Corset wearing Berlin

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Here’s a little column I wrote for DW recently. About Berlin, natürlich!

Berlin has a reputation as a city where anything goes, day or night. But does it really? Tamsin Walker is willing to risk the wrath of the Szene set, and beg to differ. Just a little.

It was a decade ago that the mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, famously declared his city to be poor yet nonetheless sexy. His words were immortalized on the very breath which gave them life, and have since served to attract a flow of sexily impoverished stragglers and strugglers looking for a cheap new home and preventing the slogan – and by extension perhaps themselves – from going out of fashion.

Wowereit’s statement was prompted by a question about the relationship between sexiness and money. He held Berlin up as an example of how the two things need not necessarily be mutually inclusive. But what exactly constitutes a sexy city?

I’m told it’s all about “cheap rents” and an “anything goes” way of life. The latter includes the freedom to sunbathe naked in public places, croon karaoke on the former East German death strip, tango on rooftops, trip out to techno everywhere, or watch impenetrable performance art in the cellars of un-gentrified buildings where the only thing stopping anyone smoking is moisture dripping atmospherically from low-hung ceilings. Read more…

2 comments on “Corset wearing Berlin

  1. Hi!
    Yes, Berlin and Germany is an ordentliche Society Tamsin, but it also has about 100 other sides, facets, aspects and worlds to it too. They all live, mix and somehow work together. Sexy and unsexy, liberal and conservative, wild and tame, etc etc. That is exactly why Berlin is so unique and exactly why people like us live here, because one Berlin does not preclude the other.
    Just my 2 cents. I don’t let my son cross red either, and he shouldn’t walk on the bicycle lane. Am I unsexy too?!
    Schönes Wochenende – und es ist doch ROT, Mensch!

    • Hi Jim
      Thanks for taking the time to write. I agree Berlin is the sum of its many parts – as is any place. It is not, however, purely sexy. As to whether or not you are, I really couldn’t say;)
      Enjoy the snow.
      Best, Tamsin

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