I am slowly becoming aware of where I am. I mean, I’d been living so long in Calgary the change of Berlin was absolutely shocking (not to mention the language thing). But, as a wise Irish expat told me last week, with time builds confidence in a new city and I am building confidence.
I still thinking like a Calgarian, expecting cool things to pass me by. I need to start thinking like a Berliner who knows the cool things are always here. For instance, my (second) most favorite electronic music group in the whole world are putting out a new album in March and are going on a European tour. First I was like “oh well, that would be nice” but then I was like “wait, I’m in Europe now. I wonder if they’re playing Berlin.”
Well duh! They are only playing at perhaps the biggest club in town, Berghain Panorama Bar. It might be the epicentre of electronic music in world, period. Of course they’re playing here.
Every kind of culture in the world is around here somewhere if you know where to look. Walking along Shönhauser Allee I found a café that had teleported straight from Paris (but without the rude waiters) serving great espresso and croisants. You can get American fashion if you want: in Mitte, Rob pointed out an American Apparel beside the Diesel and Adidas stores. Berlin serves great hamburgers too (although the names of the restaurants wear thin after a while… marienBurger restaurant is on Marienburger Straße… get it? get it?) Oh, and in the organic grocery stores you can find every kind of cheese in the world. Relatively cheap, too.
There is even some Canadian stuff peeking out here and there. I noticed an ad for a music festival happening at the end of January which features Holy Fuck, my favorite improvisational electronic/loud-noises dance music group from Halifax.
Google Maps pointed me at a café named “Godshot – The Future Urban Coffee Klub” (the irreverent way people name stores here deserves its own blog post) that proudly serves Fratello coffee roasted at 4021 9th Ave SE, Calgary.
I’m in a real city and it’s cool. And you wouldn’t believe how cheap the beer is…