new year’s in berlin

new year’s in berlin

i’ve been a few places on new year’s
eve and nothing beats berlin in terms of individual use of pyrotechnics. i use to associate fireworks with a radio and tv simulcast of corny, melodramatic music. walking over to the fdr drive with droves of humanity. personal (illegal in nyc) firework displays were reserved for members of organized crime and their acquaintances.

the first time i was in berlin for new years, it was just scary. if i had any personal memories of armed conflicts, i’m sure i would have gone into post-traumatic shock or something. people were shooting rockets at each other from one side of the street to the other. even with the constant ducking reflex, i still managed to have the best new year’s ever, evidenced by the picture tacked above my desk of us sitting on a swing at some club, bottle of champagne in hand.

last year, new year’s was also scary but it was mostly the bizarre people. while trying to devise an exit strategy, about as successfully as W., we realized that we could
probably see the fireworks from our own apartment,
sans the scary people, but it was too late.

this year, when the fireworks started, it was all good. no stress, just wonder and awe about the amalgamated cost of each sparkle shimmer and boom. all good until i opened the window. bad move. simultaneously my lungs filled with smoke and the phone rang. the callers thought the same thing as i did: where the hell are you? baghdad? someone with serious neuromotor damage was shooting off rockets from graefestr. nothing went straight up into the air. the building across the street kept getting hit, sparks falling into folks’ balconies and setting off car alarms, the clueless lone bird trying to escape from the roof.

nothing like a good adrenaline rush to start off the new year. at least nothing flew into our window.

my big goal for 05 was tokyo. it started out as a crazy idea but ended up falling into place. for a change, none of my goals for 06 have anything to do with travelling but hopefully they will eventually fall into place.

basically i’ll be here. if you will be coming through berlin in 2006, take a look at what’s up and coming.


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