#4: Another strike, student housing, slow internet
It wouldn't be Berlin news without some real estate news and be forewarned: The northern Ringbahn will be out of service for a week. Bus replacement service for you!
Be honest: You’ve dreamed of living here too.
Is this what the Germans call Altweibersommer, that brief reappearance of summer before seasonal depression sets in completely? Head out to your favorite beer garden or restaurant patio this wekeend before the weather and anti-vaxxers ruin everything.
Regardless of the season, 20 Percent Berlin will be here every Tuesday and Friday, as dependable as Klaus on the groundfloor leaving passive-aggressive notes about Mülltrennung (garbage sorting). And please share us like you do Klaus’ notes - though we’ll never make veiled threats of calling the Hausverwaltung.
Maurice & Andrew
The Berlin corona stats for September 10
Fully vaccinated: 65.9% (65.6% Tuesday)
New cases: 541 (858 Tuesday)
Total deaths: 3,602 (+5 over Tuesday)
🟡 7-day Covid-19 incidence: 84.7 (87.9 Tuesday)
🟢 7-day hospitalization incidence: 1.4 (1.7 Tuesday)
🟡 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 7.5% (7.5% Tuesday)
Source: Berlin’s corona information page
More strikes, this time hospitals
Care and service personnel at the Charité and Vivantes hospitals on Thursday began striking for higher wages and an agreement on emergency shifts. The strikes mean about 1,500 of the 9,000 beds in the 9 state-owned hospitals will be unoccupied for an indefinite period, delaying treatment, according to Tagesspiegel. Ver.di, the union behind the strikes, says emergency care will remain available.
In that other strike, the GDL train drivers union still hasn’t reached an agreement with Deutsche Bahn (DB). Enjoy the S-Bahn while you have it.
Speaking of the S-Bahn, the ring will be closed between the Westend and Gesundbrunnen stops from Monday, Sept. 13 to Monday, Sept. 20. Bus replacement service will be of course available and uncomfortable or, as the concept is known in German, Schienenersatzverkehr.
Pay less for slower internet
Starting in December, you can pay less if your internet provider doesn’t deliver the speeds promised, according to Berliner Zeitung. That is, if you can be bothered. Users have to test internet speeds 10 times on two different days and if 90 percent of the promised speed isn’t reached once in all 20 attempts, users can reduce payments by the percentage of speed missing. Wouldn’t it be easier for the agency (Bundesnetzagentur) that developed the solution - and also licenses internet providers - to just force companies to deliver on what they promise? The Bundesnetzagentur probably wants you to fax the results.
Student apartments, studios
Planners of a once-embattled piece of Spree-side real estate in Mitte Thursday presented plans for dorms for 250 students as well as commercial space for a restaurant and community projects, according to Tagesspiegel. The property is between the colorful Holzmarkt 25 development (photo above) and the BVG offices on Holzmarktstraße near Ostbahnhof. The Holzmarkt cooperative, which built Holzmarkt 25 on the site of the long-gone but legendary Bar 25 outdoor club, lost a court battle to control the plot, which is now being developed by Berlin-owned landlord WBM instead. The development has an 85-year lease from the site’s owners that limits it to community-, not profit-, oriented projects.
Longer trips to Hamburg
Deutsche Bahn Saturday will begin a €100 million track renovation between Berlin and Hamburg, delaying the approx. two-hour trip by 50 minutes as trains are re-routed. Since trains will have to share tracks with other routes, delays elsewhere will automatically lead to delays for the route. DB promises to have the work done by early December.
On this day …
… in 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall became unavoidable. Hungary opened its borders to tourists, meaning anyone who could travel to the Eastern Bloc country could also make their way into western Europe. The decision created a route for East Germans to easily migrate west and forced East German officials to take a similar decision about a month later.
Culture is back! The 10th Berlin Art Week kicks off next Wednesday with citywide openings, tours, talks, movies and performances. Here’s all the info in English.
Have a nice weekend!