In her novel , Chloe Aridjis writes of the stark ‘mantra of Communist housing’ that rises up to the East outside Berlin’s Ring Bahn, which circles the inner city. Lacking the romanticism of Frankfurter Tor or Karl Marx Allee, the narrator describes the tower blocks ( in German) as ‘looming and vast…concrete edifices [that] overwhelmed the horizon.’
Berlin’s Eastern suburbs don’t have the gritty glamour of Paris’ riot-ridden ; nor are they dotted with the trendy neon clubber haunts and electric galleries that can be found around East London’s fringes. They’re often considered to add little or nothing to the city’s character. Irrelevant and detached, they are usually treated indifferently at best; a wrinkle of the nose and a withering pronouncement: ‘ ’ (‘nothing there’).
Marzahn-Hellersdorf is usually held up as the worst of these districts …
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