Tristesse exquise.


When I was a teenager, twelve or thirteen, my father gave me a book called “Der Gentleman”, a reprint of a gentleman’s guide from the 1920s, full of wonderful illustrations of snobby men of leisure, spending their afternoons choosing the silk for their ties and cigarette cases, accompanied by lavish ladies with an equal amount of free time on their hands, warning its readers of the Berliner Chic, which meant anything loud and overdaringly flamboyant, what Berliners, long before JFK claimed to be one, were supposed to appall people with.
I never got that. Germany’s most stunning city, how could its style be of the wrong kind? Düsseldorf, okay, but Berlin? This city is just gorgeous. Its architecture is flawless, that I can assure you, even when I last visited the town last Friday on business, on a winter’s day, when the sky was grey, tiny snowflakes covering my Balmain jacket and extinguishing my freshly lit cigarette, with building sites everywhere, it offered nothing but splendour, grace and style. If that’s “Berliner Chic”, I gladly subscribe to it.



One thought on “Tristesse exquise.

  1. I love seeing a place that I know well through your eyes. Your wonderful writing brings back memories of my first trip there back in 2006 when I asked my (then) boyfriend to take me to Kreuzberg and was completely shocked by the grime and drug users at Kottbusser Tor station! But I soon fell in love with Berlin – the amazing architecture, that exhilarating sense of freedom, its parks, endless places to discover and revisit and, of course, the night when it really comes alive, the trains keep running and you return home in the early hours, exhausted but happy. I have a soft spot for the city on cold, grey days so these photos really speak to me. It’s like no other place I’ve ever lived in and I miss it and all my friends there constantly but if I can experience it vicariously through this blog, the separation won’t seem so bad.

    Liked by 1 person

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