Graffiti at Neue Promenade (Hackescher Markt), Berlin-Mitte, Germany. © Matt Lemon Photography. All Rights Reserved.
A tourist in my own hometown
In 2014, as I said goodbye to my hometown once again, I chose this photo for my final post from Berlin, taken at its heavily gentrified new centre, where only a few traces remain that suggest what once was a borough brimming with subculture. While I can’t pretend I like how the neighbourhood has changed, I found myself returning there quite frequently, to play backgammon at Café Cinema, listen to jazz at b-flat, have drinks at ESCHSCHLORAQUE rümschrümp, cake at Barcomi’s, falafel at dada falafel, and bánh mì at Babanbè (now moved to Kreuzberg), or stroll over the weekly market at Neue Promenade, finally visit the New Synagogue, watch films in their original version at the Hackesche Höfe Cinema, and take photos around the Kunsthaus (Art House) Tacheles, now closed for the most part thanks to the owner HSH Nordbank and useless politicians. Next to the Tacheles is now a Lutter & Wegner restaurant for the rich, a contrast symbolising the old and new Berlin. The old is not all gone, and to non-natives, the city might still be as exciting as ever. However, having returned to live here again after many years abroad, , I could never quite acclimatise to the new Berlin and remained a tourist in my own hometown. But while the thought of settling down here again never really crossed my mind, I had many great days in this city “and I’ll be back again, and again and again and again and again.”