Inestimable amounts of editorial ink have been spilled about how Berlin has become one of the world’s most alluring destinations: the cheap rents and even cheaper booze; the bohemian atmosphere and the buzzy neighbourhoods; the tangible history and the tantalising nightlife.
But though these clichés may contain their requisite kernels of truth, it’s equally true that cities – especially a city as sprawling as Berlin – cannot be reduced to soundbites. To paraphrase Whitman, they contain multitudes.
As significant as the third-wave coffee shops, fashion boutiques and start-up scene undoubtedly are for many visitors and locals, they are only part of the story. Since I founded it in 2010, Slow Travel Berlin’s mission has been to go beyond the hype and try and create something more representative of the entire city: a broader, deeper and – at the risk of sounding pompous – realer perspective of the metropolis and its inhabitants.
Five years on we’ve published almost 500 articles – many of them long-form – on a wide range of topics and places that you won’t find in the guidebooks. We’ve profiled neglected suburbs and forgotten architects, put our spotlight on homelessness and gentrification and consistently promoted independent and sustainable exploration (via foot, bike and public transport) and local integration. Along the way we have posted thousands of images across our social media platforms to try and visually capture something of the city’s depth and breadth.
In the last couple of years, we have also started publishing books, running sustainable city tours and creative workshops, and hosting occasional events – none of which would have been possible without our contributors. When I started this project, I never imagined I would eventually be working with so many fantastic people; we now number 30–40 semi-regular contributors whose skills span writing, photography, design and editorial.
Many are now good friends, and since the one thing that unites us all is creating interesting, well- presented content about Berlin, it was obvious that translating some of our stories into print – and throwing in a few new and exclusive pieces for good measure – would be a perfect way to mark our fifth year.
The anthology therefore represents several things: a physical celebration of a temporal milestone; a way of saying thanks to some of the key contributors that have gotten us this far; and a third, brave dive into the notoriously choppy waters of independent publishing.
By purchasing it you are helping support our mission, our platform and – since all our commercial projects are profit-shares – our individual contributors. Why is this important? Because we’ve really only scratched the surface of this endlessly fascinating and multifarious city. We need at least another five years to get stuck in properly.
– Paul Sullivan, Editor & Founder Slow Travel Berlin
Price: 8,99 Euros
Release Date: July 16, 2015
Publisher: Slow Travel Berlin
Order Stories From The City: A Slow Travel Berlin Anthology