Saturday, March 29, 2014

Berlin nightlife in pictures

I never get tired of reading first hand accounts of life in Berlin during the Cold War.

But the only thing shocking or revelatory about these photos is how ordinary they all look.  Plus or minus a hairdo or two, just about any of them could have been taken in any year from the 1970's until today.  I did a double take on the B/W photo from the 1992 Love Parade, which I would have pegged for something from 1975 without a second thought.  You can't blame the author/collator Stefanie Seidl for false advertising though -- she says in the accompanying interview that the photos weren't about capturing the biggest celebs but about "conveying an authentic atmosphere".  There's a powerful take home message in there.  Maybe you need to know the right people or the super secret way to dress to get into the most prestigious clubs, but no matter where you end up partying in the end, the essential, authentic Berlin is everywhere, you can find it without hardly trying.  You can't say that about New York, Paris, or just about anywhere else.

Somehow this article about repetition in music feels appropriate to be paired with a story about the nightlife in Berlin.  Read the whole thing, but in particular, I've experienced "semantic satiation" a number of times and never knew (but should have assumed) that it was a real, scientifically studied effect.  

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