What happens if you let the trendy districts behind? Leave the hipster stronghold Neukölln with their burgeoning bars behind and forget even about Kreuzberg, dominated these days by refugees and cops and packed by many tourists all the time.

Then you end up at some point in absolutely not trendy districts, of course. Approximately in Schweineöde, where very slowly something starts to happen, or in Lichtenberg. If you like Asian food I´m sure you have been there, because the largest wholesaler of Asian specialties is Dong Xuan Center. Even trucks from Poland are coming in very early in the morning, because nowhere you can get coriander so fresh, so unusual veggies and hot chiles. My Paradise!

Unfortunately, I was somewhat reckless at the last visit, after a fairly long hike in sweltering heat passing industrial areas. No bars, no hipsters, without any shadow. Because it was Tuesday. When we arrived at the site all three vast halls were unfortunately closed, the parking lot completely empty. Only the restaurant was open. We were the only guests who spoke no Vietnamese. And when we ordered some chicken we were warned. I just did not understand why, but then, when the pile of minced chicken was sitting on the table I got it. It had absolutely nothing to do with KFC or Chicken Kebab. But see for yourself:

Photo: Carlotta Sennato

A bit weird, because you could see what the ax had made out of the formerly hopefully happy chicken. Since everything was honest, very direct. You eat a chicken, and it´s pretty clear it was previously killed. No camouflage, not breaded, not even bread in which the chicken flesh is hidden.

The cold beer and hot chili saved me, but my companion did not bring down a bite. She ordered vegetables, and the service was mortally offended when we did not finish all of the food. I hope I can still come back again.

In order to digest the whole thing, we kept moving towards Avenue of the cosmonauts. I love this street name, why no one in the west got this idea? Astronauts Avenue wouldn´t be bad, but of course not nearly as poetic. To reach there, we had to pass at the Protestant Queen Elizabeth Hospital Herzberge. An absolutely idyllic resort, and so pragmatic! The cemetery is located directly on the opposite, short paths are guaranteed. There are no illusions, it is very clear where all this leads to. The Germans are very practical.

But at least there are also sculptures, art at the hospital, so to speak. Lots of very unexpected encounters, and pretty green in Marzahn!

Photo: Carlotta Sennato

Now we slowly came to the Plattenbau ghetto, and I remembered Tacheles. The exile after the violent expulsion from the tourist ghetto in Oranienburger in Mitte was just around the corner! We started to search, walking along the tram in direction Springpfuhl, and were looking for Alte Börse Marzahn. It sounded simple, the address was clear. But first we wandered around in a huge family house paradise. Or rather, in a nascent emergence of a family house paradise. Some ugly, already finished blocks between mud and dust, where next door even more blocks arise and in the next few years the construction sites will have no end.

Finally, we found the terrain, hidden behind the whole mess. Idyllic, renovated, cobblestones in the yard. Somewhere behind some of the artists of Tacheles, who have found shelter in the much less fancy barracks. In between, some already well-known art works show a completely different charm in the green Marzahn.

This also illustrates to the program, rather aiming at the neighbours. Football and Tatort publicly shown on big screens, nothing why one would necessarily have to come here. It will still take some time until Marzahn is getting hip. And maybe that’s a good thing.

The Platte calls
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