Yes we can meet up in Berlin? July 7, 2008 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Berlin meetup 24/25/26 July?

I'll be in town for a few days, mainly to see Barack Obama. The date of his visit appears not to be set in stone - in fact, it appears no one knows for sure if and when he will make his rumoured public appearance - but I just booked on a whim.

Assuming Obama will speak on the 24th, for the time being I suppose planning a meetup on the evening of the 25th or 26th seems ideal. But depending on how things pan out, 24th is a possibility too.

I'll be staying in Mitte (surprise!), on Torstrasse near Friedrichstrasse. I've never been to Berlin before, though, so I'm open to any suggestions.

So, any takers?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) to MetaFilter Gatherings at 12:49 PM (49 comments total)

Oops, that second link should be this.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:08 PM on July 7, 2008

Yes we can!
posted by creasy boy at 9:27 PM on July 7, 2008

Holy shit, good news, you're pretty serious about your website. Is that a job?
posted by creasy boy at 10:00 PM on July 7, 2008

Nope, it's for fun. And it's automated, so it's actually pretty low maintenance, unless something breaks.

So, good! We'll stay in touch then. Anyone else interested?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:23 AM on July 8, 2008

The last meet-up thread lurched slowly to its death. If you want to go on a mefi-mailing spree, there is evidence that the following people live in Berlin:

Your Time Machine Sucks
From Bklyn

Except for Bklyn we all live in the same neighborhood.
posted by creasy boy at 8:26 AM on July 8, 2008

Thanks for summing things up, Creasy- I'd heard the speech was scheduled for the 29th ( Since I'll be in Naples (Italy, not Florida) the 24th to the 27th I'm hoping it's the 29th, and I'm hoping you'll stay a little later.

posted by foxy_hedgehog at 11:02 AM on July 8, 2008

...and wow, great site. Just what I was looking for to get me through the rest of the campaign while I'm far far away from the action.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 11:04 AM on July 8, 2008

I saw that too, foxy_hedgehog. However, Spiegel seems
pretty adamant (en) that it's going to be the 24th (also, that the venue is still very much up in the air). And the Chicago Tribune's politics blog cites sources saying Israel on the 22nd or 23rd and Paris on the 25th, so that should tie in pretty neatly.

Still, we'll see.

creasy boy: thanks, I'll drop those Mefites a note.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:26 AM on July 8, 2008

Aw crap, I'm in Berlin but only until the 16th. I doubt I'll find the time to go back so soon after. :( Have a great time, guys! And take pictures!
posted by sveskemus at 11:43 AM on July 8, 2008

Or, you know, 24 October, but I'm guessing this is an error?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:58 PM on July 8, 2008

Okay, I MeMailed all those people, except foxy_hedgehog who found this thread on his own and is thus ahead of the pack!

Thanks again creasy boy.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:09 PM on July 8, 2008

foxy_hedgehog who found this thread on his own

Creasy, I'm a girl, remember? I even wore a dress when we met. Though I suppose that's no guarantee of anything.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 8:35 AM on July 9, 2008

Would that I could, but I'll be back in Brooklyn by the 24th. Next time.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:39 AM on July 9, 2008

My mistake, rather, foxy_hedgehog, although I couldn't tell from your profile.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:46 AM on July 9, 2008

My mistake, rather, foxy_hedgehog, although I couldn't tell from your profile.

...then my mistake too, Creasy- and so on, and so on...
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 1:06 PM on July 9, 2008

I can't say for sure if I'm able to come, but I'd try if you'll just set a date...
posted by kolophon at 7:55 AM on July 10, 2008

Fair enough. Friday the 25th?

creasy/foxy/others, any suggestions as to the location location location?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:10 AM on July 10, 2008

I'm kinda curious if Obama will speak in front of the Brandenburger Tor. Don't think he will, though it would probably be a massive event, "Ich Bin Ein Berliner"-style. He's pretty popular over here.

A friend of mine is in some German-American student club and attended the 4th of July ceremony where the American embassy opened with a speech of George Bush Senior. She had her stand next to the Republican Party which kinda tried not to look like they were republican at all, and was pretty much deserted. The stand of the democrats on the other hand was overcrowded because everybody tried to get an Obama '08 button.
I don't know, he's better than Bush or McCain and all, but I still find it strange to see germans running around with those buttons. It's not like we could influence the election from here.
posted by kolophon at 10:33 AM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

If not Brandenburg Gate, then ... what do you think? Rathaus Schöneberg? Sony Center? Gendarmenmarkt?

