Save Mauerpark

Berlin: Save Mauerpark Petition

Mauerpark in Berlin is a very unique place right in the heart of the city. Admittedly, ever since it made its first appearance in Lonely Planet, it lost a bit of its charm. Yes, it can be totally overrun by tourists and loud and dirty, yet most importantly it is just a lot of fun …

Skip the text and sign right now

Save Mauerpark Berlin be kitschig blog
Melting Pot Mauerpark

So what is Mauerpark and why does it need saving?

Berlin, like many European cities, has not (just) been planned on a grid but grew together more and more over time. Therefore, every neighborhood [Kiez] in Berlin is somewhat a little town of its own with its very unique character. After the wall came down, suddenly without the death strip, there were large parts of empty land right in the heart of the city.

Berlin recreation in a big city Save Mauerpark Berlin
Swing – looking towards Wedding

Mauerpark was one of those, separating the districts of Berlin Wedding (West) and Berlin Prenzlauer Berg (East). Since this area has been densely populated, the park soon provided a space for people from all walks of life. Space might be the better word here anyways, as Mauerpark is lacking many features of a park, like a whole bunch of trees.

Water feature Wedding left Prenzlauer Berg right Mauerpark Baustelle
Water Feature – Background: dressed-up construction site, Gleimtunnel, Wedding on the left and Prenzlauer Berg on the right

Some visitors might find it odd that this strip of brown grass draws so many people each week. The ginormous construction site at the moment might not help. (If you are interested in massive drills, go check it out.) You just have to experience this park and judge for yourself!

Gleimtunnel bei Tageslicht Rettet Mauerpark Petition
Gleimtunnel towards Wedding at lunch time – a lot less spooky since they installed new LED lighting

The tunnel of Gleimstraße, north of Mauerpark, separates these two very distinct districts. While for a long time, people in their respective areas did not cross the tunnel, that last invisible border of Berlin, Mauerpark provides an open space for all cultures today (even the tourists.). While some people go jogging or walk their dogs, others are practicing Yoga or putting a goat on a spit.

Rettet Mauerpark Petition Berlin be kitschig blog Aito Kitazaki
Graffiti Wall at Mauerpark – Aito Kitazaki

A little playground and a city farm behind the birch woods provide a family friendly atmosphere as well. Listen to music or learn how to spray graffiti on some old bits of the German Wall [Hinterlandmauer] legally or party with expats or language students.

Mauerpark not on Sunday Rainbow Playground
Rainbow Playground – built with the help of the inhabitants

Mauerpark is not just those notorious Sundays. On Sunday though, you can also find delicious food, trendy Berlin souvenirs and some real kitschy vintage stuff, if you ever make it to the end of the flea market (leave early!). Finish this experience with some karaoke or a street performance.

Rettet Mauerpark Petition be kitschig blog
Flea Market Mauerpark – Photo by Mark Zweck

But it’s so loud and dirty!

While I won’t bother you with a rant on gentrification and all that, free space right in the heart of the city is also very interesting for builders. Of course, more apartments are necessary. What people do need here is affordable housing though and not townhouses that ride your car into the basement with an elevator. It is really the families, the artists and musicians that breathe life into this strip of brown grass.

street theater at Mauerpark Andy Snatch
Risking your life for art with Andy Snatch

Of course, it can get pretty messy. There is after all a lot of wildlife in this city and you cannot blame the crows, foxes or raccoons for trying to get into the bins. Germany has a similar problem with wild hogs near the Autobahn, by the way. However, the willingness of adults to pick up their trash is, at times, shocking. How about we work on this one? Might save the city a whole bunch of money.

Rettet Mauerpark Save Berlin Petition
Bearpit Karaoke on Sunday

If you believe my friend Wiki, Mauerpark has always been notorious for partying. To be correct, notorious for partying proletarians. Back in the good old days, this strip of land laid at the rim of the city. After having been used for agriculture, a parade ground for soldiers was established. People in the surrounding area used the ground to exercise and socialize. As early as 1900, there were frequent complaints about noise and parties.

Save Mauerpark Petition Berlin be kitschig blog
Basketball at Mauerpark

Why should I sign the petition Rettet Mauerpark?

Culture does not just take part in curated exhibitions or opera houses. Culture is also bringing people together over a serious game like Boule.

 Rettet Mauerpark Petition
Boule at Mauerpark

Plus, we might never ever see a lady again, that actually rocks Kate Bush. Maybe think of that little quaint spot you used to love until it was gentrified away, I mean developed.

Save Mauerpark Bearpit Karaoke
Bearpit Karaoke – behind the karaoke bike: Joe Hatchiban and his brother

It is the aim of the artists and musicians to find solutions for noise, dirt & Co. together with the inhabitants and the City. Please take time to sign the Save Mauerpark Petition, otherwise there might not be much left.

Mauerpark when its not karaoke sunday
A weekday without karaoke – Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark in the back

You can sign the petition on the official site or your favorite Social Media:

Change Org Save Mauerpark

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

As for the feature photo

Save mauerpark Berlin rette be kitschig blog

Imagine, totally unexpectedly, you find yourself with a free Sunday all to yourself.

(If you’re not a mum this may not seem incredibly exciting.)

First thing that came to my mind was going to Mauerpark. Imagine, a perfect day in fall with just perfect lighting. For once, it was mostly ladies spraying. From all sorts of backgrounds and all sorts of places around the world. Did I mention the perfect light yet? How many times did a model ever photo bomb your pictures?

Photo Lesson #2 Do not take photos in perfect lighting and give the camera to your offspring without saving them first.

#buhu

#theresanappforthis

Lesson #1

Have you ever experienced Mauerpark?

Berlin Alexanderplatz

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4 thoughts on “Save Mauerpark

  1. It’s hard to imagine the loss of a park anywhere in the world being beneficial to any community. Your photo essay, an excellent one, reminds me of the ongoing issues of gentrification in my city; Hamilton, ON, Canada.

    I can at least say that my city council is trying to improve the existing parks here, and create at least one new one by our downtown core. The core itself has been under a much needed revitalization program for years.

    Places that are undergoing a level of gentrification, like along Barton Street, aren’t redeveloping too fast with obscenely high luxury dwellings and business edifices. People of middle income and lower can still afford to live there, and just maybe they’ll be able to find work there too depending on the education level and soft skills required for the new jobs entering these districts.

    The fear of being pushed out by future aggressively increasing living costs in these areas; however, is still a real foreseeable problem. It even inspired a large mob of “anarchists” in 2017 to literally invade one gentrified district (Locke Street) on masse and vandalize numerous businesses. These aren’t large conglomerate businesses and franchises making millions. They are all small restaurants and boutiques and variety stores that are owned and run by families and friends who are not becoming mega rich from their efforts create little wealth, pride and independence for themselves.

    The vandals, unfortunately, didn’t recognize the difference. It took months for many of the shops that they damaged out of blind fear to repair and recover. Those small enterprises also still give back financially and socially to their community, as they always did. The vandals have never given anything of any real benefit to anyone.

    I hope that Mauerpark can be saved in a way that there is a healthy balance between gentrification and the improvement of a space where all walks of life are welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It took me a while to look up your beautiful town. It was very interesting to read about the far left. In Berlin it’s not unusual if cars are burning. However, they don’t seem to understand the difference of a posh car and an old family car … Protest is important, yet not always effective or smart.

      Berlin used to be ‘broke but sexy’ so investors from all over the world bought the city and are slowly turning it into a place for rich people. Funny how the broke ones, the artists and street musicians, really make up the charm of a place. We’ll see where this whole gentrification will take us … All the best

      Liked by 1 person

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