Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Summer Abroad - Berlin, Hamburg, Brussels and Paris

Hello Everyone!

My greatest apologies, it has been years since I have posted anything. My excuse? I was studying in Berlin this summer and was as busy as a bee. I stayed in Kreuzberg, the Turkish ghetto of Berlin, which is actually the new up and coming neighbourhood for artists, students and young professionals. It was the most amazing experience and I learned far more than I ever imagined. And of course I would love to share with you some of my favourite outfits, photos and experiences from all the fabulous places I visited. Each city I went to had a unique flavour to it, especially the culture. People commonly say that once you visit multiple European cities, they all start to look the same. I disagree with this. Of course there are huge similarities, each city is exceptional in it's own way. Berlin, which I had an apartment in and stayed for the majority of the summer was the most exceptional. It is impossible to capture the distinct character of the city in words, but I will do my best. Berlin, due to it's incredible recent history is filled with a strong political presence created from the Bismarck era, to Hitler, the DDR and communism to the current. It is almost obvious that this history would then affect the culture, which in my opinion is the 'coolest' culture in Europe. A very underground, anti-capitalist music, entertainment, and fashion scene oozes 'poor but sexy' - as the Mayor of Berlin defines it. The music scene is predominantly a very minimalist deep house which the clubs (which are often abandoned buildings) keep exclusive the Berliners, non-tourist, non-douche bag or drunks. The purpose of these events are not to (like in big cities in North America) hook up, get drunk and make a fool of oneself, but rather to appreciate music. The fashion is also very hip. To me it seemed as if the real hipsters, before wannabe's took over the term hipsters, all started in Berlin. Combat boots, studs and shaved heads are basic wardrobe essentials to the girls in Berlin. Grudge is all the rage and sometimes shluppy is their chic.  As a preppy North American, it was a fun and interesting change to my usual outfits choices including polos, florals and high-waisted skirts. The final essential aspect which I would like to note which sets Berlin apart, is the financial situation. Berlin is a poor city, it has no industry except tourism, and as briefly mentioned before, Berliners hate tourism. Also to be said, Berliners don't want large capitalist enterprises moving in and ruining their city ('Fuck Media Spree' is a perfect example of this). It's almost as if Berlin is poor and it likes it like. At least I love Berlin like that, and I also enjoy 3euro bottles of wine!

Enjoy the future posts of pictures, outfits and stories!

- M