Indolent but not dead

If you believe what’s written in the Lifestyle section of your favorite media outlet, Berlin is a stronghold of slothful artistic types who are slowly being usurped by their wealthier cousins, the hipsters. The original crew indulges in a “poor, but sexy” city, yet doesn’t feel financial pressure to create much of anything. As a result, they can skulk about while producing almost as little as they pay. Now that rents are going up, the line goes, Berlin is over.

I can’t say whether the city has seen its heyday, but I’ll vouch for the lazy bit.

Returning to life as a student – in which my sole aim has been mastery of survival phrases – has freed up a lot of time for “cultural immersion.” These opportunities presented themselves with such force and intensity that it was impossible to keep up this blog. The honeymoon is over this week, however, as I’ve started work at Deutsche Welle TV. Here’s a snapshot of my first two weeks in Berlin, a phoenix of a city that has created endless opportunities for education, hedonism, and tourism in the process of redefining itself.

First things first: A sunny day with a cute pup (and good human company) on Schlachtensee, a lake where you can rent boats and swim in blue waters that become closer to fluorescent green on closer inspection. Photos by Dhyana Scarano.

pano lake

If you’re a history nerd, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven in Berlin. At the infamous border crossing Checkpoint Charlie, Americans like myself can take the same photo as every other American visitor to Berlin and feel just as clever. You could tell from a distance that these guys weren’t exactly the real deal, but a good show for the tourists nonetheless.checkpointcharlie americansector

The last one for now is Tempelhof, a discontinued airport that has been turned into an astounding public park. You can skate, bike, or jog down runways in this gaping, treeless expanse in the middle of an otherwise developed skyline.tempelhofFor now, das ist alles!