Friday, December 31, 2010


I'm currently corresponding with a friend in Brooklyn whether NYC authorities, i. e. Bloomberg, or Berlin City Hall is doing a worse job of coping with the snow. It is hard to judge such a quick race to the bottom, though. Both cities are covered in snow, and all the airports are operating in a rather shaky manner, if at all. And while NCY subway cars get stuck overnight in the Jamaica Bay, the Berlin S-Bahn, the commuter train, has more or less ceased to operate, at least in the outer boroughs.

But Berliners, used to bad service anyway, are outraged about something else: On New Years Eve, David Hasselhoff will sing at the Brandenburg Gate. The area between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victoria column in Tiergarten is supposedly the biggest party mile of the world, about a million people are expected to come on New Years Eve. So, naturally, there is bratwurst, glühwein, and music; Bonny Tyler was expected. Alas, she fell ill, and now Hasselhoff will replace her.

Despite all urban rumors Hasselhoff is not all that popular in Germany, evidently less popular than Bonnie Tyler. So Berliners are expressing outrage in newspaper comments, asking: "Are those "stars" bringing their own booze?", or even assuming that America has sent Hasselhoff out of revenge because the Berlin party is bigger than the Times Square party (that might be somewhat of a stretch). Or, as someone put it: Imagine, David Hasselhoff sings, and afterwards the S-Bahn doesn't get you home.

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