I know some of you are waiting for me to talk about CocaCola and denounce them for their human rights violations in various countries, not to mention their questionable economic practices. But to be quite honest, I´m too busy enjoying the city and learning all I can from the good people I know here. Do me a favor and don´t load up the comments with links because at that point you should just blog it, plus, there is a means to an ends my white friend… a means to an ends. So be patient.
Meanwhile my friend Tim continued the mission today, based around the one question he asked when I arrived–what do you want to see? And of course, I asked for Leftover East Berlin Shit, and sure enough… I’ve seen lots of wonderful bullet-hole riddled buildings as well as eclectic squat-looking apartments that would make Amsterdam blush.
When I walked into the CCCB on Sunday, I asked the wonderful hackers who were hanging out, “Isnt Berlin experiencing gentrification just like all the popular cities of the world. Aren’t squats going to be evicted to make room for fancy condos?” Their collective answer was — NO. Because: Berlin has lots of room. There is enough space for expensive fancy houses and eclectic affordable housing.
I was surprised at the time, perhaps because in Amsterdam and even back in New York City, I have long heard and seen the tales of former artist communities and cheap improvised housing being bought up for the higher income brackets to buy their own ticket to coolness. But walking around over the past few days, and only having seen the tip of the iceberg of the former East Berlin neighborhoods, I understand more about their answer. Moreover, in many ways, this city could outdo some of the things I love about Amsterdam.
Shocking. There may be better cities out there. I may need to learn German.
THIS JUST IN: Look for me in the crowd of the Angola-Iran game in Leipzig… Ill be sporting black and red.