Posts Tagged ‘Gentrification’

I wanted to get a newspaper today at my favorite KIOSK Akuna Matata at U-Bahnhof Eberswalder Straße… –



… and realised that it’s gone!


My God! What’s going on here??? BYEBYEAKUNAMATATA –

(I was thinking about changing my header. Now I won’t)

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Once again Markt in der Bibliothek is right in the center of attention. When I left my house this morning, it looked like a crime scene:

DSC01453Most probably parts of a balcony came down last night.

P.S: shop is still closed. We would need it urgently since Vietnamese grocery store on Danziger Strasse (just around the corner) has turned into Vietnamese Restaurant number 15 000…

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After “Markt in der Bibliothek” next Vietnamese grocery store on Danziger Strasse, just around the corner,  has closed down this week. It will be reopened in March as a Restaurant. I wish the Vietnamese owners all the best with their new business plans – and still don’t know where to go now if I’ve forgotten to get milk. There’s probably just one solution: disciplined shopping!

My theory is: closing down the shops around the corner is part of an educational program initiated by Bezirksamt Pankow to try to discipline chaotic Prenzlauer Berg’s inhabitants. One of these measures already failed: the new parking rules on Pappelallee, established in April 2008 caused even more chaos. See also post “Unser Dorf soll schöner werden II”

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I’m back from Cuba, it’s autumn and while I was cruising around the island Germany and especially Berlin continued to change: Marcel Reich-Ranicki started a second career in the ad business, Jens-Holger Kirchner is now thinking about having Parking-Zones in Prenzlauer Berg (see also post “Unser Dorf soll schöner werden II“) , and the Vietnamese grocery-store guy (not the “Markt in der Bibliothek” one – the other one around the corner on Danziger Strasse) told me about his plans to close the store, go to Vietnam to learn how to cook and open a Vietnamese Restaurant at the same spot. So we will soon have about six Vietnamese, Thai and Corean Restauants in close neighbourhood, but nowhere to go to get milk.

P.S. “Markt in der Bibliothek” is still closed. But no worries: The owner is still thinking about what to do with his place. He told me, he wont rent it. He seems to be completely aware of the excellent adress he’s got.

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Choriner Straßenfest 2008 was a typical Prenzlauer Berg event:




Big surprise: one of the top acts actually came from Wedding: “Brauseboys – Die Leseshow aus dem Berliner Wedding“. See also their blog “browserboys“. So in the end there was a lot of traffic crossing the border between Wedding and Prenzlauer Berg this July 12.

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There is an invisible frontier between “rich” Prenzlauer Berg and “poor” Wedding. Only on summer weekends members of Wedding’s turkish community cross the borderline to gather in Mauerpark for picnic. For the people living in Prenzlauer Berg there’s no reason ever crossing the border to Wedding. Now “Gated community Prenzlauer Berg” offers guided tours to explore wild wild Wedding. Tomorrow, July 12 guided bicycle tours at 2pm and 4pm and a special tour at 1pm, also by bike, guided by “real Wedding kids” of social project “Route 65“will start from Gleimtunnel which connects the two quarters. See the whole program here. It definitely will be an adventure for everyone living in Prenzlauer Berg. See also post “we want more farmers.”

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In my post “foot washing against social injustice” I was wondering what religion could contribute in trying to solve the increasing problem of social injustice. And what about Anarchy? Let’s see what Edoardo Sanguineti (see post “Do we need new class hatred”) has to say about the “idea of Anarchy”:

Sanguineti considers the idea of Anarchy “the most innovative idea of bourgeois times (età borghese)” and says the principle of Anarchy was “to try to do something to feed the disorder (alimentare il disordine) of the world concerning a modification of reality and therefore to refuse a certain order of classes (ordine di classe)”. “Everybody is working on a sort of collective undertaking (impresa colletiva), on the refusal of the existing order (ordine costituito)” Concerning arts and literature he defines Anarchy as ” working together on the complete works of mankind.”

