Poor But Sexy on Brunnenstrasse

Poor But Sexy on Brunnenstrasse

Anyone walking through Brunnenstrasse today can see how the promise of the temporary autonomous zone has met with the change of the completely modern. Brunnenstrasse begins at Rosenthaler Platz, a rather unspectacular but perhaps for this reason all the more typical place in Berlin Mitte. South of the square is the Scheunenviertel. At Hackescher Markt, which the author Irina Liebmann once found totally deserted, advanced consumption prevails today. However, north of Rosenthaler Platz and Torstrasse, which goes from East to West, development has progressed more slowly.Several hostels for young tourists have come up around Rosenthaler Platz. On the last undeveloped corner of the square, another hotel is currently being constructed. The All Seasons in Berlin is already promising “original design in 145 rooms”. Directly opposite in St. Oberholz, young people from all over the world hang about day and night. They check mail and facebook pages on their laptops, drink and watch the happenings on the street.

A few steps from here, in an old toilet facility under the tram tracks in the middle of the square, there existed, just for one summer sometime in the nineties, a club called Sexiland. On Brunnenstrasse itself was the Glowing Pickle, a highly compressed universe of second-hand furniture and all kinds of kitsch. Not too far away, the Boudoir welcomed its guests. In the centre of the Boudoir stood a huge bed. In the Höhe, Tatra bands with proper instruments breasted the current of the time. All these places don’t exist any longer, just as the Warenhaus am Weinberg (“Department Store at Weinberg”), built in 1904 by Adolf Jandorf, is no longer used as a department store. The ornamentation, which shows representations of bees on the façade of this clearly structured building, testifies to the idea, at that time, of a department store being a democratic place of consumption. Later it was used for many years by the fashion institute of the GDR. After the revolution of 1989, the building housed the Bayerische Hypobank. Now, for quite some time, it has been empty. The decision about what should become of this building in the future will have a lingering effect in the area. The owner from Frankfurt seems to be delaying this decision; maybe he is still collecting data, scanning the small and big changes on the street, so as not to get deceived by short term trends.