Saturday, September 26, 2009

Creative Berlin

One could argue that Berlin is the center of the contemporary creative world.  This, from a New York Times article in 2005, nicely sums it up:
Today, what Prague and London were in the 90's, Berlin has now become: a magnet for anyone who wants to live and work in a city that is humming with cultural energy and, by contrast with the rest of northern Europe, an insane bargain.
Newsweek has run two stories in three years of the same name: Poor But Sexy, which was phrase coined by the openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit.  But I think you get the point: Berlin is hip and cheap.

But despite having lived here for almost a year, I only caught glimpses of this part of the city.  Where are the entrepreneurs?  The designers?  The scientists?  Since I returned from Louisiana a month ago, I have been obsessed with trying to tap into this creative energy.  (I admit that most of my zeal comes from not having a job, and my lack of patience trying to find a job by sending out résumés/CVs.)

Inside the dome on top of the Reichstag building

In the last week, I have attended two meetups of smart, interesting, and creative people.  On Wednesday, I met a group which goes by the name LemonTown.  They get together every two weeks to chat about their latest projects, where to find work, and anything creative.  (The founders of the group are also trying to start a freelancing collective called Die Summe.)  The atmosphere is relaxed, and I've always gotten great advice from those who are there.

Last Friday morning, I attended LikeMind Berlin, which meets at the Cafe Oberholtz on the third Friday of the month. This event is slightly more formal than LemonTown, if only because the drink of choice is coffee and not beer.  A wider range of people came out, and it is also more established.  I first found out about it through a NY Times article that I read just a couple of days after their meeting in August.

By going to these two events, I definitely feel more connected to the creative culture--but still not fully immersed.  And I'm still looking for a job!

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