When German freelance writer Mark Heywinkel realized he had to try his luck in a big city like Berlin, at first he “didn’t feel comfortable without even knowing why”. But concerning the city life, he’s “not the only one thinking about this”…
I like my hometown Bielefeld. I do. Really. I like to take a walk through the Teutoburg Forest on a warm autumn day. I like that every cozy café isn’t more than a fifteen minute’s walk away. I like the castle, the art gallery, the theater and the historic city center. I do. Really.
Still I didn’t want to stay in the East-Westphalian pseudo-city. When I was in my early 20s, I realized that I had to try my luck in another city – and so I left. I moved to Hamburg, i fell in love with Hamburg. I wanted to live forever in Hamburg. But then I got the chance to found my own iPad magazine in Berlin. I got the chance to do my own thing. To face a challenge. To be courageous. And I wanted to be courageous.
At the beginning, Berlin and I weren’t best friends. The long distances, the wide roads, all the neighbourhoods and the people: I didn’t feel comfortable without even knowing why. So I started to think about it. About going out. About big cities and small cities. I wrote about it. I talked to friends about it. And I went out more often to make friends with the city. I explored the market at Winterfeldplatz, all the great cafés around Schönleinstraße, the water tower in Prenzlberg, Ritter Butzke,Fitcher’s Vogel, Treptower Park, the variety. And then, one evening in my solitude and slightly drunkness, while walking through Friedrichshain towards the TV tower, I finally had the feeling of being at home.
Since then, the fact of living in a big city is always on my mind. I think that there is no other topic for young people who moved out to seek their fortune in the world as exciting as the life in a big city. How does it feel to live in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Paris or New York? How does the life in these cities differ from each other? How does it change? And how do we become happy at these places?
I’m not the only one thinking about this: many friends and colleagues ask themselves these questions, all around Germany, all around the world. That being said we founded the blog ‘Les flâneurs’. It’s a place where you and me and all the people living in a big city can now finally talk about the questions we have.