Wednesday 20 July 2011

Berlin, city of nights

I'm not sure who is reading this blog, so be advised, this is one of those entries that is devoid of musical content or insights (except for the killer accordion performance at the end). 

On the way to Belgrade a had a short layover in Berlin, where I lived from 2007 to 2009. The city has changed a lot, especially the neighborhood where I lived, Neukoelln. Signs of gentrification abound, more French and English on the streets, young people with PeeWee Herman glasses, and a shortage of affordable housing.

It's hard to see why young people would stay away from Berlin, the leisure capital of Europe. But as is the case with a depletion of any resource, the bum rush destroys precisely what it seeks to gain. For the time being, however, Berlin remains a fascinating, affordable city that bears an irristable invitation to sit in a park and drink beer.

A few pics from my short days in Berlin:

My friend Rafael playing with the group Schmaltz at the Chamissoplatz market. I still don't get why they need to invent an artificial country and culture (they dub Malwonia) to play their own arrangements of East European music, but they are fun and accomplished musicians.

My friend Julian on his first day selling French sausages at the market in Kreuzberg. He took in over 1000 euros in sausage sales on Saturday. Pretty amazing for Berlin standards. The best of the wurst.

These are pics of what I think is the most amazing change that has happened in Berlin since I left, the closing of Tempelhof airport, and the opening of the Tempelhof park. This great transformation happened by taking down a fence. All the runways, signs, and fixtures remain, only now they are enshrouded in BBQ smoke and circumnavigated by rollerbladers. The airport, built by the Nazis, was the largest in Europe and lies nearly at the geographical center of Berlin. In classic Berlin form, yesterday's flexing of political muscle is today's place to get drunk and look cool.

The mosque in Tempelhof. The East is getting closer.

Sunset and petanque beside the Landwerkskanal with dear friends. Doesn't get much better than this, I also got to hone my French shit>talking.

I like this tower of buttons. Sehr Deutsch.

Pre>graffittied bus seats. Smart. By the way I can't find the dash on on this keyboard, so ">" will have to do. 

Rabea showing me all the flowers in Momma Patrycja's garden in Boernicke. She knew all the names of the plants, and also what they are good for. Suesses kind.

Jamming with Rabea on accordion. She is asking me if she should play high or low, already knowing the answer.

1 comment:

steffi said...

Great berlin atmosphere in your pictures, great time together. Since you left, the milky rainy average berlin sky came back. Enjoy your balkan trip. Can't wait to read your first musical experience there.