Berlin vs. New York Round IV

4 October 2007

Why do people live in New York ? There is no relationship between them. Except for an inner electricity which results from the simple fact of their being crowded together. A magical sensation of contiguity and attraction for an artificial centrality. This is what makes it a self-attracting universe, which there is no reason to leave. There is no human reason to be here, except for the sheer ecstasy of being crowded together.

Jean Baudrillard, America 1989

I moved back to Berlin.

I don't know what it is about New York, but it drives me slowly insane. My visits back there over the years have been enjoyable and I figured I should go there to find some new destiny. After 9 months I get worn down by the arrogance and the noise and especially the high rents and food prices. Worn down by always chasing money to fill somebody else's pocket.

Most everybody in New York is trying to get somewhere. That's the point of The City : you go there to make it. So if you aren't Donald Trump, you still haven't made it and you still have to hustle. Everybody is hustling all the time. It rubs off on everyone. I figured it would do me good to get back in the game, but as soon as I got there I didn't feel like playing.

It has to be said that New York and Los Angeles are at the center of the world, even if we find the idea both exciting and disenchanting. We (Europeans) are a desperately long way behind the stupidity and the mutational character, the naive extravagence and the social, racial, moral, morphological, and architectural excentricity of their society. - JB, America

He also says that the Europeans will always be Bourgeoisie. Damned straight, that's why the pastries are so much better here. America is advanced like Derivitaves. Their moral value system is also strangely abstracted in the same way. Perhaps Bush believes that his account will eventually show a Moral Profit if we would only give him a little time, yes the moral hedge fund is down at the moment but ...

I'm back in my old apartment in Berlin now, right off of the canal with the street market and the swans. As soon as I got here I felt more relaxed than I have in months. My ears have finally stopped ringing (somebody needs to take a big bottle of WD-40 to the subway in Union Square) and my meditation feels like I'm making progress again rather than just attempting to keep myself out of the loony bin. I distinctly feel like I'm home.

  1. 1 Nadine says...


    I was carefully reading what you were writing about Kuduru and your meeting with Calyx…I am organising an exhibition on Kuduru and Luanda and I would like to contact this guy, could you give me a hint were I could find him.

    Here is the page were you were writing about him. I adore that music, and would like to have contact to people to share opinions and some news…

    Thanks a lot, best for you


  2. 2 says...

    yo, sent you some info.

    I was just watching a bunch of amazing kuduro videos on youtube. they are in my player at the bottom of this page. check the one legged guy on top of the car !

    I like this genre of african video: just people dancing anywhere and everywhere and then edit all the best stuff together.

    its very break dancing / capoeira.

  3. 3 Chrisanthi Veloudakis Greece says...

    I hope you see this..the last time we saw each other was when i was eating breakfast at Eastman's cafeteria..a looong time may not remember me..but i do!You are one of the few people that stayed with me in my mind after i left Rotchester.I always wanted to contact you..but i didn't know how..

  4. 4 andrew says...


    i was looking for a comparison of berlin with another city as I was recently in the German capital for a visit. i like it so much there (i'm living in Freiburg). I enjoyed reading your musings between the two cities.


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