Welcome to the Goethe-Institut CityScapes Blog.
From January through December 2011, these were the parameters for a playground of diverse, fascinating, vibrant tales: Responding individually to a collective impetus, a host of hand-picked young bloggers uploaded photos, texts, and multimedia. Every month, they were given a new theme. Step by step, they created a kaleidoscope of impressions, opinions, ideas and… plain fun.
This project has now ended. If you like what you see, you may want to check out the brand new CityTales Comic Blog.
Berlin’s so diverse. I’ve lived in different parts of the city, and there’s always something new to discover. Then again, you could just stay right where you are, and let Berlin change around you!
It’s hard to believe this used to be a fishing village. Now it’s a throbbing metropolis of 3.5 million - the second biggest in the EU. But you can add another million to the population pre-WWII. Berlin’s been through a lot.
And this is still a city in flux. You could go to a different gallery or different restaurant every day and not run out of possibilities. The week before last, I went to a pop-up restaurant in Mitte – one of the capital’s two city centres. (The so-called dining experience moves on to another city next month.) You had to make your way through the belly of an old, dilapidated factory to get there – but the food was anything but “old”. So many new taste combinations I’d never come across.
But I’m always travelling all over the city to visit friends, for work, to go out or to go cycling or kayaking. So, for my birthday last night, I decided to go local. There’s a little, touristy German restaurant around the corner, which I thought I’d try out.
I was given my “tools” (the cutlery, according to the waitress with her mullet cut) and a paper placemat with what looked like a shattered mirror on it. It was actually an old map of divided Berlin. I used to live a block from where The Wall stood, inside the Russian sector. Now, I live right on the border of the former British and American sectors.
There are no obvious signs anymore of which sector you’re in, but there are little reminders of Berlin’s turbulent past: like the bullet holes in the buildings in the museum district. It all adds to the city’s grungy character and the rough Berliners themselves, who love to give you a hard time. You’ve just gotta give it back!