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No One Is Happier About Berlin Being 'Over' Than Berlin

North American media have proclaimed the city is no longer the apogee of cool, and that's just fine.
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Reuters

The Berlin backlash had to happen sooner or later. No city could be so consistently lauded to the skies for its creative edge, elegant shabbiness, and 24-hour nightlife without eventually coming down with a hard bump. And the bump does seem to have arrived. Last month, a Rolling Stone piece charted Berlin nightclub Berghain’s fall from grace, taking it as a lodestone reflecting its host city’s wider trajectory. Then a New York Times article about Berlin’s putative role as a proxy Brooklyn led Gawker to run a piece headlined, "Berlin is Over: What’s Next?"

A European city's fortunes are not made and broken on the trend pages of the North American media, of course. What is interesting is that these U.S. pieces have been seized upon enthusiastically by the German press. Süddeutsche Zeitung, located in Berlin's rival city of Munich, almost cheerily noted the international hype bubble being burst in this piece, while Berliner Zeitung archly intensified Gawker's headline to "Berlin is over: finally and irrevocably." Berlin daily Tagesspiegel has also chimed in, wisely wondering whether "a city that wants to grow economically can permanently preserve the charm of the unfinished and anarchic." Across the board, claims that Berlin is waning as the apogee of cool have been greeted not with dismay, but with glee.