You have to know, gentrification is a big thing in Berlin. There are some areas where the long-established inhabitants get replaced by wealthy newcomers, who are able and willing to pay higher rentals for a good located apartment. The results are higher prices and a changing vibe. The modification of my hood Prenzlauer Berg the past twenty years is one of the best examples.
Even in my own house it’s noticeable. My neighbour has an aparment with exactly the same size as mine, but he moved in four years earlier then me and pays more than 100 Euros less per month. That’s crazy. A while ago I talked to a guy, who lives in our house since 15 years. It’s better that I have no idea about his monthly rental. I’m pretty sure it’s half of mine.
Whilst gentrification in Prenzlauer Berg is nearly accomplished, it’s still rumbling in Neukölln. Today I have been to one of these good old and still existing corner bars in Reuterkiez. Sandmann Bar at the beginning of Reuterstraße, opened more than 30 years ago, is still an authentic one: a neon sign above the door in an old German font, dark brown wooden furnishings, dry yellow plants, stickers everywhere (Nazis raus) and such a heavy cigarette fog, that it’s a bit hard to find the bar when you enter. Once you found it, you can choose between five different kinds of tapbeer, including Guiness. The crowd is mixed. There are old guys playing cards, escaping from their wifes as well as young guys playing pool and making new friends.
Even though I enjoyed the athmosphere – for the sake of my lungs I changed the bar after one beer. Someone told me afterwards, Sandmann is famous for Jazz Jam Sessions on Mondays. I’ll check it out.