Monday, June 21, 2010

Resilient Color

Good evening, cyberspace! I am not dead, I have not vanished into the ether; I spirited away, about a month ago, to Berlin, where I'd never been and where I speak the language only haltingly. I'm living here with my mostly-wonderful boyfriend Yony. It's been a mild but pleasant June here. Not every moment has been a bowl of peaches, but I have gotten to engage in a whole spectrum of high and low culture-type activities, from performance art at the squat bar to getting high at the beach at Wansee, a picturesque lake just southwest of Berlin where the Nazis convened to plan the Final Solution. I've partied and paraded and danced until dawn many nights--at this advanced stage of hedonism I'll even dance to techno music.

I'll spare you lengthy details of Berlin life. Of the various literary caps I'm willing to try on, Travel Writer is not one of them, and I still feel very much a traveler here. I've yet to develop any of the stubborn pride of theexpatriate, though I've witnessed some of these specimens at close range; they gather for weekly dinners at an English-language bookstore in Kreuzberg, and even after years or decades in Berlin are still very much the Americans or English that they've always been. "He can order a beer," laughed one of them, teasing a friend who's been slow to pick up the language even after several years here. Nor do I need to patronize my readers with primers on the European Lifestyle. Yes, everyone drinks and smokes, and virtually everyone is wild about football, though these superficialities don't yield any real human insight; I can't much speak on the national character, the fact being that I'm not yet particularly acquainted with anyone here other than a couple of fellow expats. I've not made any friends, though I've spent meant hours reclining in public parks, perfecting my come-befriend-me look, and since Yony has been back in the states for the last two weeks I've been flying more or less solo.

But photographs are much more immediately gratifying! I've taken a few, and will share them here with some identifying markers. A few tone-setters, filed under "City Life":

A selection from last weekend's Christopher Street Day parade, Berlin's major pride march--I read today that queer American intellectual Judith Butler rejected a "civil courage" prize offered her at the march, decrying the event as overly commercialized; I won't argue with her basic premise, but commercialization doesn't seem to have overly dampened the resilient human color:

And some general summery living:

I'd promise more frequent posts, but publishing on my obscure blog is not, honestly, at the very top of my list these days. While this site has been long-dormant, I do have a new issue out of Secret Beach, the paper-and-ink edition. You can order one from me, or if you're overly computer-minded you can read it as a pdf (lame):

Hope everyone is well!

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