Berlin, I love you – but I don’t want to buy a house with you

sculptures by Thomas Doyle

Cities are like relationships. You know when things are serious or just an affair. You just feel it. With me and Berlin it is quite serious. We are together for 8 years now and as with relationships after a while when things got serious there is a strange pressure building up. In former times it would mean marriage, moving in together and getting kids. Well, getting pregnant from Berlin sounds like a creepy science fiction movie. But it would probably be a funny one.

Getting to the point: becoming serious with a city equals buying a house or an apartment there. And just like in an old movie my family asked me lately: “Now, you and Berlin. Seems to be really serious! Do’t you want to settle down together, buy a house?”

There are logical processes selecting arguments that would speak for it. But just as with marriage: if the heart screams “NO!”, there is nothing you can do. Why I said no and more ideas about relationships and cities after the jump.

Bonding behaviour is determined by childhood experiences with the mother – says the psychologist. I think with cities it is not that much different. You just have to replace mother with city of birth. I had to leave my city of birth in Italy without wanting it and had to move to a city in East Germany. Not exactly what you would call life-enhancing. So perhaps I still have this fear in me that I have to leave a city without wanting to. I have a bonding fear with cities. Nice diagnosis! Very well!

But let’s leave the psychology bullshit out of the picture. I think that twenty-something students that buy houses in Berlin are awkward to me. They are going to the Mediaspree demonstrations because of the closing of the Bar 25 – but then they buy a loft in Kreuzberg with the money of their parents. It feels like there are no more normal young people here that just live in a WG. Even the Spanish Newköln kids – poor as hell – are looking for flats to buy.

I don’t feel like criticism is appropriate. Everyone has to make their own choices about their life.  Just for myself I know: Berlin, please forgive me, I can’t imagine to break up with you ever, but I am not ready to buy a house with you yet. And I am not sure if I ever will be!

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<a href="" target="_self">Claudio</a>