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 …
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can sign the petition on the official site or your favorite Social Media:
As for the feature photo
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.
Have you ever experienced Mauerpark?