Berlin has successfully retained its standing as my favorite place for New Year’s Eve. There are many perks of celebrating here, but for me the greatest highlight is the wide availability of legal fireworks.
The city turns into a war zone in the hours leading up to midnight. Innocent neighborhood children turn into armed combatants when given Roman candles and Chinese crackers. In my neighborhood they duck in stairwells and behind cars, lurking in the shadows with the intention of firing rockets at passersby.
You can buy fireworks from nearly any corner shop, as well as the supermarkets. We did just that while channeling Fear and Loathing for a costume theme. My powder blue jacket’s hood and sunglasses provided the added benefit of protecting from shrapnel.
Then we headed to the historic Oberbaumbrücke, a bridge over the River Spree which served as a border crossing during the days of the Berlin Wall.
At night, with hundreds of people setting off fireworks, crying from burns, and cheering the start of the new year, it was a rather different picture. Some of my footage is blurry and all of it is dark, but I hope it offers an idea of the start of a fantastic night.