It’s Friday and Madge Weinstein the purple Lumox is here all weekend. So my post is a vlog I put together from unused Berlin footage. Nothing too ground breaking, but this was my most favorite day from my Berlin trip. I’m working on getting back there later this month in time for Christopher Street Day which I believe is the Gay Pride festival of the city. Sounds like great fun and hey – maybe I’ll meet the mayor. (in case you don’t know, mayor of Berlin is gay.. so is the mayor of Paris, come to think of it. Just two more reasons why Europe rocks!)
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.
I have indeed arrived safe and sound though constantly hungry… here in Berlin. (watch this video for proof) The famous Tim is sitting to my right and most of the blog house has gone to sleep. I’ve no clue where I’m sleeping, so I’ll wait for everyone else to go to bed. Cept that some people are drinking like it’s 1999 and some teenagers just showed up at the door… so who knows when that will be.
Nevermind the shallow details, this blog is still about issues, regardless of how good the US plays or how awesome Ghana is.
I just pointed to an article in the Spiegel, about there being a run on German flags at all the shops. There have been quite a few podcasts recently covering the issue of the world cup and german nationalism. Interesting listening, for example, at Radio Open Source. Tim says this sort of thing was unheard of before this year. Normally someone running around with a German flag attached to their car would be socially cut-off… or scowled at.. or some sort of ostracizing.
A few berliner guests at the party tonight talked about this subject. They said it is pretty strange. Lots of mixed feelings about this new trend of being proud. I’ve heard Americans say its fine and good. But Americans are the last nationality I want to listen to about how much national pride is acceptable.
I digress. I’m in berlin for the first time in my life. Some of my favorite vloggers made the trip with me from Amsterdam and that makes it extra nice. Meanwhile, outside.. people drive around with flags attached to their cars. Beep beep beep.