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September 15, 2013

As I mentioned, we recently made a visit to my old ‘hood of Neukölln. After a wander to Tempelhof with our friends’ lovely dog, we made our way into Schillerkiez to catch the Ubahn and oh my, has it changed in the 3.5 years since we moved away!

With trendy cafés lining the walk from Tempelhofer Freiheit to Ubahnhof Boddinstrasse, the word ‘vegan’ popping up here, there and everywhere and a Yoga/music school, the hipsters have well and truly moved in. Granted, a lot of the old shops and businesses remain: The little Edeka with the heavily-smoking shop assistants, the Späti where I once bought a porno mag on a whim, the bike repair shop, which I’m sure is making an absolute packet with all those broken hipster-bikes to mend… I’m really pleased for the local people who stayed put even when the area was a run-down haunt for casual alcoholics.

When I had a little moan about the changes on Facebook, a friend of mine wrote “Think of it as the evolution of the city” and she’s right. The area of Neukölln in which I lived for a time was destined to become up-and-coming, especially with the opening of the huge former airport as Tempelhof park, 3 blocks away. My former apartment stands on a ‘square’ (more accurately a round), facing a huge church, in the middle of a wide, tree-lined street with a school, a kindergarten and a playground on it. Things like the school needing security people at the gate, needles found on the playground and the green areas of the tree-lined street being generally occupied by loud, casual alcoholics, can probably be solved pretty easily with a good old rent increase- Get the less affluent people out and bring in the hipsters!

I think maybe I’m just sour because I moved away before it got exciting…..

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