Berlin: A Gem of A City

Being an artist, I was initially interested in studying abroad at Bard College Berlin because of the vast opportunities I would have to experience the art scene and culture here. Being able to be short trains ride away from museums and galleries is very exciting and I look forward to exploring the city on my own and with classes. I did not know much about Berlin before coming here aside from the reputation that it has as a city of being a, “new promised land for the international arts” (Hausdorf 8). The international scope of Berlin, which is discussed in Nicolas Hausdorf’s reading, “Superstructural Berlin”, is very apparent when walking through the streets of the city. There are many international restaurants and stores and it is visible in the representation of the city that other cultures have influenced the population. This mix of cultures and influence makes Berlin a very interesting city for art. In New York City, where rent is extremely high, being able to succeed as an independent working artist can be quite a challenge. On the other hand, Berlin serves as a realistic backdrop for German and international artists to be able to find their home in Berlin (Hausdorf 8). The affordability and accessibility to the Berlin art scene makes it a very appealing paradise like area for artists and dreamers. Hausdorf makes a compelling statement, “In combination with the city’s generally socially liberal nature and impressive existing art scene, it is these places that are attracting a crowd of international intellectuals disgusted with the deterioration of public discourse in their respective homes elsewhere in the West” (Hausdorf 9). Berlin is a city for escape and freedom. The colorful street art and vibrant nightlife are examples of this. People come to Berlin to experience new things in a city where art and self-representation are cherished and encouraged which makes it a welcoming city fro everyone, especially for younger adults and students. I knew that nightlife was a large part of the culture in Berlin from friends who have visited here and from some preliminary research that I had done before I arrived here. In the text, “Berlin: It’s Not All Sex, All the Time” by Katy Derbyshire, she states that, “club culture is a cultural asset that significantly enriches Berlin’s social, cultural and economic life” (Derbyshire 12). Club culture is a large aspect of the social vibe in Berlin and also a large part of the economic sphere. There are numerous amounts of unique clubs in Berlin that cater to different vibes and atmospheres that club goers can seek out and discover. An interesting aspect to the nightlife in Berlin is discovering hidden underground nightspots that are in fact sometimes literally under the ground. The city of Berlin is riddled with historical and artistic character that contributes to its lively and spirited culture. Berlin is a gem of a city and I cannot wait to explore more of the important historical sites and exciting current social opportunities.

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