Thanksgiving Abroad in a “Fake” Neighborhood

November 24, 2011 § 3 Comments

Thanksgiving is always rather strange when you are outside the United States — mainly because it is such an American holiday and because I don’t think other cultures eat turkey the way we do.

Pauline and I decided to go to Leroy’s Joy, which is now called something else, but it’s an American-style restaurant in Prenzlauer Berg. This neighborhood is probably the most gentrified in the city.

My ever perceptive 14 year old picked up on it right way.

This is what the neighborhood looks like in the summer. It gets dark here around 4pm so it’s hard to take pictures after that.

As we sat in the restaurant various people came in with their over-coddled children. I had the urge to ask one couple who was daunting over a 16 month         old if their child could already speak Chinese and English, but I held my tongue.

After I explained what is happening in the neighborhood — which used to be filled with artists and alternative types in the GDR days — Pauline looked around and said:

“It’s a fake neighborhood.”
I had an idea what she meant, but asked her about that.
She said it’s filled with people who are trying to be what other people think they should be.

Hmmm. Very perceptive.
And true.
Real neighborhoods develop over the years and have some local flavor and feeling to them. There isn’t much of a local feeling in PB, but the sense that it consists of a bunch of hipsters trying to out hip each other.
And of course when those folks move in, the rents go up and the artists and alternative types leave.
And there goes the neighborhood.

Happy Thanksgiving

§ 3 Responses to Thanksgiving Abroad in a “Fake” Neighborhood

  • Sibylle says:

    Hugh. Sounds like a lot of the neighborhoods in Portland…

  • Klaus Engelhardt says:

    ,,because it is such an American holiday and because I don’t think other cultures eat turkey the way we do.”?
    A questionable premise. At our Thanksgiving celebration, here in Portland, the following nations were represented:
    3 Bosnians, 1 Romanian, 1 German, 1 French, and ONE white American (4 years old).
    If we had also had at least one Native American,, it would have truly been an American Thanksgiving, n-est-ce pas ?

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