Friday, July 8, 2011

Does Berlin Love You?

Tourists love Berlin, but does Berlin love them back? Especially those young tourists that stay in cheap hostels, and hang out in sidewalk bars until long after midnight, and, when the bar closes, still hang out on the street? Drinking straight from the bottle? And some of those bars never close, of course.

Some Berliners start to get a little grumpy, especially in these residential areas that have been singled out as the new in-places. One of those is Admiralbrücke in Kreuzberg, a small bridge, for pedestrians only, where people from Australia, Italy, Brazil and the good ole USA gather, and party, and play music, and drink until 4 am. The people who live there ain't that fond of this kind of international flair. So now, the police is organizing some sort of mediation, somewhat tricky if you are dealing with a new batch of tourists every day, if you ask me.

Likewise unhappy are the residents of Simon-Dach-Straße in Friedichshain, a quiet residential street that has turned into bar row. I don't even know why. It was boring twenty years ago. When I walked by an apparel store in Prenzlauer Berg yesterday, they had T-shirts saying "Welcome to Berlin. Now go home". In English.

I can somewhat relate; recently, I was woken up in the middle of the night by a crowd of drunken Canadians on the street. How do I know that? They were singing "Oh, Canada." Anyway, Friedrichhain is now debating to zone out new hostels. So, if you need a drink in Berlin, you better hurry up.


  1. Hostels present backpackers an opportunity to get away for a few days without wasting huge amount of dollars.

  2. Re: Admiralbrücke: Thousands of euros later the mediation is over and it was apparently unsuccessful. Now the police kick "loitering" people off of the bridge at 10pm. The bridge is not pedestrian though it does have very light car traffic -- one proposed solution was to solve the noisy people problem by making it easier for cars to cross.

    The problem is that most Berlin squares are now surrounded by constant traffic -- not inviting for people energy. Also people like to form something organically and a municipality has to be prepared to love it for all its problems for some.


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