Monday, February 27, 2012

StuttgART 2: Long Night of the Museums

I already know what I'll be doing in the evening of 17.03.2012, from 19 to 02 o'clock. It's the Museum Night in Stuttgart and there will be up to 90 locations to visit. Basically, it works like this - you pay a ticket of 16 euro and can enter each location as well as use the public transport and the special bus routes. There will be 7 routes around the city, offering different places to visit.

If you want to skip the usual Kunstmuseum, Staatsgalerie, Mercedes-Benz-Museum that are present in each and every tourist guide, here's a variety of more alternative places to see:

- a bunker in the heart of Stuttgart that was used as a hotel until 1985
- the Skateboard Museum, the only one in Europe
- a tour with an old city tram (Oldtimer-Linie 21) taking you to the exhibition of Stuttgart transport history in Strassenbahnwelt
- 20 architects showing their favourite houses - "Short Cuts" in Wechselraum
- The Urban Art Gallery
- a theater performance against prejudice called "Wolfsgeschichten", in Atelier Stuttgart
- tango shows in Tango Ocho
and many, many more...

I missed the past few Museum Nights, but this spring I will be there. I have to appreciate the organization of an event of this scale... Moreover, it's proving again that Stuttgart is a very lively and exciting city. Except in case you decide to stay home and ignore that.

Here's the booklet where you can find information about all the locations, routes etc.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Clubs and parties in Stuttgart

Here's a post that I'll dedicate to Stuttgart clubs and discos. I'll only talk about my own experience so I don't claim that it would be an overview of Stuttgart night life... Even after living here for more than two years, I cannot say I've visited even half of the places worth visiting. But if you're new here or if you just need something different, maybe you'll find your match here.

The first club I visited in Stuttgart, was the Schocken. It's the place you can always go - entrance is free and normally no age control, either. Three levels and two different music styles, very often dancing floor is downstairs. All kinds of people go there and it's totally crowded at the entrance, as it gets better going upstairs - but there's not much to do there. So basically, for many people it's a favourite stop in their clubbing tours as it is very unpretentious. Too unpretentious for my taste.

Another club that I visited in the beginning of my stay here, was also one I didn't enjoy so much - Schräglage. Especially because of the music - there was only hip-hop and maybe some electronic music. But if you like these styles, you should try it out. It's one of the most famous clubs for young people in Stuttgart so it's very crowded, too.

Here's one I liked: Universum. It's situated on the Charlottenplatz subway station and it's going more in direction rock, drum'n'bass, metal, talking about the music. But not only: when I was there, it was a 90's party, where all styles were mixed. I enjoyed it a lot because it wasn't so crowded and I could dance normally. It also has an unpretentious atmosphere and it's away from the mainstream Stuttgart night life.

Where is the mainstream? Of course in the Theodor-Heuss-Straße! The clubs there have face control and normally expect from men to be dressed 'properly' which means shirt, nice shoes (not trainers) and so on. For the girls, the requirements are not so high as far as I could experience it. It's THE place to go if you want to hear the popular songs and see an excerpt of Stuttgart party people, different ages. An example is 7grad. It gets crowded, yes, but it's perfect if you really need a night with all those Rihanna-David Guetta-Don Omar and whatsoever.

Another club of this calibre is situated just next to Schocken. It's called Proton and you'll enjoy it if you like hip-hop and electronic music. Especially the hip-hop or break dancers on the first floor impressed me. Another cool thing was the crazy light on the second floor where you get this feeling that time is cut in many infinitesimal moments.

Looking for some rock? Then you should check out the Keller Club, it's very central, actually not far from the Theodor-Heuss-Straße. There are different DJs playing, but mostly, you can get something more alternative there. The visitors are also mainly people from the punk&rock scene which makes it very casual. Dress as you wish, dance as you wish, as much space as you wish. I like this place.

Something further from the main stream is the Wagenhallen. A very nice location, situated in the old railway wagon halls. It's huge and there are also concerts, for example bands like ÄlJawala or Baba Zula. In the night life of Stuttgart, their "Balkanspezialitäten" party (Balkan and gypsy music) is а classic and if you're coming from the region like me, you'll definitely enjoy it. But the visitors are all kinds of people, just wanting to experience something different and a little bit crazy, rhythms that have a drug effect on ones, and confuse others...

