#143: Yes to A100 extension, no more masks, billions in investments
Plus where you can get free art for your apartment/house/Wannsee villa
Dear 20 Percent!
Every now and then on expat forums someone posts about how, after furnishing their new apartment with Ikea furniture, they’d like some local art and does anyone know anywhere to buy cheap art from locals. And today I’d like to go one better: You can get good art for free in Berlin.
As long as you promise to bring it back and have a library card.
You can select from about 1,900 works at either the Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek in Kreuzberg, the Ingeborg-Drewitz library in Steglitz or the Neuen Berliner Kunstverein (NBK), though you’ll need to cough up a small insurance premium for loans from the NBK. You can check out up to 10 prints or oil paintings, or 5 photographs or sculptures for up to 3 months. If no one wants them, you can even extend your loan.
A library card costs just €10 and, if you follow the link to the Artothek, there’s a menu at the bottom with even more libraries and galleries that loan art!
So there’s no excuse for those bare walls.
Have a good week!
If you’d like to support local
artists journalists too, drop us a few euros over on our Patreon. We appreciate it and read your names out loud every day over a special Patreon shrine (ok, not really because: creepy).
Masks to become voluntary next month
Masks in public transport as well as in Deutsche Bahn trains will no longer be required beginning Feb. 2 as corona becomes just another illness that plagues humans, like the cold, various flus and greed. Berlin made the decision Tuesday for our city-state and German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach decided Friday for our country.
Clinging onto a bad idea
Federal politicians from the middle-left SPD want to push forward with plans to extend the A100 Stadtautobahn north from Treptow up to Prenzlauer Berg even though their local party colleagues are against the idea, according to the Tagesspiegel, because they, like most of us, prefer a less car-centric future. Berlin’s three-way coalition had hoped to stop the 17th extension of the highway beyond the current construction in Treptow of the 16th extension but the party has now linked up with other parties further to their right to move forward with decades-old planning. Although engineers have now been tasked with planning the 17th extension, which would string it across the Spree and then through a tunnel near Ostkreuz before it careens to Landsberger Allee, the paper says Germany’s left-leaning coalition government could still come to their senses and halt it.
Rioting in Mitte, blocking traffic in Wilmersdorf
Maybe we should replace our corona stats box with some form of climate protest box — masked activists protesting the razing of a western German village (Lützerath) to make way for open pit coal mining rioted down Oranienburger Straße in Mitte early Friday, setting trash cans ablaze, before moving on to Hackescher Markt, where they broke sizable shop windows (think: Apple), according to the Morgenpost. Elsewhere, Last Generation activists were met with angry drivers once more when they tried to block traffic on the A100 in Wilmersdorf and were prevented from doing so in Templhof by the police. They’re trying to raise awareness of the ongoing climate catastrophe.
National capital, startup capital
Our fair metropolis remains Germany’s startup capital with local startups reeling in €4.9 billion in venture capital last year, more than half the €10.5 billion investors coughed up for ventures in 2021 before geopolitical uncertainty, according to consultancy EY. The Berlin startup association also said 501 startups were launched here last year, down from 702 in 2021.
The ongoing extension of the A100 highway (that massive construction site you can see from the Ringbahn in Treptow) is the most expensive road ever built in Germany at €218,000 per meter. If they decide to extend it to Prenzlauer Berg, expect the forecast costs to climb from €531 million to well over €1 billion, according to RBB24. Parts of the planned tunnel under Ostkreuz were included in that station’s renovation. The first portion of the A100 opened in 1958 in southern Berlin.