(stimulating thread activity)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:03 PM on July 10, 2008

actually speculation right now is Gendarmenmarkt. Perhaps I'll go too and take a look at the spectacle.
posted by kolophon at 8:05 AM on July 11, 2008

Sorry, I'll be off to Naples by the night of the 25th. If you wind up making it the 24th I'll gladly join you.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 6:12 PM on July 11, 2008

24 seems very much a possibility, foxy. Let's aim to set a date near the end of this week by the latest.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:55 PM on July 13, 2008

It doesn't matter much to me when. I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.
posted by creasy boy at 12:48 AM on July 14, 2008

if the 24th is set we could add it to the upcoming meetups. There were various suggestions for a place in the last thread, I think we reached a consensus with Max & Moritz or somwhere else on the O-Straße. (Although I didn't make it to the meetup in the end, and don't know if you actually went there.)
posted by kolophon at 10:15 AM on July 15, 2008

on a sidenote: I just read in the current issue of city magazine Zitty that Max & Moritz is the inofficial club house of the democrats abroad. So I don't know if this actually the best place to meet on the evening of Obamas visit.
posted by kolophon at 2:11 PM on July 16, 2008

Well, there's still no final word on the Obama event, but I believe it's fairly reasonable to assume it's on the 24th and I'm going to guess that it will be during the daytime.

So yes, let's aim for the evening of the 24th, shall we? I've added it to the sidebar calendar.

As for location, though, it's my first time in town, so I'm going to let the Berliners decide. Most of you live in Kreuzberg, though, am I right? Really, I'm open to there or anywhere, so just shoot.

Looking forward to it!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:36 PM on July 16, 2008

kolophon, you live in the area -- how do you feel about Ä, Freies Neukölln, G, etc. on a Thursday night?

Or as far as I'm concerned we could try Max & Moritz and maybe keep Tante Horst as a back-up? Although Tante Horst isn't that big.
posted by creasy boy at 8:43 AM on July 17, 2008

I heart all of the above except Max and Mortiz, where I was charged 2.50 Euro for tap water a few weeks ago. However, I will not put my foot down.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 9:54 AM on July 17, 2008

I'm cool with all of the above, except that Freies Neukölln seems to be packed everytime I go past there.
Some friends of mine opened another bar there which I'd like to recommend, the Tristeza in Pannierstr. 5. Quite low priced, a good cocktail card and they could use some customers right now...

Perhaps it would be best to set a time after we know where and when the speech will take place. Last I heard was Siegessäule, but this seems to be a bad idea. No Nahverkehr at all. If it's going to be there my laziness will probably kill my curiosity.

Max & Moritz charges for tap water? Seriously? What a smart business idea.
posted by kolophon at 10:45 AM on July 17, 2008

Hey, just got back into town and caught the meetup announcement. I am interested in whichever day, though it does indeed look like the 24th will be Obama, and I am eager to do to that. They still don't know where it will be though.

Max and Moritz isn't too expensive, it's got plenty of space, and it's not too far away from most places, so I think it's a good pick.
posted by cotterpin at 12:11 PM on July 17, 2008

Ack, it looks like he may speak during the evening (at the Victory Column, word is now). Makes sense, to maximize Stateside viewership.

What now?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:10 PM on July 17, 2008

7 PM says the Berliner Zeitung, although I would expect at least some delay and a boatload of song & dance before the main event.

I'm going to ask for some conducting by you guys now, because I'm a little lost on what is wisdom at this point. We could meet after the Obama event, but I can't really guess what time it will be finished, how difficult it will be to get out of the Tiergarten area and to anywhere else, etc.

(I'd gladly meet up beforehand or for the event itself, but I'm crazy and will probably start queueing up well in the afternoon with a book and a bottle of water.)

So I'm calling on your judgment. If we can make the 24th work that would be awesome, but at the risk of snubbing foxy_hedgehog I must say that I'm still open to the 25th if need be.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:10 PM on July 18, 2008

I love Tristeza! Was so happy to find it while lost on my bike one Neukölln afternoon.

But anything's fine + okay, and if it need be on the 25th, then so be.

At night? At the Siegessäule? This sounds like poor stage management. We'll see....
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 5:17 PM on July 18, 2008

That's sporting, foxy_hedgehog, thanks.

I know this is not strictly meetup-related, but out of curiosity and 'operational strategy', heh:

Siegessäule to Brandenburger Tor, that's about a kilometre, right? So if the crowd area is on Strasse des 17. Juni between the two, and the stage is on the Grosser Stern, where would the public most likely enter Tiergarten? Via Pariser Platz? Or via a side road, or both? I'm guessing any of the other roads (beside 17. Juni) that run into the Grosser Stern are right out, no?

I hope this isn't selfish - I just thought maybe someone more familiar with the area / public events there etc. might offer more insight into the probable logistics of this.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:28 AM on July 19, 2008

The crowds are probably coming through the Brandenburger Tor and/or Potsdamer Platz I guess.

25th is not possible for me, we have a concert at our place that day. I still don't know if I'm going to see Obama on thursday. This whole thing is becoming a huge political farce right now. The Christian Democrats and Liberal Party just discovered the Nazi-related symbolism of the Siegessäule, France and Britain are displeased, and the organisers plan a football world-cup-style "Fanmeile" with large-screen displays for up to one million people.

