Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the Berlin Philharmonic’s kickass advertising skills?
The Berlin Phil/s is/are the best. THE BEST.
Submitted by slutaspelaalan
"Come back in two months when you know what ‘ein kaffee bitte’ means"
Ain’t no Parkschein when she’s gone… and she’s always gone so looong
It might look pretty cool from afar, but when you live in Berlin it kind of feels like a city of losers.
They’re secret losers, who came here to hide their loserness behind a flimsy wall of creativity. But you see through this “Will this do?” sensibility soon enough, and when you do, in that very instant you also notice that you’re one of them
It’s like the Stepford Wives or the end of Animal Farm or something.
It’s hard to tell if the people were losers before they came (maybe that’s why they came?)
, or if Berlin made them into losers, but one way or another that’s what’s happened. That’s not to say the people here aren’t creative and talented - they’re definitely that (well, creative anyway).
But they don’t get things done. They’re not diligent. In a recent review of the major new book “Berlin: Imagine a City,” written by Canadian Rory MacLean, the New Statesman’s reviewer pointed out that Berlin’s serious writers always have to find refuge elsewhere (like the Baltic Coast or the Bavarian mountains) to actually get some work done.
That’s because Berlin inveigles its way inside you and does things to prevent you turning your scrap of artistic talent into a saleable quality:
1) It makes you very aware that most scraps of artistic talent aren’t sellable qualities in the first place
2) It makes you have too much fun, and most importantly,
3) The fun is too affordable.
Walter Benjamin wrote somewhere about the luxury of Berlin’s wide streets. It was a city, he implied, that made everyone feel like a monarch. No wonder the city incubates laziness.
he New York Times published a blog post in 2012 by an Australian rock musician whose experience of the city was typical. In it, a spoiled young buffoon declared that Berlin had sapped his creative marrow because, even though he had made the effort to get on a plane and spend six months in a delirium of cheap speed, the city had declined to turn him into the next David Bowie
Even if he was not a loser before, the city had coaxed the latent loserness out of him. The article rankled with many expat Berliners (he better not come back any time soon) - but it is true that Berlin somehow never really puts you under much pressure.
This point is not new. Berlin has attracted layabouts for a long time. This is partly because of the city’s peculiar history, for West Berlin residents were exempt from military service throughout the lifespan of the Wall. Berlin’s Tagesspiegel newspaper once estimated that some 50,000 young men moved to the city for this reason)
In those heady days, the eastern end of Kreuzberg - now a hive of MDMA-fuelled nightclubs and swarms of young tourists - was literally a dead end, a carless junkie’s paradise fenced in on three sides by the communists. And even then, West Berliners hated that influx of draft-dodging stoners
This disdain is re-manifesting itself today with a simultaneous animosity towards two ill-defined but related hate-figures: the “immigrant” and the “hipster.” With the eurozone crisis driving more young unemployed people to Germany, especially from southern Europe, we Berliners have been getting our prejudices muddled. The old hipsterphobia has become conflated with the even older anti-immigrant phobia: the primeval fear of what Germans call Sozialtourismus, or welfare tourism.
Not only are hipsters coming to Berlin and gentrifying everything, making Berlin’s colorful neighborhoods too trendy and expensive for normal folk, now middle-class Spaniards and Greeks are coming over and claiming benefits too. Just as Mediterranean economies are living on German bailouts, Mediterranean hipsters are living on the German taxpayer.
Except it’s a lie: For one thing, few economic migrants bother with the economic sinkhole that is Berlin with its 11.7-percent unemployment rate
For another thing, Germany’s welfare system is not nearly as generous as the media tells you - the Hartz IV benefit is enough to scratch out a living on, but you have to constantly be applying for work to get it.
And thirdly, in 2011 Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government did its best to disable the European Convention on Social and Medical Assistance, which Germany signed in 1953 and which guaranteed that all EU citizens be treated equally by the welfare system. The policy has worked and the stats show that the German welfare state is still mainly a German-only zone: the new European immigrants, the Romanians, Bulgarians, Spanish, Greeks, hardly claim anything from the social welfare system. Barely 10 percent of Spanish people in Berlin claim benefits, well below the 20 percent for all of Berlin.
So maybe, just maybe, outside my expat bubble Berlin isn’t as lazy as I seem to think. It’s hard to tell though, because the city feeds off its own hype
In 2003, Mayor Klaus Wowereit delivered a much-quoted phrase that would soon become the city’s brand. What the “poor, but sexy” line meant economically was that Berlin would become powered by its creative energy. Thousands of brilliant young creatives would somehow imbibe the city’s kookiness and sell brilliant outside-the-box ideas to the world’s corporations. It hasn’t panned out that way, partly because that was a completely idiotic vision that only a very giddy politician could dream up.
And partly because, in the end, Berlin always gets you
That’s right Paris, you may have Louis Vuitton but Berlin got Louis Futon and it’s for free.
Oh my, what a beautiful moment in the snow.
Ein zauberhafter Moment im Berliner Winter.
"I’m very optimistic. Right?" He turns around to look at his wife. "Yes he is." Then he continues: "My wife is the opposite. She always worries. For example, when there is a stain on my jacket she is like: Oh no you can’t go out like this, too dirty. Then I take a look at the jacket and can’t even find the stain." He smiles and from behind she says: "Well, I’m just taking care of you!"
"Ich bin sehr optimistisch. Stimmt’s?" Er dreht sich zu seiner Frau um. "Ja, das ist er." Und er fährt fort: "Meine Frau ist da ganz anders und macht sich immer zu viele Sorgen. Wenn ich einen Fleck auf der Jacke habe, dann sagt sie: So kannst du unmöglich rausgehen, du bist viel zu schmutzig. Dann guck ich mir die Jacke an und kann den Fleck nicht mal finden!" Er lacht und sie sagt: "Ich kümmer mich eben um dich!"
„I lived in the GDR and pineapples were my favourite fruits, one of those many things that were very hard to get in the country – and it was expensive, like 7 or 8 Euros a tin. So it must have been the 1980s when my relatives from the Westsent me a tin of pineapples for my birthday a few months early. I would make a birthday cake topped with pineapple for my guests. However, as my birthday was still weeks away the tin was sitting in the pantry when our little grandson visited us one day. He was all excited and when I demanded to know what was going on, he guided me to the pantry, smiled at the tin he had discovered and whispered in my ear that he would so love to eat the pineapple. Oh my! Of course we gave in and he enjoyed it. So the next time I was able to visit the western part of Berlin, I took a big shopping trolley and bought as many tins of pineapple as would fit in there. Dear, it was heavy and I was so scared when I had to pass the border control back into the GDR! I didn’t know if it was illegal or not, but I did it for our grandson – and for the birthday cake. And I didn’t get caught.”
"I don’t feel like getting older. I feel like getting more alive."
"When I dance I don’t think. I just feel."