Tag Archives: Berlin


Anarchism in Berlin: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


Can Berlin’s “rebel culture” survive in the midst of an inexorable march toward gentrification?  It may be a tough order, though anarchists and others are basking in victory after internet giant Google abandoned efforts to open a company “campus” in the trendy neighborhood of Kreuzberg.  The corporation would not say […]

Graffiti and Rebel Culture: A Personal Journey From Brooklyn to Berkeley to Caracas to the Former Soviet Union to Berlin and Back Again


For some time, I’ve been slightly ambivalent toward graffiti though the idealist in me has always believed that in the long-run, reclaiming the urban environment might encourage the rise of a more radical political consciousness.  As cities embrace gentrification and homogenization at an increasingly breakneck pace, the need to carve […]

Berlin: Echoes of the Cold War


In East Berlin, I visited the Stasi museum. Across town, tourist flock to Checkpoint Charlie, a traditional boundary between east and west. Above Checkpoint Charlie, I spotted a pro-Ukrainian banner which echoes earlier Cold War tensions. But will the United States stand by Germany or even Ukraine for that matter […]

West Berlin: From Institutionalized Graffiti to Thai Park


In contrast to edgy East Berlin, developed West Berlin can seem much more predictable.  Urban Nation, a graffiti museum, seeks to capture the mystique of other neighborhoods without really succeeding, though a building facade manages to catch one’s attention. Further to the west, hipsters mingle with Asian food vendors at […]

Berlin: From Turkish Minarets to Treehouse to Neo-Ottoman Hipster Chic


In Berlin, Turkish immigrants live cheek by jowl alongside anarchists and political radicals.  In Kreuzberg, for example, a mosque lies just a stone’s throw away from the radical counter-culture. Not far from the minaret, I came across a curious tree house.  The structure originally belonged to Osman Kalin, a Turkish […]

East Berlin: From Graffiti Galerie to Sandinistas


Well off the beaten path lies Lichtenberg, where passers-by can check out Graffiti Galerie underneath the highway. More graffiti and animal motifs off to the side of the highway. Above Graffiti Galerie, I came upon a curious mural honoring the Sandinistas who are hardly a model for progressive political ideals […]