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News from Berlin

Berlin is the Cinderella of Europe

August 12th, 2014

News from Berlin - German author Peter Schneider believes Berlin is the Cinderella of European capitals. "Imperfection, incompleteness, not to say ugliness, afford a sense of freedom that compact beauty never can. Young visitors to a beautiful, expensive, and perfectly restored city feel excluded," Schneider writes.

Looking around, it is clear to them: every space here is occupied. Cinderella Berlin offers an inestimable advantage over these princess cities: it gives all newcomers the feeling that there is still room for them, that they can still make something of themselves here. It is this peculiarity that makes Berlin the capital of creative people from around the world today.

Perhaps this was the thinking behind Berlin Now; Schneider’s attempt to appeal to the young visitors he speaks of, or perhaps Berlin’s thriving bohemian international scene.

Three chapters are dedicated to the topic of love in Berlin. Others explore the historical and cultural evolution of the city, detailing upheaval like the 1992 Rostock riots.

But the quirky, creative environment of Berlin is also shown through a simple story of friends moving into the Neukölln neighborhood.

The uncle of one of Schenider's son’s friends had given them a three-seater leather sofa for their new apartment and they were dead set on transporting it home that same day, but night had already fallen and the moving van rental places were all closed. The three young men decided to carry the sofa three blocks on their heads to the nearest S-Bahn station. "On the way, they paused by a fountain on a square, plopped down onto the sofa, returned the greetings of passerby, and indulged in a few swigs of schnapps from the bottle they’d brought along. Nobody stopped them when they carried the sofa up the stairs to the tracks of the turnstile-free S-Bahn station. When the train arrived and the automatic doors opened, they shoved the couch into the car. Miraculously, it fit perfectly," Schneider writes. The young men then sink into their seats as other passengers chuckle and offer to trade places with them. First one, then all break into applause while shouting, "Das ist Berlin!" - “That is Berlin”

News from Berlin - Berlin Global