Seymour Gris: How did this happen to Mitte?



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Creative Urban Planning in Berlin

This is what Berlin looks like without Dr. Albert Speer, Sr. to show them what Berlin should look like.

City voters need to "deep six" the entire City government (elected AND appointed officials need to go) and elect into office those creative German City planners whom understand that Berliners are no longer divided between two rival political dogmas and are free to plan and rebuild Berlin (without outsider interference).

We know Berliners can get on to the work of artistic urban planning with one central democratic government authority (Germany is renowned worldwide for Architectural and Engineering excellence), the question is: Will They ? more than 11 years ago


Francis August, first thanks for the complement, that we here at Exberliner are yuppies. I wish my bank account concurred with that assessment. Second, the article above has nothing to do with yuppies. It doesn't moan about gentrification, which is an oversimplified lens through which to see any sort of development. I don't moan about newcomers that came before or after me. It's actually just about how crap certain parts of Mitte have become over recent years, mainly due to poor urban policy and catering to tastelessness.

Seymour Gris more than 11 years ago

Your name's not down, you're not coming in.

In response to the above, and the above.

I was in Prenzlauer Berg last Monday, when an American resident commented, in English, to his friend whilst walking by me, 'funny how people in Prenzlauer Berg are dressed as yuppies now'. I was wearing a long skirt. One of the few items of clothing that wasn't going to stick to me during the recent African summer here in Berlin. I've never been called a yuppie in my life. 'Young and Upwardly mobile'. I'm in my 30's and broke. And I'm living in Kreuzberg. (Didn't they know that I used to have a shaved head, and wear Dr. Martin boots? And the originals too??)

It seems to be a term that is obsessing Berliners, as a way to dismiss what is happening, and all that is wrong with the changes in Berlin. As much as Berlin is a city playing catch-up with the rest of Europe, this tagging-of-types is ironically out-of-date and not used in any major cities against it's own up-ward populace now. So I guess there is still an 'old-world' charm in Berlin if this phrase is being employed, knowing it entered our vocabulary in the late 80's and early 90's. My room-mates brother's girlfriend brother (?) is also voicing concern over all ther people that have moved here, changing the city: he's only lived here for a year. Yep, bitching is the new black.

Reading Seymour Gris's article, I felt the, probably intended, pangs of jealousy - of not having the confidence of youth to come here earlier and experience all this for myself. But then I feel that when I'm in New York, and how I wished I was there in the 60's, or the 80's (and that's a city that ruthlessly tore down landmarks for the sake of modernity). Berlin is a city suffering from speedy gentrification on a grand scale (although I think Shanghai wins the brownie point for mental urban development,) but unlike London, it's not suffering with a fashion for rediculously high glass buildings which is changing our skyline and swamping St. Pauls Cathedral. Even Dr. Martin boots are no longer 'Made in Britain'. At least Beliner Kindl is still is made in Berlin. And those beer rules haven't changed for centuries. Maybe parts of Berlin need the same laws? 4 ingredients for every street: a squat, a dive bar, a falafel house and a 'happening'. I'm being glib, but this city will change as much as I can no longer carry off my old Sinead look, as only the arrogance of youth can. Berlin is also, unfortunately, having to grow-up. The tourists are done with London, New York and Barcelona. But this could be a great opportunity for a city to break the mould of what a modern city should be. So we should vote for better policies, better politicians, and Tascheles should consider employing the Berghain bouncer on his day off. And take solice: Subways has closed down near Schelesisches Tor. First we take Berlin, then we take Manhattan.

Alisonnenallee more than 11 years ago

The writing on the wall...

I think Tacheles can still be appreciated for what it once was, even if it has devolved into a parody of it's former self; just as we could still enjoy The Third Man while Orson Welles was selling himself in television commercials. And with all the creative genius still living and breathing in Berlin, one can not doubt that gentrification will only displace artistic integrity, not destroy it completely. Gentrification is an irrefutable fact in any great city. Berlin will cope. And perhaps it is up to people such as yourself to see that it does. more than 11 years ago


and here this blog post demonstrates everything that is wrong with the Exberliner magazine. Moaning Yuppies complaining that they were here first and now more yuppies are following. That is the general sentiment which this magazine has evolved into, a shame.

Francis more than 11 years ago

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