Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin



Notmsparker, known as Beata Gontarczyk-Krampe to German Inland Revenue Office, is a Pole living in Berlin with her German husband and their three international sons. Like 52% of all Berliners today (tendency growing) she is a “newcomer”. Having moved to Berlin in 2003, since 2008 she has been writing about its quirks, its less known corners and its ever surprising history. And by the look of it, living in what must be the most fascinating, the most surprising and the most inspiring city on earth (Paris and Venice are welcome to protest), she is not going to run out of topics any time soon.

Her book, “Notmsparker´s Berlin Companion” – to be followed by “Notmsparker´s Berlin Trivia” – will be published in August 2016.


You can contact me using the following form:


  1. claudia
    May 27, 2011

    amazing, amazing, amazing

    did not have too much time. will certainly go back and do some more reading ABSOLUTELY great, you found what you are real good at. profound research, great style and language. funny and touching. and yes, this is it.

    kreuzberg´d claudia

  2. Anna
    February 23, 2012

    Great blog. Totally exciting. I am so happy to see someone really exploring the history. This is the best way to explore Berlin.

    I have already learned a lot about the histories of Mitte and Prenz’l Berg but definitely not enough about Kreuzberg.

    I am a kreuzberg’r in spirit. I am down there a lot and so am looking forward to discovering some of its secrets through your blog!

    • notmsparker
      February 24, 2012

      It is always a pleasure to hear from fellow Kreuzberg fans. Thanks for reading and I promise to deliver more interesting stuff on the topic.

  3. t.on.air
    March 6, 2012

    Interesting topic.I think you are right. Kreuzberg is becoming more and more interesting. Keep up the good work!

  4. Jadie
    June 28, 2012

    I just spent a week in kreuzberg and it was the first place I’ve been in my 50 years on the planet that I really didn’t want to leave . Your blog is helping me explore it by proxy. Thank you!

    • notmsparker
      June 29, 2012

      I cannot tell you how glad I am to hear that – Kreuzberg and I thank you for reading the blog:)

  5. Alexander Hauck
    August 1, 2012

    Addictive blog, just spilt out by Google when doing some research on the former _Kaserne_ on the opposite side of our flat,
    Your missing house article rose my interest because I guessed it was about #13 where I live, and it is the only house with an open courtyard😉
    I will definitely com back for some more reading.

    • notmsparker
      August 1, 2012

      Hey, neighbour! You are right about Number 13 – the courtyard is still very much open but behind a nice looking fence.
      I am glad you stumbled upon the blog and that you are planning to re-visit. I am also writing about the Kaserne. I´d be very happy to hear your opinion and any comments. Perhaps you know even more about it than I do in which case I will be even happier to hear from you:)
      Greetings from Schleiermacherstrasse!

  6. Juszczol:)
    September 26, 2012

    Hello! I’ll be coming back regularly:)

    Many many kisszez!

  7. Wenyi QIN
    November 13, 2012

    Hi notmsparker,
    We just want to double check if you have read our last email.
    We are quite interested in your blog and desire to invite you to write for us.
    If you’re interested, please reply me ASAP.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Kind regards,

    PR at Made In Shoreditch
    35 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8AA
    Mobile : +4474287 46265 email:

  8. slo:motion
    November 14, 2012

    i like a lot that you did not reply to those folks of the trendy mag, hah!

    • notmsparker
      November 15, 2012

      Oh, but I did (they must have forgotten that) – I kindly declined the offer. It´s the past I am interested in and wish to write about, not today. I´m a research monster, you know:) Very un-trendy.

  9. 2Spools
    November 16, 2012

    Very much looking forward to reading more.

  10. theUnitedStatesofK
    December 18, 2012

    I’m so interested in what it’s like over there. We’re getting lots of news about the “conflict” over in Brooklyn because everyone hates us too hahahaha

    • notmsparker
      December 19, 2012

      Right now it´s a bit (and I emphasize the “bit” part) like in the 1980s – gentrification is a huge problem but it is nothing as desperate as back then. I´ve heard that Brooklyn has a similar issue going but I guess it is part of the urban development. We saw it happen here in Berlin in other boroughs – they have changed but only in some respect for worse. Greetings from grey (but charming as usual) Kreuzberg!

      • theUnitedStatesofK
        December 20, 2012

        It’s creeping up into Harlem over here as well. And yes, gentrification is such a difficult thing because in some respects it’s good and in many it is bad. Anyways if you ever decide to come witness NYC’s problems first hand let me know. I love Berlin and Berliners so I’m sure you’ll enjoy New York!

  11. Jim
    December 18, 2012

    enjoying your blog. if i ever get there, i’ll try not to use the doorbell…😉

    • notmsparker
      December 19, 2012

      You´re most welcome to use the doorbell – as long as it´s not 3 AM on Wednesday night:-)

  12. Alex
    December 18, 2012

    Btw, thanks for the books, our little girl likes the hedgehog with the red hat a lot – or wasn’t it yours?

    • notmsparker
      December 19, 2012

      Yes, yes! They were indeed ours. Enjoy it!:)

  13. Chris
    December 31, 2012

    Hello NotMsParker, I love your blog since I found out about it a few weeks ago.

    I am a recent transplant to Berlin via NY City and I too love researching its history. I wish there was a person like you for every neighborhood here!

    Currently I am the organizer of a “Get out and see Berlin” group (, 400 members and growing daily) whose purpose is to get people together to see Berlin while making friends and meeting new people. I was very touched by your Stolpersteine post as it’s something I think more people should know about in general, and, in this case, it’s such an imporant story that I thought it would be great to show support for by having some member of my group attend.

    BUT, I don’t know if you would think it appropriate for an additional group of 10, 15, 20, 25 people to come to it?

    Would it be possible for you to get in touch with me ( concerning this, and besides this question, I would appreciate if you could find some time to get together to talk about Berlin research in general and how my group could leverage the work you do?

    Thanks and best regards,
    Chris Troise

    • notmsparker
      January 2, 2013

      Dear Chris, thank you so much for all the kind words – my heart obviously melts when I hear of someone truly enjoying the blog. I put enough of it in it;-)
      The idea of attending the ceremony is great – the more people come and witness such moments, the less the people whose names are being commemorated are forgotten. So by all means come and join me and the others.
      As for meeting your group and perhaps saying something about the research techniques I am using in Berlin, I would love to do that but at the moment I am a bit short in the time department. I will try to find a moment but I´m afraid it is not going to be possible before mid-February. We should stay in touch though:)
      Wishing you a great 2013!

  14. Chris
    January 2, 2013

    Sure thing, I’ll circle back in mid Feb. Btw I was more meaning you and I having an informal chat over a cup of coffee, not you doing a presentation to the group. The Meetup group is more about going out for drinks and seeing movies and exhibits at night (although I am thinking about having guest speakers down the road.) I do a lot of research to find things the group may find interesting and figured you may have some good places/resources I could look into. Happy New Year too!

  15. Barbara Janowska
    September 10, 2016

    Just ponying idea… Am impressed….


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