NPR Specials: 'Berlin Stories' Explores Utopia In Berlin

Jun 16, 2014


Markthalle Neun offers restaurant and grocery options with a focus on farm to table eating.
Credit Nick Simpson

On this weekend's NPR Specials, Berlin Stories takes on the theme of Utopia in Berlin.

In this summer special, you'll hear about Factory, a new co-working space where startups and established IT companies mix, right where the Berlin Wall once separated the city. Berlin Stories reporter Rachel Stern speaks with people who worked to open Factory about their hopes for its future.

Factory founder Simon Schaefer stands in the space he worked to renovate to make a place for established tech companies and startups to work side by side in Berlin.
Credit Nick Simpson

Another special place you'll hear about is Berlin's Squirrel Bridge. The bridge is a piece of rope that gives squirrels a way to cross busy streets without the threat of oncoming traffic. The bridge is part of Berlin's surprising history as an urban animal utopia, a story that begins in the Cold War era.

The summer special also features stories about an artist collective that working simultaneously commercially and independently and the transformation of the old Markthalle Neun into a slow food haven, hosting a Breakfast Market with offerings from eggs benedict to wheatgrass smoothies.

Lastly, the special also looks into the growth of Bitcoin. Today, the electronic currency can get you anything from a tea to a burrito in Berlin, but it has its fair share of naysayers. Local business owners who accept the electronic currency explain why they chose to do so.

A barista uses a smartphone to ring up a customer paying for an order with Bitcoin.
Credit Nick Simpson

You can hear this summer special episode of Berlin Stories this Saturday October 11, at 19.00 and Monday October 13, at 8.00 on 104,1 FM.

Berlin Stories was created by novelist Anna Winger in 2009 and has since broadcast over 100 original pieces. The Berlin Stories one-hour specials began in 2012 in collaboration with travel writer Gisela Williams, who hosts this summer special. For updates, Like Berlin Stories on Facebook or follow the show on Twitter @BerlinStoriesFM.