#11: Cycle deaths, Berghain, Mauerpark, Gorillas
And no, we won't have a functioning government for months.
A little over a week after the super-election, most of the main parties (with the exception of those pariahs, theAfD) are engaging in “exploratory discussions” or even “pre-exploratory discussions” with each other about who should team up with whom in a possible government coalition. The CDU’s Armin Laschet (who delivered the worst results in that party’s history) continues to fantasize about leading a “Jamaica” government with Die Grünen and FDP. Both of the smaller parties that in fact aren’t that small any more are politely going along with the talks as if Laschet had a real chance. A sad spectacle, indeed - and obviously just a tactic to strengthen their positions in negotiations with election winner Olaf Scholz of the centre-left SPD. It will be months before we see anything resembling a government. Three-party coalitions are a novelty in “stable” Germany. But before you start mumbling (as have some commentators) about Italian conditions: I’m willing to put real money on a Chancellor Scholz and an SPD-Green-FDP alliance by Christmas.
Talks for Berlin’s government aren’t much further. Everybody’s spoken to everybody but it’s unclear if we’ll get a continuation of Die Linke, Die Grüne and SPD (red-red-green) or a conservative-leaning SPD, CDU, FDP city government, or even an SPD, FPD, Die Grüne one.
Scroll on for the Berlin news - and stuff to do!
Berlin corona stats for Tuesday, October 5
Fully vaccinated: 64.5% (64.2% Friday)
New cases in one day: 659 (664 Friday)
Total deaths: 3,631 (+4 over Friday)
🟡 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,000): 76.6 (74.4 Friday)
🟢 7-day hospitalization incidence (also per 100,000): 1.4 (1.3 Friday)
🟡 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 8.1% (8.8% Friday)
Source: Berlin’s corona information page
Two more cyclists die on the streets of Berlin
It’s the same tragic story on repeat: On Friday a 29-year-old woman was killed by a truck turning right at an intersection in Wedding. Last Wednesday, an 86-year-old man died after a bike accident in Buch. Nine cyclists have died in traffic in the city this year - five of them killed by trucks turning right. All you bikers: if there’s a giant truck turning right and you suspect the driver can’t see you, just stop and let it pass!
Power outage in P’Berg
Around 15,000 households in northern Prenzlauer Berg were without electricity for most of Saturday morning. Police says a fire on the Dänenstraße footbridge across the Ringbahn tracks damaged power cables. The Kripo, or crime squad, is investigating for possible arson.
Another Gorillas strike
How good can a company that makes itself look this bad be? Not only are competitors popping up left and right, but now workers at several of the 10-minute grocery delivery service’s Berlin warehouses are striking again. The Gorillas Workers Collective tweeted a list of demands put forth by employees at the Gesundbrunnen warehouse.
And workers at the Bergmannkiez warehouse claim two Gorillas executives disguised as delivery riders tried to strike up conversations with them in an effort to record incriminating statements. Gorillas management has refused to talk to the press about the strike.
Crime in Mauerpark
According to an enquiry by the Berlin parliament, Mauerpark became less safe during the pandemic as young Berliners flocked there at night for lack of anywhere else to go. Between July 1 and August 31, police responded to 173 calls and emergency services workers 35 calls in the scrappy park between Prenzlauer Berg and Wedding. The most common crimes were minor theft (51), assault (37, including 8 serious cases) and robbery (14). There were 5 sexual offenses. Local politicians say there’s no point shutting the park at night - since the problems would just shift elsewhere. Some have suggested a traffic light system to alert the cops to the presence of “problematic groups”. Our suggestion: a few streetlights in the pitch black park could make the former Berlin Wall death strip feel a little safer.
The high temple of techno has survived corona. Berghain’s first Klubnacht since March 2020 lasted from late Saturday through Monday morning, with long-time residents Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann and others on the decks. There were reports of seven-hour queues. On top of its famously elusive door policy, Berghain has slapped a strict 2G corona regimen (only vaxxed or recovered people get in). Guests must register for their own digital “Berghain Pass”. Inside: no masks, no distancing. Here’s all the info in English- and a cute video about their corona rules. For now, the venue is scheduling one Klubnacht per week.
Cold War art!
Hey you, culture-starved Berliner: Go see some art! To mark 30 years since the demise of the Soviet Union, the Gropius Bau is hosting a nice show of Soviet and American art from three decades: The Cool and the Cold. Painting in the USA and the USSR 1960–1990. 24 September 2021 to 9 January 2022.
Factoid: How Neukölln got its name
The town of Rixdorf - just outside of Berlin at the time - had such a bad reputation as a crime-infested dump and place of ill repute back in 1912, that local authorities went for a total re-brand with a name that harked back to Cölln, one of the twin settlements that formed medieval Berlin. It's debatable whether the new name helped.
Finally, don’t forget: the Female Filmmaker’s Festival kicks off tomorrow!
See you Friday.