Samstag, 6. September 2014

Summer afternoon at Tempelhof

At the beginning of the summer, Tempelhof was in the top news regarding Berlin, following a successful campaign - 100% Tempelhofer Field - that ended up with a referendum in the favour of keeping the former space of the disaffected airport as a free area for entertainment. The plans of the soon-to-be ex-mayor Wowereit of allowing the development of some impressive real estate projects were rejected by the hippie population of the city and thus, the field was left untouched. 
The airport was built in the 1920s and can be considered a sample of totalitarian architecture. There are some interesting tours explaining the architecture, as well as the post-war history, that cover also the underground bunkers. After it ceased operation in 2008, it was used for location of various fairs but also for movie and fashion shootings. 
The anti-entrepreneurial and slightly anti-capitalistic minds used the green space for pure hedonistic joy of gardening, with small or bigger areas dedicated to growing up various veggies or flowers.  
There is also a small mini-golf and an open air lounge, were one can sip for hours some local beverage. The space is huge, windy and you took your eyes from the totalitarian airport, you can relax a bit more. 
Around the hectic green lanes, people are walking various breeds of dogs or having a little picnic in the grass. The area is considered as an interesting natural resources, with billboards explaining in detail - in German - about the flora and fauna in Tempelhof. 
Just for the curious and photo opportunity lovers, an old air plane hidden near the grass. Did anyone say something about selfies?
There is also a special charm in admiring various historical stages of development of the city from the grass' level. You might feel as the perfect stranger in a world that you are not that curious to understand. Less poetically said, you can spend the rest of your happy life just chilling, without really caring about what's going on in the world. 
We headed to Tempelhof with a very clear aim, besides the journalistic curiosity to revisit a famous place covered in the media of then last months: flying our kite. Although we had a very simple less than 1 Euro worth eagle kite, when arrived in a properly windy area, we were as proud to admire ours high in the sky as the other professional kite runners developing expensive professional tools. 
When I felt a bit bored by kites and grass and loads of history, I rented a bike for one hour- for 6 Euro - and toured the former airport lanes more than once for some speed touring of the location. In some places it was quite easy to speed up in some I should use some extra energy, as I was facing some windy air counter strength. 
Besides the bikes, other renting options available were carting, unicycles, tricycles, with prices starting from 2 Euro the hour. 
I am neither an economist nor an urban planner, and have no idea what the real estate projections for the area were. As a simple visitor from time to time and sentimental kite runner, I can only enjoy my time there, in the most selfish possible way. Especially in the summer and spring, it can be a good location for spending some free family time in the middle of the nature, eating the food from your basket and chilling out for an indefinite non-payable amount of hours. 

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