Here we are, back in Berlin-Kreuzberg where we left for Ghana twelve years ago. Another cycle comes to a close, another chapter opens up. And a special chapter this one is, as we come back to a place where we lived before. That doesn´t happen very often. We even live in the same place, the flat by the Landwehrkanal. Our kids were two and three and a half years old respectively when we left, teenagers now, for them it´s a homecoming of the more challenging kind. They hardly recognize our flat let alone our neighborhood. But even for us grownups there is a certain effect of discovery: whereas the buildings and streets have hardly changed and some of our old friends still live close-by, the social and socializing structure have evolved. Gentrification has progressed, not as dramatically as in other boroughs, but too much and uncontrolled for the taste of locals, most of which are not in a position to pay rising rents or real estate, if they ever wasted a thought on that. The price per square meter has more than doubled in a decade. Yet, graduates, artists (including those of life), left-wing activists and the traditional Kreuzberger have a way of arranging themselves and sometimes even effectively showing the ruthless real estate system their teeth.
Bars and restaurants are abundant and also very appealing and ambitious, the variety is amazing. The really good thing about it: We don´t need to drive anywhere. We step out of our doorway and there we are. Now we need to explore and discover.
Schlesisches Tor: The overhead underground with a popular hamburger joint underneath.
On our street.
Our house in the background.
Kreuzberg stays rude. People of Kreuzberg have authentic attitude.
One of the beach clubs close-by.
The canal in front of our house.