Life in Berlin-Wedding.
Just in time for Mother´s Day we discovered this artwork on Wedding´s walls. Somebody added “mama” under the portrait of Journalist Rosa Luxemburg. A joke? An affecionate naming or a comparison with a look-a-like woman? Anyway, he was right! Although Rosa Luxemburg never was a biological mother she can be very well considered an icon for the socialist workers movement and a mother of revolutionary ideas. Ideas which, by the way, had wide appeal in the so-called “Red Wedding”, the workers´ district.
Congrats to all Women giving birth to great ideas!
“If ugly then properly!” – Funny that “hässlig” (ugly) is not spelled correctly so the request to do things properly seems to nullify itself. Whether this was the ironic intention or whether the writer has simply some problems with German orthography remains uncertain…
We are used to the idea that beauty is not always innate but sometimes demands work and dedication. But what about ugliness? – A number of people think Wedding is ugly and some really hope that it will stay like this. They believe this would prevent other people from moving here and things will remain the same forever, frozen in time – which would mean above all rents that are affordable. And they are right with their worries. Rents have been going considerably up during the last years (we, too, complained about this here). It shows that insisting on ugliness does not help, anyway. Or maybe it just was not done properly?
During an interview an elder lady, owner of a furcoat-shop (!) in Wedding, remembered nostalgically the old days when the Müllerstrasse had been a second Kurfürstendamm with elegantly dressed people promenading around. So it seems that Wedding is not necessarily ugly by birth or by fate but had its ups and downs during history. – There is nothing that can stop the process of change since it should be clear that building a wall is not an option anymore. Like evil cannot exist without good, also ugliness cannot be without beauty.
A giant Easter Bunny – flying in from outer space and looking for a parking lot – got completely confused by the signs and landed on the roof of a Wedding department store. There it is, wishing everybody Happy Easter!
Berlin is not Germany´s most dangerous city – actually it comes after Frankfurt a. M., Düsseldorf and Cologne – which, to tell the truth, struck us with surprise.
And although Wedding is not the capital´s most dangerous district we highly appreciate that the new Tatort*-Inspector from Berlin, a lady with a fancy-poetic name (“Nina Rubin”) but otherwise described as “down-to-earth”, will be based in Wedding. You hoodlums, watch out! No-Nonsense-Nina won´t stop working after Feierabend, she will keep her eyes wide open and hopefully will help to reduce crime statistics in our neighborhood.
In fact, we have some suggestions where she could start – there are several hot cases waiting here for her: the dreadful fairytale mass-murder-mystery for example should be top priority!
*Tatort (“crime scene”) is the most popular German TV crime series aired since 1970. Episodes, protagonists and action are always subject of controversial public discussions.
Wedding has a special style – and its own practical way of looking at things. It`s comparable to an artificial flower that will never lose its color or go limp. If the bouquet, attached to the bridal limousine, will fall off due to rough winds and heavy traffic it won´t be really damaged – hopefully like the loving relationship it stands for. The flowers are resilient, glittery, tough and multicolored – similar to our neighborhood.
Some days ago a well known Berlin newspaper published a map showing the average rent in different Berlin districts when signing a new contract. You can choose the size of the apartment (one room, two rooms etc) and compare two price categories: with average heating costs (“warm”) included or without (“kalt”). The map also gives the information how much the rent went up for newcomers in the chosen area since 2008. You can see, play (and maybe cry) for yourself by clicking here.
Areas which were already expensive did not go up much – like Unter den Linden or Grunewald. Others however, labelled “really trendy” like Friedrichshain/Kreuzberg or “the new place to be” like Neukölln, went up more than 70%!
Concerning Wedding it was surprising to see that areas which are considered “difficult” like Soldiner Kiez and Nauener Platz went up 50% and more. Also in Rehberge newcomers have to pay averagly 50% plus. Wedding seems to have the 3rd place in popularity due to the fact that until now rents have been relatively low but the area is still centrally located. This confirms what already a lot of people here are worried about: due to this overvaluation life in Wedding will become definitely more expensive. And that´s maybe the reason why someone here has already decided to settle down outdoors where it´s certainly cheaper – at least for the expected warmer season…
Almost as colorful as the human Weddingers we have also a great variety of strange creatures living here. Say hello to the Wedding Zoo!
Has ever anybody thought of Wedding as a perfect location for a historical bestseller story full of intrigue, crime and passion with beautiful women in stunning ball gowns and noble Russian aristocrats?
No? So take this!
And again we made it through Valentine´s Day. Which brings up the question: Can we still hear our heart beat next to angry shouting neighbours or ambulance sirens rushing by? Is there love hovering in the cold and rough Wedding air? Does romance exist?
But a neighbourhood with such a promising name – at least for the Anglophils among us – has some expectations to fulfill. Either one way:
One swallow does not make a spring – but one little snowman completely knocked out and abandoned in the boxing ring might be a hint!
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