The last time I was there was during the World Cup in 2006 and as far as I could tell it has only gained more charm. Charm meaning: still and perhaps even more so that time-warp feeling of the 80’s and 90’s, both the urban vibe on the streets and the people. Non-conformists, making up their own fabric.
I think there’s not a city that so vividly and fittingly embraces street art as Berlin does. Graffiti is all around, truly amazing stuff and every neighborhood has at least a few hubs where artists have setup shop. You’d be blind to miss it.
Something I recognize, it reminds me of the more anarchistic and everything-goes Amsterdam of yester years. The good people of Berlin should know better, this characteristic of the city is essential, we can all see what impact massive gentrification can have.
One thing that did change since I was last there, there’s notably more cycling going on. Great diversity, young and old, hipsters (lots of fixies) and ‘commuters’ (for lack of better word), it’s happenin’. You can tell people enjoy it, no matter the still high volume of car traffic.
This increase of cycling and the way people move about on bikes also showed me that Berliners/Germans have so much in common with the Dutch. Uncomplicated, laissez-faire, utilitarian, practical, but with flair and lots of personality. A joy to be a witness of while walking and riding around.
Go there. You’ll love it.
That’s all I got. What was I thinking…these pictures wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of Ãlvaro who lend me his camera for this trip, as my Nikon is in repairs. Heel veel dank, man!