At least there is some entertainment value. Front-page post, anybody?
posted by kolophon at 7:02 AM on July 21, 2008

This whole thing is becoming a huge political farce right now. The Christian Democrats and Liberal Party just discovered the Nazi-related symbolism of the Siegessäule, France and Britain are displeased, and the organisers plan a football world-cup-style "Fanmeile" with large-screen displays for up to one million people.

This is exactly what I was afraid of. I also just got an email from Dems Abroad about that announced: "Gates open at 4 PM!," which makes the Venn diagram complete: one-part political Kabuki, one-part professional sports event, and one-part rock concert.

I was, however, a little surprised to see the CDU make hay out of the fact that he was speaking at the victory column, e.g. "You know who else was into symbols of Prussian-style militarism and glorification of the State?" I thought that only happened in American chat rooms.

Also, does anyone know why the Fanmeile is a Fanmeile and not a Fan Kilometer? Is it just another loan word from English? Or does it have a distinct meaning in German?
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 10:10 AM on July 21, 2008

Well it's the fist time I can remember the CDU speaking out against prussian militaristic symbolism. And at the same time celebrating the public pledge of Bundeswehr recruits in front of the Reichstag. Hypocrites.

Meile is commonly used for a distinct range, like Fanmeile, or Amüsiermeile/Sündige Meile (sinful mile) for the red-light district in harbour towns. Wikipedia says "Umgangssprachlich: für hohes Passantenaufkommen eingerichtete städtische Straßen oder Plätze" (colloquial language: City streets or squares arranged for high number of pedestrians.)
There's also the "Bannmeile", the area around the government buildings in Berlin Mitte where demonstrations are prohibited.

I think Meile in this context is more a relict than a recent anglicism.
posted by kolophon at 10:54 AM on July 21, 2008

Well, I'm pretty sure I'll be giving Obama a pass, and as of today I still have no plans, so it doesn't matter to me...I can come out Thursday or Friday.

I wish I could help you with operational strategy, good news, but I don't get out of the house so much and I have sort of a phobia about big crowds, so I've never been to any kind of Meile.
posted by creasy boy at 7:14 AM on July 22, 2008

Good, well I drew the Venn diagram, and it looks like these are our options:

-Thursday: meet-up after the Obama event. Upside: most people are available. Downside: will be very late and difficult to plan.
-Friday: easier to plan, very few people can make it. Although we could show up at kolophon's event, if that's not too presumptuous! Queer piano lounge always sounds promising, although I will probably look touristy more than classy. (!) Or, you know, anywhere else.

So let's see some hands: who's going to the Obama event? And who's available Friday?

I'm leaving tomorrow so if we want to get anything settled upon, now is the time.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:06 AM on July 22, 2008

Right now I think I will go to the event, and would be open to a meet-up there and/or a drink afterwards.

I have a job as a kind of concierge at our concert, so I might not be able to chat there...
posted by kolophon at 11:55 AM on July 22, 2008

Do we have any idea when Obama will be done?
posted by creasy boy at 11:21 PM on July 22, 2008

Not really. The flier says it starts at 19:00, but I'd be amazed if that actually happens, at least without a bunch of stuff going on beforehand. If I had to guesstimate an end time: between 20:00 and 22:00, roughly.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:26 AM on July 23, 2008

Well, what are we doing then -- should we meet up after the event? In Mitte? I can't think of anywhere in Mitte where we could meet up, I'm never there.
posted by creasy boy at 8:43 AM on July 23, 2008

I'll gladly meet up with any and all takers after the event - shall we just head to Max & Moritz and take it from there?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:44 AM on July 24, 2008

OK! I live right around the corner from Max and Moritz.

My girlfriend has some kind of vested interest in going to see Obama, but both of us are lazy and hate crowds, so my plan at this point is to go there in good faith, get scared, and head right back to Kreuzberg.

goodnews, you have my number, is that right? Maybe that'll help coordinate things.
posted by creasy boy at 4:41 AM on July 24, 2008

Yep, I will give you and cotterpin a ring when it's finished. I'll be without internet access starting, well, now so could either of you give foxy_hedgehog a shout to see if she can still make it?

I'm off, see you tonight!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:37 AM on July 24, 2008

A meetup did materialize and fun was had by all (three of us).

kolophon will soon present photographic evidence!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:28 PM on July 24, 2008

here's the evidence.
Me with a shout-out to amberglow (I don't really look like that), creasy boy greeting the Berliners who coldn't make it, and goodnewsfortheinsane. Maybe you want to list your shout-outs personally?
posted by kolophon at 5:29 PM on July 24, 2008

Again I would like to have it stated on record that I have been needing a haircut urgently for a long time now.

We were talking about the commander-in-chief. I just found this. Yes, it is in the constitution, but the intention was the opposite -- not to militarize the presidency, but to make the military accountable to civic authority.
posted by creasy boy at 12:33 AM on July 25, 2008

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