Above/featured: Entrance to U-Bahnhof Rathaus Schöneberg.
It seems as universal as the common opinion about how cool and interesting Berlin is.
Both residents and visitors mention the same names in conversations throughout the city: Prenzlauer Berg, Mitte, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Neukölln, and the hybrid “KreuzKölln”, even as Wedding and Lichtenberg begin weaving their way into the dialogue.
Of the neighbourhoods within the city’s Ring, what about Charlottenburg or Schöneberg? The answers often arrive as expected. Why would anyone visit there or live there? It’s boring! It’s too quiet! It’s dead! Lots of sniffy snobby dismissive exclamation points! That few choose the area is precisely why I’m in Schöneberg for three months at the tail end of my year-long around-the-world.
For many in Berlin, they’re living, working, and playing in areas where they’re close to the action and housing costs may on average be slightly cheaper. There’s something to be said about proximity and small “stumbling distances” after a night of drinking. For some, Schöneberg is too far, too expensive, too quiet, or all of the above. I don’t mind the 20-, 30-, or 45-minute travel times to places where friends eat, drink, or hang out.
It’s always a matter of choice for me to be in Schöneberg. There’s a comfortable stillness here that always sets me at ease, where I can tune out or turn down the noise, and find my calm. For a very special time, this area in Berlin, “der schöne Schöneberg,” is home.
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