Isn’t it fascinating to watch this old Gentleman-Anarchist at work? (video was shot in September 2006 at Feltrinelli library Mantua). If all Anarchists would be like him “collective undertaking” would be a great thing. But, unfortunately, they are not:

Foto was taken during Actiondays demo on Helmholtzplatz

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It doesn’t look too good for “Markt in der Bibliothek” in Pappelallee 3. The friendly Spanish – Vietnamese cooperation (see posts “the films of Christian Petzold” and “Spring?”) seems to be at its end after four months only. The Prenzlauer Berger will report what happens next here…

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Foto was taken on Helmholtzplatz during the Actiondays demonstration of June 1st. (see also post “identity problems”)

Edoardo Sanguineti (in this case it’s interesting to compare what Wikipedia has to say about him in English, German, and Italian), Italian Poet and Anarchist and since the 1960ies next to Umberto Ecco and Giorgio Manganelli one of the leading Italian intellectuals, in January 2007 during the “Lectio Magistralis” in honor of Pietro Ingrao in Rome’s Sala Refettorio della Camera shocked Italian public saying that a new class hatred is needed and postulated the “end of politeness.” Was it the confused speech of an incurable old communist? Or was it a well calculated attack of one of the leading Intellectuals in front of hundreds of people of Rome’s High Society? In the following I’m citing statements Sanguineti made in Italian media before:

In a world in which 98 per cent of the people live under precarious conditions or in misery real luxury is to still permit oneself to be gentle with the others. No, nowadays we are obliged to be rough in order to make it clear for everybody that we are living in an inhuman world. (il manifesto, 31.03.2006)

The powerful hate the proletarian and the hate has to be returned. class hatred has to be restored in order to regive light to the working class. (il manifesto 07.01.2007)

I certainly don’t want to emphasize a term as “class hatred”, a term which might sound rough, without coming back to the intention the one who coined it had. The intention actually wasn’t mere aggressivity or civil disobedience. On ther contrary it was the knowledge that history was made of class struggle… There’s only one rule: everybody has – in the name of responsibility – to know exactly what he is talking about. To measure the weight of the words one uses because in certain circumstances words actually are stones… It’s very important that the proletarian regains consciousness of himself, also via public demonstrations. Even though no ring-a-ring-o’roses will ever solve the problems. (L’Unità 20.10.2003)

It has been Walter Benjamin who talked about the “philosophical value of class hatred”… Benjamin – as did Antonio Gramsci in Italy – lamented that if the accent is put mechanically (meccanicamente), positivistically on the idea of progress one looses the aspect that the purpose of a policy of “the left” is not prospective felicity but the assertion of former and present injustice in the name of the oppressed class. Hatred is a force.

Q: But who nowadays are “proletarians”?

Sanguineti: Everybody, even you and me. The problem of nowadays proletariat is that it consists of three quarters of the population, but many don’t know this.

(Interview of LA STAMPA 06.01.2007 see the whole interview here. (in Italian))

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This post is very personal: On Sunday I went to the ACTIONDAYS demo (see Tagesspiegel article here (in German)) which went through my KIEZ: Lychener Straße – Helmholtzplatz etc. – a strange experience: 15 years ago I would have certainly been amongst the demonstrating crowd and I still think it’s great that there is politcal awareness – if it actually is political and not only a form of left-wing “Spaßkultur” – amongst the next generation (the average age might have been around 20). So on one hand I’ve got a lot of sympathy for them, on the other hand I’m probably one of the yuppies they are fighting against – and that’s exactly what makes me so representative for Prenzlauer Bergs neighborhood. We live here because we love the fact that until now not everything was regulated, because there was enough free space for everybody. On the other hand: We’re getting older, we’ve got children, some of us even got money…. Things are changing, it’s very natural, isn’t it? So one could say: It’s not worth talking about. But I don’t think so. I think the identity problems of a whole generation (my generation) is worth talking about. And it’s important to understand what happens here in Prenzlauer Berg. A lot of people in the neighborhood are socialised as I am, (Western Germany, former left-wing, now liberal??? (Oh my god!!!), bourgeoise) and a lot of them are watching the changes in the KIEZ with unease – and have absolutely no idea how to react. (See also post “We want more farmers.”) That’s the reason why I decided to have this blog: Maybe, I thought, documenting the actual changes – personal and social ones – would be a step… in which direction we will see. That’s why I will post here for the second time a video I shot April 9th during a meeting between residents of the Kiez and Stadtrat Jens-Holger Kirchner to discuss the restructering of Pappelallee. ( See also post “Unser Dorf soll schöner werden” (in German)). First step is done already: parking on the “Bürgersteig” is not allowed any more! Enjoy:

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