For the friends of the latino music and dances, there are many locations. The ones I visited are Hacienda and 7grad. They have different themes throughout the week, for example a Brasilian night every Tuesday at Hacienda, or a Salsa evening every Thursday at 7grad. What I can really recommend, is the Forró evening on Sunday when you get the chance to learn some steps of this beautiful Brazilian dance at the beginning. People there are really nice and also it's a good place to go if you want to get in touch with the Brazilian community in Stuttgart (not that there's the one and only such).

In matters of jazz, the Bix Club offers a nice atmosphere. There are regular performances of different artists there, and a cosy totally jazzy ambiente. When I went there, I thought: wow, it's exactly as you would find it in the movies.

By the way, if you're an international student or intern in Stuttgart, you can also visit and join the group of International Students' Parties in Stuttgart on Facebook. They organize cool parties in different central locations in the city. From my experience, it would be the right place for you to go, if you're looking for a quick catch (get my point?) Not that I did, but it was enough to be there to realize it.

So much from my side, if you have any comments or suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them! Don't forget: this is nothing but my personal view on some of the important party sides of Stuttgart beside the students' life. So... have a nice time and most important: bring your good spirits wherever you go! ;)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New 2012!

Sometimes I really fell like believing something could happen this year. If there are more people like me, and if everybody on this planet thinks an apocalypse will destroy the Earth - well, probably it will really happen, brought out by the collective consciousness.

So I choose to believe that 2012 will take humankind to new spiritual levels. I hope we'll learn to love more, to give more and to grow beyond our mistakes and passions.
I'll try it for myself, and I wish to everyone who also decides on trying it, to be happy, fulfilled and joyful with life!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The year before 2012

It will be a pity if this year remains in history as the year preceding 2012. Only 'God' knows what's going to happen in the next twelve months, but I hope it's going to make us think of 2011 as the more important year. It was apocalyptic enough, and the word 'crisis' was heard every day.

In the cheerful expectation of Christmas, I am trying to remember what impressed me this year, what happened, what was new, exciting for our society. Everyone has their personal experiences and lessons learned, but they are for another blog...

So how did I perceive the last year? The first 3 months were almost scaring for me. All the protests and changes happening in the Middle East, and then the tsunami and Fukushima - come on, it really sounds like the beginning of any of these apocalyptic movies like 'The Day After Tomorrow'! Only that it was all true, and it's still continuing! Even if we don't get a lot of news about it - people are dying in Libya and Syria, and others are still fighting against the outburst of radiation in Japan.

The radiation rates around Fukushima in July 2011 (80km radius)

What about the Occupy Wall Street-movement? It's become a symbol of a new way of thinking. Actually, this thinking is not new: it's about consuming less, speculating less, it's about (mostly) young people wishing to change something in the system. But it crystallized as a movement with a name and a face in 2011.

And the first big crisis of the European Union - all the questions suddenly popping up. Beginning with the Greek problem, slowly it became clear for everyone that it's not an issue of a single country but rather of a whole continent and philosophy. Will the Euro survive? - Will the EU survive? - Is Europe ready to accept the challenge and see the Union not only as a limitless economic advantage, but also as responsibility and idea of a united rather than split in many puzzle-like pieces continent?

The mask from 'V for Vendetta' which became the face of the Occupy movement

But crisis also means opportunity. So I hope we can now say: Nuclear energy is not safe, we need to continue looking for other options and need to consider them seriously. Arabic countries need change, and there are many bright, awake people striving for it - and stop putting negative labels on everything from this region, following the US-example of a 'war against terrorism'. Our consume habits need change - we and our countries shouldn't live on credit. Our financial system needs renovation. Our European Union needs to show that for the first time, the Old Continent is having a common future.

This is not summarizing the important events of 2011. It's only a brief perspective over the past months, and the only task it fulfills is to state: it was a difficult year. But we have a lot to learn from it, and it was needed.

