The original cool Berlin

Here’s the New York Times with yet another entry in their strikingly finely described, spot-on series on Why Berlin is Super-Groovy.

This was the original cool Berlin, with its own brand of gloomy, spooky glamour, well before East Berlin’s Mitte and Friedrichshain districts were on the tourist map.

Another Weimar love letter, right? Caberet and modernism, sex tourism and the sparkling, fun side of post-inflationary misery? Well no, this “original cool Berlin” is David Bowie’s West, or actually, the new West of a bunch of very wealthy media types (villas on an unnamed lake in West Berlin, places in Charlottenburg) who think the “New East” is now just too cliched for words.

So, uh, they’re going back to what was cool when they were in their 20s. Or rather, a nostalgic, packaged-and-priced version of it. That’s very original. Yes, indeed, regular cultural trailblazing.

Right, then — throw off that shabby chic of the East, get your late-boomer yuppie on and start glorying in the memory of those Bowie years, whether you were actually there or not. Apparently it helps if you start throwing down for 20 Euro entrees in the West. That’s where the action is now, my friends. I read it in the NYT.


  1. Yeah, right, the Paris Bar. Yawwwwwn. I do so love being treated like shit by waiters who let me know as they plonk down the menus that I’ve been seated in the section where the nobodies are seated.

    Florian, on the other hand, at least has good food.

  2. Dang, that article was lame. If all I had was an internet connection, nary a clue about Berlin, some notions about what ‘original cool’ even means and two hours to make deadline, I would probably write something like that, too. But I don’t work for the NYT. From now on, I won’t read NYT Travel anymore. It’s just wrong.

    One more thing: I love how the same people who call the East “overhyped” are the ones that heaped the hype to begin with — and then get to take it back when it gets cliche. Wankers.

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