Prenzlauer Berg Berlin/foto Uli Klose
True of False: Investigating Five Stereotypes About Berlin’s City Sectors
Generalizing an entire city sector is like generalizing a population – it’s tricky business that prefers mass numbers to individual details.
Stereotypes are fundamentally everywhere and sometimes prove true, while other times prove to be projections.
Berlin has a reputation for being a thriving mega-stadt whose city sectors are characterized by various inhabitants, landscapes and atmospheres, five of which will be considered here.
Has Friedrichshain left its best days behind?
Is Prenzlauerberg really for yuppies and new parents? Is Mitte full of wannabes?
Has Kreuzberg lost its cool-crown to Neukolln? Let’s take a look.
The assertion: Mitte is wannabe-cool-central
As a young woman living in Mitte put it, ‘Mitte wasn’t chic ten years ago, but it is now.’ Mitte’s reputation for being the ideal spot for the ambitious and cool is not totally unfounded – but if the center of a city doesn’t at least pretend to be hip, then what kind of city could it be? For those averse to anything appealing to the mainstream then Mitte is relatively superficial, but it could be argued that that is part of its charm.
People living in Mitte tend to be well dressed, like popular music and work successful jobs. Whether that is a bad thing is a matter of taste, yet what is said is true.
The verdict: Guilty as charged
The assertion: Prenzlauerberg is yuppie, new parent heaven
No where else in Berlin will you find such a plethora of organic and vegetarian restaurants, free yoga classes in parks, and new-age supermarkets.
Also, nowhere else will you find so many ex-pats and new parents pushing baby carriages. Prenzlauerberg is very English friendly and safe, and is a strangely chilled out place to live, despite the fact that there are always people awake. Some of the best bars are here as well. In any case, Pberg’s reputation as being yuppified has been earned.
The verdict: Guilty as charged
The assertion: Friedrichshain is no longer cool
Once upon a time every poor young student wanted to inhabit or lived in Fhain, thanks to the very cheap rent and trendy rep. Those times are past.
The reputation it garnered for being the haven of poor young students began to attract everyone else, including Erasmus students, who are now the bulk of the students living there. Prices went up and Berliners moved away to Kberg or Neukolln.
The verdict: Guilty as charged.
The assertion: Neukolln is the new Kreuzberg
Kreuzberg is still where most clubs in Berlin find themselves and is still excellently connected by the S- and U-Bahns.
However in recent times, Neukolln has become the new ‘it’ center where everyone in their 20′s wants to live because their friends live there. How did this happen? The moment a place becomes known as ‘being cool’ it must consequently begin to lose its coolness, because what is well known cannot be cool, seems to be the underlying cause of the rumors. Neukolln is too far south and lacks Kbergs bar scene. Ease your mind – Kberg is still Kberg and Neukolln is still…Neukolln.
The verdict: Innocent on all counts
November 1, 2010
The various districts in Berlin are well written up in Wikitravel;
For more pictures of Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg and Freiderichshain areas ;
Berlin Districts -True of False: Investigating Five Stereotypes About Berlin’s City Sectors – Ms Cindy Su, resolute ‘OTA-Berlin Constituency Blog’ contributor finds out from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.