal for Spätis — the capital’s version of a convenience store — to remain open on Sundays. The politicians say Berlin now has just 1,000 to 1,200 Spätkaufs, down from 2,000, after officials cracked down on opening times — Sunday is supposedly their most profitable day. Many open anyway, hoping to avoid Berlin’s capricious enforcement of rules, while others exploit loopholes like registering as a bar or restaurant, which limits what they can sell on the day the God of some Berliners rested. What say you, 20 Percenters?
Look, they’re trying to help the environment
Public housing company Howoge may yet be able to include windmills on a residential tower it’s building in Lichtenberg on Frankfurter Allee. The building — Liese — is nearing completion and will have 394 apartments with half subsidized for low-income renters, according to Howoge. The windmills would generate enough electricity for 100 of the apartments but Lichtenberg rejected the idea in April saying the windmills don’t fit the character of the neighborhood and could annoy residents. An appeal by Howoge may be successful, according to RBB24, and could then set a precedent for adding the technology to more buildings in Berlin — and Germany.
This seems like advertising but it’s just answering questions I’ve had since watching the crazy ascension of Brammibal’s Donuts since 2016: The vegan bakery now makes about 10,000 donuts a day, according to Gründerszene, and is expecting €9 million in sales this year. They have six cafes in Berlin and will open their first ex-Berlin branch later this month in Hamburg-Altona, and as many as three more may follow in the Hansestadt (city that was formerly in the Hanseatic league). Congrats!
Either you know that those huts on the outskirts of towns are Schrebergärten — garden allotments — or you don’t but either way if you’ve wondered what goes on there, the Bornholm I & II gardens in Pankow are having a public harvest fest this weekend. Probably head there around noon or afternoon — there’ll be a beer truck and German grub as well as falafel at Bornholm I. More German info and a map here.
You were going to head to the Spree with the kids anyway so maybe check out the self-made music fest at Holzmarkt in Mitte Sunday from 1pm to 11pm. Concerts and workshops for and from self-made instruments. Sounds … Berlin. More German info and a map here.
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Berlin's first and best dark comedy show is back tomorrow at 8pm at Z-Bar! Dark Mode - previously "The Berlin Offensive" - for people who like their comedy like they like their coffee: dark, bitter, and based on oppression. Hugleikur Dagsson is our first headliner — the Icelandic cartoonist and comedian best-known for his simple drawings coupled with dark humor. He has published many books, written a few plays, directed his own animated TV show and taped a couple of stand up specials. Get your tickets here - and as a special treat for 20 Percent readers use the promo code 20percent for 20 percent off! Seems self explanatory, doesn't it? We are almost sold out.
Are donuts the new cupcakes? I've been meaning to write that story but it hasn't been picked up yet...
Bummer that the quality of Brammibal's got a lot worse since those couple of years :(