#235: Where the wildcats are, Görli fence maybe, cannabis rules, dodgy landlord
Our X-mas party is on December 16
Hey 20 Percent!
I’m loving this weather. Snow. Cold. Fog. The perfect accompaniment to seasonal depression. It’s like a higher being is telling you it’s fine to stay bundled up on the couch with a pumpkin spice something.
But if you do have to wander out in this weather (like to drink a pumpkin spice Glühwein at a Christmas market) I have one piece of advice — long underwear. I discovered them 15 years ago and it’s been the biggest upgrade to my adult life, even surpassing the smartphone.
The last really severe winter in Berlin was, I think, 2008. It snowed and snowed and never really thawed. At the time it was unclear who was responsible for clearing sidewalks so the relentless weather and lazy landlords made the sidewalks more difficult to navigate than Mount Everest.
Since Berlin was still plowing the streets (the almighty automobile!), people took to walking on neighborhood streets rather than risking a sidewalk — it often looked like the zombie apocalypse had arrived with unstable people carefully traversing ice-slick cobbles.
You know what this weather is also perfect for? Our annual office Christmas party on Saturday, December 16 — y’all are invited. We’ll start with a comedy news quiz panel show hosted by me at 9.30pm at Comedy Cafe Berlin and follow with drinks in their bar — Patreons and paid subscribers get their first drink on us! Official ticket link.
The show is €10 but feel free to just join us afterward in the bar if you don’t feel like laughing about the news.
Have a good, warm weekend!
PS: It’s not too late to donate on our Patreon or become a paid subscriber to get that free first drink.
Court slaps dubious landlord who earned it
The lengths (already-wealthy) landlords will go to to screw us out of a few extra ducats is breathtaking but should also be criminal. A court Monday halved the €830/month rent of someone in a building managed by Blaczko GmbH and ordered a €5,000 refund because the company was illegally alleging one room in the flat was being used commercially — it wasn’t, according to taz. Commercial real estate isn’t protected by rent caps so Blaczko has been forcing tenants to accept partial commercial leases (with higher rents) without demanding any proof from renters that they’ll use the space for, say, running a crooked real estate empire. A group is working to unite Blaczko renters and at least 10 additional renters want to challenge the fraudulent leases in court. Shout out to All About Berlin for highlighting this on their Twitter/X.
European wildcats romp back to Brandenburg
If you find a tabby kitten while on a walk in nearby Brandenburg, by all means make a TikTok/Reel but don’t take it home to foster — it just might be a European wildcat, a genetic relative of the furry beasts so many of us have at home. The cat is once again native to Brandenburg after being hunted into extinction in the 19th century. The Brandenburg environment ministry says it’s got genetic proof of at least nine different Felis silvestris, as the felines are officially known, in the leafy state surrounding our city-state. The cats are also a cousin to the African wildcat, which is the predecessor to current housecats. To be fair, the kitten could also be a hybrid — European wildcats also breed with housecats in a pairing that seems rife for a Disney adaptation (Beauty and the Brandenburg, anyone?).
Money for a Görli fence Kreuzberg doesn’t want
Berlin officials Thursday approved €3.5 million in next year’s budget to build a fence around Görlitzer Park but Berlin will now have to battle with Kreuzberg for the right to build the fence — Kreuzberg is officially responsible and isn’t interested, according to taz. The fence would allow officials to close the park at night. The idea emerged from a September conference aimed at increasing security at Leopoldplatz in Wedding and Görlitzer Park, known internationally as an open-air narcotics market. An additional €2 million was set aside to finance security guards as well as to renovate and improve lighting in the park. Officials will also fund more social workers and an additional indoor space where addicts can use their drugs, though it’s unclear if it will be in Görli or at Leopoldplatz.
Looser cannabis rules
According to Green party health spokesperson, Kirsten Kappert-Gonther, under the government’s expected cannabis liberalisation next year people will be allowed to possess up to 50g of dried home-grown weed, up from 25g as previously planned. Possession will be seen as a crime from 30g in a public setting or 60g in a private setting. Cannabis consumption will remain verboten at distances under 100m from schools and daycare centres, down from 200m.
About 20,700 households in southern Berlin and Brandenburg received either noise-dampening upgrades to their houses or cash to offset the Lärm created by the opening of BER, which was already an airport but I guess it’s busier now. About 13,150 houses received upgrades while just under 7,600 received cash equal to one-third the value of their property, according to rbb. About 26,500 houses are affected by the airport, though 3,900 didn’t seek any damages — and 1,100 had their applications for damages rejected because experts didn’t find any negative impact.
Some weekend event picks curated by our partner newsletter, The Next Day Berlin:
Alex From Tokyo presents Japan Vibrations
Friday, 01.12, 11:59 pm. OHM, Köpenicker Str. 7, Kreuzberg.
🎧 Alex from Tokyo presents 'Japan Vibrations,' a deep dive into Japan's electronic dance music scene from the '80s to the '90s. The night also features the Djs Katsuya Sano, Peachonfuse, Stereociti, and Yuzo Iwata on the decks. #japanvibes #house
African Food Festival
Sat-Sun, 02-03.12, 12-8 pm. Kühlhaus Berlin, Luckenwalder Str. 3, Kreuzberg. Tickets: €5.
50+ emerging talents showcase fashion, art and more. Highlights include Ibra Wane's photo exhibit “Vanilla Ice Cream” and an African Food Court offering authentic dishes and unique beverages. DJs play Afrobeats, Amapiano and more.
Sunday, 03.12, 8 pm. Privatclub, Skalitzer Str. 85-86, Kreuzberg. Tickets: €22.40.
ISAN, is a UK electronic duo, initially named Integrated Services Analogue Network (ISAN) to highlight their love for analog synthesizers. Navigating the aural autobahn since 1996, they possess a profound grasp of ambiance and melody, infusing their music with rich texture and emotion. Catching them live is a rare treat. 🎧 Demonstration Tapes #experimental #electronic #slow #synths
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