June 5, 2014
Being featured from the New York Times to BBC, Jess Erickson is the co-founder of Geekettes, a community for women in tech. “Berlin introduced me to a set of people that allowed me discover who I am, and later inspired me to take the leap towards becoming an entrepreneur. To create my own job was an empowering experience.
A big gust of wind brought me to Berlin a little over 3 years ago. The time has flown by…..
I always wanted to live in Berlin. It’s a city that pushes the boundaries of music, art, tech, film, the list goes on. I wanted to be a part of something that was just awakening, just starting to really take off. I knew moving to Berlin from NYC was going to be a smart move and now when I reflect on my time here, I can honestly say that it’s been a wonderful ride.
Berlin has exceeded my every expectation. I have a wonderful group of friends, loving boyfriend, built my own social business Geekettes in a year and have a beautiful apartment with a spectacular view. What more can a girl ask for?
I’d say the first time I felt ‘at home’ was when I hosted my first radio show at TwenFM (Berlin’s only electronic music station). It felt so natural to speak to Berlin via radio. I invited my close friends, we drank cheap Berliner beer and danced the night away. Pretty sure I shouted “Gute Laune Lute” at the end of the night too.
I love how there is so much space in Berlin. You can actually have a seat on the U-Bahn and read a book on the way to work. When you head to a park, it’s not overcrowded, you can really chill to the next level. Most cities I lived in before were a bit too intense for me. Berlin is still a city but has many places for individuals to decompress.
My favorite neighborhood is off the beaten path. I love Wedding. There, I said it. Wedding is often stereotyped as an area that’s unsafe, underdeveloped and just plain ‘uncool’. I find it quite the contrary. We have a beautiful park called Volkspark Rehberge, where I go for my morning runs. It has a multicultural community that reminds me of my old neighborhood Astoria (NYC), and we have cafes and little restaurants popping up everywhere. I swear every month I discover something new.
I do want to stay in Berlin, but I also want to be closer to my family back in America. I’m torn. New Berliners? Don’t make the mistake I did. Start learning German from day one. Oh, and buy a bike. This city is a biker’s paradise. You have your own bike paths on most busy streets and there aren’t too many hills so it’s easy to get around.
Berlin introduced me to a set of people that allowed me discover who I am, and later inspired me to take the leap towards becoming an entrepreneur. To create my own job was an empowering experience. Before Berlin, I had never realized what I was capable of building on my own. I think the mixture of inspiration, place, people, timing and luck all contributed. I suppose my proudest moment was the event I pulled together that combined my 2 favorite loves: music and tech. Check this out: https://www.facebook.com/events/416666435134266/