* Kristie Kachler *
I thought I was preparing to sit down to write a blog post about writing, but first I had to meet a friend in the Media Markt to drop off the key to the apartment where I’ve been cat sitting between Christmas feasts. This Media Markt is located in a shopping center in Berlin-Neukoelln, the neighborhood that might offer the most insight into what gentrification looks like in 2013 in Germany. My friend, surrounded by glittering cases of DVDs and CDs, had apparently chosen her destination wisely. The desperate post-Christmas sales were on, and the sidewalk in front of the Arkaden was swarmed. I stepped into the crowd of Neukoellners. So did a man who looked homeless. The man who looked homeless was pulled aside by two policemen who told him this wasn’t the place for him. He started yelling. One of his interlocutors looked unmoved and professional. One laughed. The man kept protesting, but he would not be coming inside. I was swept in with the families and teenagers and young singles who looked to be probable customers.