Vintage Dance moves at a Bad Taste Party Photo: Erin Porter
I am not a cool kid in Berlin. Never was. And now I am a mom – the ultimate in uncool.
The truth is, I never even tried to get into Berghain (reportedly the coolest club in the world with an infamous door policy and no camera rule). I certainty wouldn’t make it in. Even though Berlin is one of club capitals of the world, I don’t feel guilty that I never partook.
Not going to clubs did not prevent me from staying up so I late I saw more sunrises in a year than the rest of my life; it didn’t stop me from dancing my way through the city’s bazillion festivals; and it won’t stop me from partying wherever I find myself. I’ve never needed a club to have a good time. I much prefer to forgo the long lines, critique at the door and expensive entry and despite the city’s reputation, there are plenty of low key dance spots in Berlin where you can avoid the stress and just dance. Continue reading →
My first trip to Hamburg’s famous Reeperbahn was a bit of shock. I think I can more accurately call it culture shock now though, as I look back at my reaction to the “sinful mile”. Having only been in Hamburg for a few days, after spending the summer in Canada and living the previous two years in Switzerland, the large German city certainly took some getting used to. Specifically the Reeperbahn, with its boldly lit sex shops and strip clubs, mixed in with typical touristy pubs, theaters, and a cop shop; at first glance it was all both amusing, but also confusing. Amusing were the map wielding, walking-shoe adorned tourists, departing from their musical matinee, gasping at the sight of shop windows decked out with ball-gagging manikins. Confusing were the young women lining the side street across from the police station, each placed perfectly six feet from each other, dressed in hot pink and sporting fanny-packs. “Promo girls?” I asked my husband, assuming they were part of some street marketing team. “Not quite” he replied. No, they weren’t in fact selling any products, they were selling themselves. “Hookers” he explained, “sorry, prostitutes.”
I would say I learned the hard way, that attitudes regarding alcohol are quite different in Germany than in Canada. As a twenty-something living in Düsseldorf, (home to the world’s longest bar top if all were placed one after the other, as the legend goes) I very much enjoyed the nightlife. It wasn’t the easiest adjustment however, from Canadian clubs and bars to European-style discos and pubs. Where I am from all local watering holes, nightclubs, restaurants etc., must close by 2:00 am, by law. So my first night out on the town in Düsseldorf’s pub-filled Altstadt, I was not prepared for the long night ahead of me. I was caught up in the dancing and cheering, the Ballerman-style music, and in the sea of decadent dark Altbier. Every now and again I would stop and ponder though, how amazing it was that it wasn’t yet 2:00 am. Really though, 2:00 am had come and gone, and by the time the chairs were being put up on the tables, the sun was out. Lesson learned.