Friday, November 25, 2011

'cause the power you're supplying, it's electrifying!***

How popular do you think that going to the fitness club is? Try to guess before you scroll further!
- Have you ever gone to a fitness club?
- How many friends and relatives do you have that practice it?
- Is it regularly or only occasionally?

In 2007, 22% of the Germans stated they do fitness or jogging activities often or very often. Another 29% said they do it from time to time. It means that almost half of the population between 14 and 64 years is familiar with the idea of going to the fitness club and that a big part of it also practices it.

This is the point where we should understand that fitness clubs play an important role in the lifestyle of today's people. So it's very probable that they also start using innovative ideas and technology to reach sustainability and ecologically friendly service. This is the logic, how does the reality look like?

Well, there are clubs like Eco Fitness in Berlin and Cologne, Germany, that focus on sustainability in their processes. It means that they try to be CO2 neutral, to use energy-saving electric devices, to cooperate with partners on green projects etc. This is really cool and it should be a task for every fitness club, especially for big chains here, like McFit or Jonny M..

But there is also an idea combining the core of fitness = *movement*, with being *green*. You've probably already guessed what it is, if you've read my previous post about sustainable dance clubs and converting energy of movement into electricity.

Does it work for fitness clubs? - Yes, the muscle power used to do all the exercises on different devices, can be converted into electricity with a generator or a dynamo. There are clubs that are already applying it, for example greengymberlin. Why should we lose all that energy if we could use it to power the electricity in the gym?

Here is a cool video from the Deutsche Welle (in English), explaining how it works

Of course, the energy produced is not so huge - in order to supply only one micro-wave oven, you need 8 people cycling at the same time. But as little as it is, it doesn't mean it's useless! What's more, it can enhance people's awareness about the amount of electricity they use every day. So I'm curious what would be the next exciting idea!

***quote from 'You're the one that I want' by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jump, jump, jump

Imagine yourself going to a dance club on Friday night. Having a drink, talking to your friends or meeting new people. Imagine dancing on the floor, lights playing with your senses. Now imagine the floor and lights connected in a circle, and the power for these lights provided by YOU. It's your movements that produce the electricity!

The creators of the Sustainable Dance Club in the Netherlands had this vision and made it happen: in Rotterdam. WATT, the first SDC was opened in 2008 - so if you're visiting Rotterdam, don't forget to check it out!

The idea of the Sustainable Energy Floor is to use human power to produce electricity where lots of people are gathering. It's composed by a number of modules, as big as 75x75x20 cm, that contain an internal generator. The size and the shape of the design can be customized, according to the preferences of the customers.

It has already been visiting places all over the world, for example San Francisco, Hamburg, Miami, Jakarta, Vancouver, Toulouse, Australia, Rio de Janeiro... Here's a video showing how the Dance Floor and other concepts like that were applied at a Rock Festival in Rio.

If you're wondering if there's a SDC near your place, maybe you can find some more information here.

I am pretty amazed how creative people can be. It's only another example that the solutions to our energy issues are sometimes right under our nose - or our feet ;) Next time I will be writing about sustainable fitness clubs and the concepts that are used there...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Give more than you get

I was thinking of posting about AIESEC in my other blog since some time. Always gave up, because I didn't know what would be so interesting for external people - only if you've been working for that organization, you'd know how it can change you. I have been very excited about it, I've been even extremely sceptical about it, I've been feeling like *not giving a damn about it*. Only the fact that it brought me so many different perspectives, is making it worthy to continue exploring!

*AIESEC is the biggest student-run international organization, working in 107 countries all over the globe. It's engaging students in order to enable international exchange, help developing society with diverse projects and also develop leadership qualities. More info on

Once I stumbled upon this video in Youtube. I really liked it, though everybody's already heard most of those things. I liked it because I can connect it to AIESEC and it's just amazing that it was also one of the factors in the last year that made me realize a lot of things about life and the universe :P

So if you have 5 minutes, you can watch it, too.
I hope we all have much more than that to check if we're really living like that :)