If you come to and stay in Berlin for more than two minutes you will be blitzkrieg’d with the question “Why Berlin?” almost daily. To combat this I usually tout the adage “The same reason as everyone else,” that couldn’t be any closer to the truth – but I’ve complied a list of responses I’ve spat out or forgot to mention otherwise.
1. I wanted to move to Europe – Berlin is an international city that is central in Europe and cheap enough to survive.
2. I like the history of an ongoing artistic renaissance. There are more artists in Berlin than businessmen.
3. I’ve been doing a lot of WWII and Black European History research and I am developing work in regards to minority diaspora.
4. I like the cold, hard architecture.
5. There are a lot of people just like me back home on the east coast – I have a unique edge here.
6. I wanted to expand my artistic experience and broaden my market.
7. All I did in the USA was work – I did not live my life. I wanted to focus on being an artist and enjoy my life more.
8. I’m addicted to Germans.
9. I have a lot of sociopolitical issues with the US…I wanted to see how the other half lives.
10. I’m an artist.
11. I was tired of being ostracized, oppressed and discriminated against by my own people – I took a chance at the opposite.
12. I wanted to live in a place where I was not a part of the majority minority.
13. Back home I was too popular. I wanted to escape to a place of autonomy.
14a. The beginning of the demise of my long-term relationship began in Europe – I wanted to start off where I ended it all.
14b. I thought that I would find my proverbial Knight in Shining Armor in Europe, with an accent.
15. I like that wine and beer are cheaper than water, but still people are much more dignified about drinking.
16. After my first visit, I could not imagine living in a place where I cannot drink publicly.
17. The Berlin Winter is so dark and lonely – it is for me the best time and mood for me to write.
18. I needed to have the not so fabled sexual evolution that so many people come to Berlin to experience.
19. I wanted to release myself from all of the other gay-related stigmas that are rampant in the USA.
20. I wanted to wear whatever I wanted, so be it if I look like a smacked ass – and not be yelled at by strangers.
21. In Berlin, everyone goes to see art, not just the higher and lower end of the class divide – culture is important here.
22. The political system eludes me.
23. (Initially) I thought Berlin was a world-class city, gentrification has since destroyed that dream.
24. You can buy a month’s worth of groceries for about 30 Euro.
25. The transportation system is amazing (though much less affordable than it was in 2009). Nonetheless it is a bike city.
26. Obesity is something that really bothers me in America – it is not such a common and vivid issue in Europe.
27. Socialism allows a mellower social playing field. Materialism and superficiality are not welcome in Berlin.
28. People are tough and mean, like back home in Philly. But it doesn’t smell as bad here. I love to hate and hate to love it here.
29. There’s just something about Germans. They are impossible and alluring and so meticulous about sex.
30. At my last job two people that I was very close to died. It was impossible to continue on without them.
31. I was burnt out from the 3 houses, the husband, the cat/dog, the 3 jobs, trying to finish my degree. I almost died.
32. There is much more concern about global issues rather than global domination (i.e. recycling, public health, urban planning).
33. Berlin is the place where Christopher Isherwood got most of his inspiration.
34. I am inspired every single day. All I need to do is walk outside. The city is vast and beautiful and strange.
35. With Berlin, it was love at first sight.