Saturday I headed out to watch the two Christopher Street Day parades that happen in Berlin every year – the “normal” one and the “alternative” one.
Wanting to hit up both parades meant that I had to choose strategically and that I never made it to the end party for the “normal” one, and because my alarm was going off at 6:00 Sunday morning, there was no way I was going to hit up any of the other activities.
The big CSD Berlin parade was re-routed this year due to two other major events going on this week: the Euro Cup Fanzone in Tiergarten, and Fashion Week, which apparently is also in Tiergarten, or otherwise in the way. The re-routing of the parade was a horribly stupid move, in my humble opinion. As far as I could tell from my vantage point, the parade seemed slightly smaller and had significantly fewer people watching it, or marching in it, than last year’s parade.
Further, there is something magical about marching down the Ku’damm, past KaDeWe, and through the heart of the gayborhood, Nollendorfplatz. This parade didn’t go anywhere, as far as I can tell, interesting. Maybe the end of the route was better…
From my crappy photography perspective, the parade route’s first leg sucked: it was in the shadow of the elevated portion of the U1, which meant that the floats were not bathed in sunshine. Then, when trying to shoot the parade, one had to, essentially, shoot into the light in order to get people’s faces. I had a hell of a time with the settings and trying not to over/under expose my photos. I failed most of the time.
The tCSD parade, on the other hand, was, as I understand it, marching its normal route. It’s much smaller, but much more diverse than the CSD parade. But since it’s smaller, I got fewer photos. It’s also much less commercial—no floats sponsored by Dildo King, or by any of the political parties.
Before I get to a few photographic highlights (more in my 2012 CSD Berlin set), I want to note two things: First, the United Kingdom was represented in the parade and featured Alan Turing – he who I blogged about Saturday, quite timely. Second, the United States was also in the parade, one of the few things that I’m actually proud of, when it comes to speaking about the USA.