July 2010


Berlin’s abused parks

Right now I’m living within a short distance from one of Berlin’s parks. I won’t say which one, only enough to say that it’s larger than a bread-box, but smaller than Luxembourg.

Actually, I live across the street from the park, and I now know that I do not want to live across the street from a park because parks get used 24 hours a day, and when it’s warm out, I like to sleep with the windows open—thus I get to hear people use the park at all hours of the night.

This morning I woke up to a lively conversation amongst five or six people who were cheerfully walking somewhere (home?) at 4:30. I watched as one young lady, tired of carrying a bottle of Champaign, drained the contents into a nearby planter and then put the empty bottle on the ground next to it.

I can also say that in the last week and a half of living in Berlin I have seen more drug dealers and more drug deals than I saw in my entire six years living in Weimar. Other than the U-Bahn station where I’ve seen several deals go down, most seem to occur in the park across the street from where I live. I’ve even had drug dealers trying to get my attention like I was a likely customer.

And I might note this is not a park that I realized was a drug dealer’s paradise a couple years ago with a friend. Nobody ever told me that this park was a dealer’s haven.

I walked through the park this morning and I have to say that at 7:30, it looks thoroughly used and abused. Trash is on the ground, sometimes near the overflowing bins, sometimes in the middle of grassy areas. The grassy areas are beaten down, brown from a lack of water (thankfully it is supposed to rain tomorrow), and the occasional person who gave up on trying to get home is asleep in the middle of a grassy field—a bike lying next to them.

7 comments to Berlin’s abused parks

  • Considering the abuse of the park (Parisians would be horrified) that person will be very lucky if he wakes up and the bike is still there.

  • AnkiH

    that is berlin

  • Sounds like the park version of a flop-house.

    Perhaps Weimar wasn’t all that bad after all?

  • starman1695- I hear that there honor among thieves–that there are certain people they won’t target, no matter how easy. Maybe people sleeping with bikes in Berlin parks qualify as safe?

    AnkeH – It certainly is where I live 🙂

    Cynical Queer – Weimar wasn’t bad. Never said it was. I am just learning a lot about where I don’t want to live in Berlin.

  • Coming from the pristine, freakishly clean Munich, I was always struck with how grimy Berlin is.

    It always had the feeling of a packed bar at the end of the evening when the lights go on at closing time.

    To be honest, I found the mess a bit appealing. It reminded me of San Francisco and felt more like being in a real city.

    But I understand what you mean, nevertheless.

  • Reko

    It’s too bad that Berlin is such a dump. It really makes one appreciate Bloomington, Graz, Salzburg, and Vienna all the more.

  • Megan – I guess I have mixed feelings — its good that the parks get used, but speaking as somebody who needs the windows open in order to be cool and then needs to sleep in order to be functional, its the people going home at 4:30 that disturb me the most.

    Reko – Obviously you’ve never been to Bloomington’s West Side.