Beyond Berlin: London and other transplants

Beyond Berlin: London and other transplants

Brick Lane

This past week, I visited my good friend D in London who, like me, is an American transplant*. We have similar trajectories and political ponderings, though his roots lie far from mine in the American Deep South (here’s a beautiful piece he wrote about his home in Mississippi). D now lives in East London, where the corner store owner greets you in an upbeat banter and the sign to a ‘Carolina…

View On WordPress

World Cup Fever: How malleable is German identity?

World Cup Fever: How malleable is German identity?

Germany World Cup

In 2006 Germany hosted the World Cup; it also organized a social-marketing campaign for the sole purpose of revamping and re-solidifying patriotism. These things, i.e. national pride, rarely happen organically, particularly for countries with strong regional identities and histories of division. The goal of the campaign: the encouragement of colors-wearing, flag-toting, ‘Schland’-cheering…

View On WordPress

Review: Berlin needs you (but why?)

Review: Berlin needs you (but why?)


©Barbara Dietl

Why is immigration important? The debate takes many angles. There’s the demographic argument, that developed countries with low birth rates and aging populations need bodies to maintain the replacement rate. There’s the globalization take, that the movement of people in all forms is increasingly inevitable and contributes to global competitiveness and 21st century skills. The moral…

View On WordPress

and I say “and them” and mean
how in “the sticks” where I lived, the reservation, the mail-
boxes were like maypoles at the end of the Earth I mean
beginning of the dirt road that leads to the home that
is no longer there, but I rest my cheek against the cool linoleum
of my memory whenever Canal Street is too thick
or the subway slams into the two men fighting in front of me

15 notes

Interview: the Klezmer Gentiles

Interview: the Klezmer Gentiles

Soli_Photo 8

An interview is never one-sided – in fact, it is a constructive conversation. I am as much a part of this piece and the artist who answered my questions. Without the contributions of the other, individual statements would hold little significance. So thanks, Soli, for letting me share our conversation. 

International artists in Berlin are one category of newcomers who, although shaping the…

View On WordPress

Review: Seeing Berlin Through The Homeless

Review: Seeing Berlin Through The Homeless



In Berlin they are especially visible on the Bahn. They wait for the subway doors to close before they address the car with a rehearsed speech. Excuse the interruption, I am one of Berlin’s annoying homeless people… it usually begins, as they peddle newspapers and scanthe crowd for an outstretched hand holding change or food. The majority of us keep our hands tucked away or firmly gripping our…

View On WordPress

I think this obsession we have in our culture with shaving — taking away body hair on men and women — I think it’s really dangerous, it’s like wanting to infantilize yourself and wanting to make something sexy that is not adult, it’s more prepubescent, and I think that’s really weird and dangerous, don’t you?
Alan Cumming speaking to Fresh Air about Cabaret, sexuality, and body hair (via nprfreshair)

1,680 notes

With violence and discontent back on the rise, Rio’s authorities appear to be returning to old strategies, using military force against favela dwellers. In the context of the World Cup, the desire to keep the situation under tight control – and keep visitors safe – seems to be superseding the city’s long-term goal of integrating the favelas with the city proper.

5 notes

Rave: the California Breakfast Slam Effect

Rave: the California Breakfast Slam Effect


The relationship between food and identity, or simply food and a sense of belonging, is well-known to those of us who have sought out Hass avocados or Toll House chocolate chips (often in vain) in places beyond the United States. For me, there is something ultimately gratifying, even safe, about opening that jar of Adam’s peanut butter or letting the smell of buttermilk biscuits fill my Berlin…

View On WordPress

Now that I’ve finished, I feel a void. What saved me was poetry, because I always wrote poetry. I think that poetry saves whoever writes it and saves whoever reads it.

83 notes