The other side of the park.

My romantic musings were slightly interupted by reality, however .........

Graefe-Kiez reveals its charms slowly. The other side of Görlitzer park, kitty corner from Wrangel-kiez and tucked behind Weiner Strasse, these few blocks are less familiar to me.

The central axis of Reichenberger Str, which points like an arrow ending, to the West, at the intersection between Skalitzer Strasse and Kottbuser Strasse. Is bound by Weiner Strasse (to the the North) and Paul Linke-Ufer and the canal to the south.

The streets at first appear indeterminate.

At first sight this is not an area with much life but I suspect that the charms of Mariannen Str, Manteufel Str, Lausitzer Str, Ohlauer Str, Forster Str, Liegnitzer St, and Glogauer Str, the seven intersections between Kottbusser Tor and Ratibor Str, all contain within them hidden treasures.

Last Wednesday I sat for a while in Intertank on Manteufel Strasse and (at an early hour) the place was deserted save for myself the barman and another patron, his friend.

He smiled apologetically for the empty bar but behind the counter he kept an impressive collection of vinyl and fetching out a disk played some old 70’s blues.

Another time, weaving my way home, too late and somewhat “tired and emotional” I found myself in the arms of an English translator.

Again, whether before or after, I know not, I found myself at Jail with Dorf’s photographer chatting with the English proprietor of a punk clothes shop round the corner.

Yesterday, en-route to laptop, I smoked with Hanno from Sofia and expressed, as best I could, in broken Dinglisch, how sad it made me to
contemplate leaving Wrangel-kiez.

Hanno, the proprietor of Sofia was in the middle of a long story about George Lucas and how, at a young age all he had wanted was to be a mechanic. His parents decided he must study and through their wealth and connections he found himself in the film industry – a mechanic still.

He is sitting with Felix and bitching, gently, about the film whores to the North.

Hanno, whose café I have visited almost every day for four months but who only tonight did I think to enquire of his name, bears a marked resemblance to Jack Nicholson. He smiles easily and his patrons feel warmly indulged by him.

Recounting my Wohnung hunting adventures to him, Hanno said, its always good to go away for a while, then come back.

Hell, it’s only the other side of the park.