A beloved local, known for living inside a hut at Stadtplatz Marie, passed away on Sunday night. Steve, surname unknown, was found inside his hut, and is believed to have died shortly after 7.30pm. Locals who saw him earlier that day report that he was in a good mood, with nothing out of the ordinary. Many have already placed flowers and candles outside Steve’s hut, saying their final goodbyes to a friendly, well-known member of the neighbourhood. This summer, we’ll miss him and his famous “sun showers”, or sunbathing in his birthday clothes.
Here’s Steve’s interview, which he gave his blessing, recorded just a few weeks ago.
Ever heard of Crazy Steve?
You’ll find him in Stadtplatz Marie, a pretty public garden just off Prenzlauer Allee, smack bang in the gentrified heart of P’Berg. This is where the tasteful, green-leaning, brat-making alternative Kiez gentry practices sustainable living, surrounded by Öko-fashion, fancy coffee, sushi, empanadas and waffle parlours, as well as Scandi furniture and overpriced toy shops.
Steve’s known to all in the hood as that chummy-crazy homeless Brit with a bushy grey beard who tells stories larger than his hut: self-fictionalising tales that often start in Bristol (where he says he’s from), move on to an early fight against the heroin mafia on his mother’s injunction, and continue with recollections of various undercover missions that include exposing drug gangs (from Luton), joining the KKK with his long-lost sister and heading the Freemasonry.
He might even spin you a yarn about the good old days when he apparently used to publish articles in – yes, that’s right – none other than EXB. That is until, according to Steve himself, his articles became so controversial that he was forced to stop writing and even got evicted from his house. “It was a test case for the European Court of Human Rights,” he concludes. On other days, he’s an “MI5 agent” or was “smuggled into Berlin to assassinate Adolf Hitler”. He also speaks of a daughter he may or may not have. He said he used to beat her mother, “because I’m an alcoholic”, a fact corroborated by the empty bottles lining the walls of his mini house.
But Steve isn’t known to be a violent man. When too drunk, he just yells at the world from his bench (a regular sight during long summer evenings). When not, he enjoys chatting to the locals who care to stop and listen to his stories. And if you stop once, he’ll remember you.
He’s certainly got his fans, like Alexander Alte from the nearby empanada shop La Criolla, who paid for and built his green wooden hut in December 2020. Alte is also responsible for tagging him on Google Maps – just so people can find his location… “and maybe help him”. This has turned Steve into a landmark, complete with photos and satellite images of him on the internet. He’s even got a couple of reviews: “He can get really annoying when he starts yelling away, but he still gets five stars for his perseverance,” reads one. Steve seems to be enjoying the recognition, and his new abode. When asked where he’ll go if his Bürgeramt authorisation to stay in the hut – which runs out at the end of March – isn’t renewed, he shrugs: “I’m going to stay here until they legalise heroin.”
Are you crazy, Steve?
“Crazy people don’t know that they’re crazy. So I wouldn’t know anyway,” he remarks knowingly.