The unlikely comfort of rhythms

When viewed from just a few steps remove, the tedium of daily experience takes on a profoundly absurd quality. Everything, from the everyday little dramas on the one hand to the yawning abyss of the Unknown on the other—I can see the absurdity in it, can see the absurdity in myself and my emotions. And at the same time I feel everything reduced to this very specific and, at times, visceral point—I’m grieving … Continue reading The unlikely comfort of rhythms

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Die Gentrifizierung: a city always changing

My first real conversation on the topic happened to unfold at a Goa party. It was my first summer in Berlin and my German was woefully lacking, so I was at the mercy of those few sweet hippies who could accommodate in English. Having described to one guy the relief I felt in coming to Berlin after the economic brutalities of San Francisco, he countered that a similar creature was growing within Berlin, though he floundered, trying to summon the English word for it, offering instead, “… die Gentrifizierung??” Continue reading Die Gentrifizierung: a city always changing

Resolving intolerance, a New Year’s resolution

Just coming up the street alongside our building I spotted a doughy fellow with glasses walking his bicycle and roaring into the night things which were beyond my Deutschkenntnis, but if the aggressive pejorative specifics weren’t immediately apparent, the subsequent bellowing of simplistic German expletives—“F*ck Syrien! Verpisst euch!”—made it pretty clear what this fellow was about … Continue reading Resolving intolerance, a New Year’s resolution

Community, compromise, and building parcel karma

When going to live abroad you’re bound to encounter customs, idiosyncrasies, little day-to-day things that are different than you’re used to. For me one of those things was parcel service (like DHL, Hermes, etc.), specifically the part where your neighbors accept your package for you if you’re not home, or vice versa. I don’t know if this is a European thing or just a German thing, but for me it’s an uncomfortable thing … Continue reading Community, compromise, and building parcel karma