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Berlin Poor but Sexy

Berlin – Poor but Sexy

by Emiel Van Den Boomen

Not one of your visits to the city of Berlin will be the same. Every time Berlin will look different, feel different. Berlin carries many faces: the city of continuous construction.

Berlin Poor but Sexy

Buildings are being renovated, deep foundations are being laid for new ones. But it is not only the physical matter that’s under construction in Berlin. Of course I have only been visiting Berlin for a couple of days every time, but I do feel there is some kind of search for a final identity. Berlin is in transition, ever since the Berlin wall was torn down (or maybe even before that).

Berlin Poor but Sexy

Maybe I am totally wrong here, correct me please. It might all be part of the normal development of every major city. However, I don’t think Berlin is like every major city, and certainly doesn’t show a ‘normal development’. Berlin carries a message to the world that is one-of-a-kind. But that message is all about transition. The Berlin Wall has even gone from a hated symbol of divide to a loved symbol of reunification!

Berlin Poor but Sexy

An identity is being created in Berlin, but still there is work to be done. When I look at the many homeless people inspecting trash cans and sleeping in the Tiergarten park, the overwhelming street art or graffiti messages on many of its buildings, the mentioned disturbance of this identity building process by millions of incoming tourists, and the T-shirt of this girl downtown saying “Berlin – Poor but Sexy”, I believe Berlin is in transition.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s what makes this city attractive! It’s different every time: people change, construction projects are being delivered while the history of the city becomes an entrenched part of its attractive soul.

Berlin Poor but Sexy

Paris and London are great.
Berlin is pure and sexy with an identity many cities can only dream of.

Fernsehturm Berlin

I am eager to show you much more of Berlin:

Berlin Poor but Sexy

“I am happy in Berlin” – MJ

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Jenna June 10, 2012 - 17:43

 I have only passed through Berlin but definitely want to spend some
time there. It sounds like the kind of place I would love. Your story is
important–important for people to think about the transition that the
city is going through and to not forget the history. I feel like Prague
is similar–it has been changing so much the last 20 years and the Czech
Republic was a perfect place for that kind of rebirth. It has such a
rich artistic culture that couldn’t be held back anymore. Great title
for this post, btw. 🙂  

Emiel van den Boomen June 10, 2012 - 17:58

Thanks Jenna! I would love to see Prague as well, I know it’s one of your favorite cities. Many cities have an important history to tell, but in Berlin it is so very clear. Actually right in front of you: the wall. Thanks for your comment! 

Daniel McBane June 7, 2012 - 13:35

I have family living in Berlin and was there 3 years ago. I may be going back this summer and judging by the amount of construction work I saw last time, I’m definitely expecting to find a city that’s quite different from just 3 years ago. Even then, the change it had undergone since the 90s was staggering. And 3 years ago it was also probably the most affordable of Europe’s main capital cities. That’s one thing I hope  hasn’t changed.

Emiel van den Boomen June 7, 2012 - 13:46

Thanks for the comment Daniel. A friend of mine from Berlin answered me that we shouldn’t associate poor with cheap, especially not for real estate! I hope I haven’t crushed your dreams of eating and drinking affordably 🙂  Have fun this summer and watch for my upcoming posts (although you will probably know the sites as you have family living in Berlin)..

Ayngelina June 6, 2012 - 06:26

I haven’t been to Berlin but I like a city with character more than a pretty one.

Andrea and John June 5, 2012 - 07:39

Berlin has always been John’s favourite city and last year I finally got to check it out. I loved it too and can’t wait to go back. Even the newer, flashier parts still had that grit you talk about here and that made them so much more appealing than the usual trendy, upmarket city district. Plus everything seems so affordable for such a big city. And it’s in Germany, which is one of my favourite countries in Europe. I found the Berliners to be so friendly for a big city. I definitely heart Berlin!  ~Andrea.

Emiel van den Boomen June 5, 2012 - 20:47

Thanks Andrea! I know many people who find Berlin their favourite city. And some think that’s hard to believe with such great cities close by like Prague, Vienna, Paris, London and even Amsterdam. But Berlin has something special: it’s history and the way it is heading to the future. 

Nadja Bendriss June 4, 2012 - 21:23

Thanks for stopping by !


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