I was lucky enough to be a part of Jonny’s German Par-Tay. His take on Berlin? “Hey, I enjoyed Berlin too. But it also gave me the willies.” Fair enough. We spent a night carousing in Berlin with John Brownlee at The Bird over many beers. Was a good time had by all. And, as Jonny always says, jonnygoldstein.com!
When I arrived in Berlin, my buddy Mark told me that I had to follow him halfway across town, past dozens of banks, including a number of Deutsche Banks, from where we were in Moabit down to Friedrichstraße, south of Straße des 17. Juni, to one particular Deutsche Bank called Die Deutsche Bank der Zukunft — “Deutsche Bank of the Future.”
Well, the service is superb! There is a cafe with coffee and food. When you interact with a bank manager, it is in the cafe with personal service. Also, the cafe is open to the public, there is a boutique store in the front with high-end gifts, including gifts from Harrods, strangely enough. I have always been treated like I am rich and important when I am there, no matter how I am dressed or how unshaven. Everyone speaks English, as well.
Not only that, but I am told that, in general, service sucks in Germany, especially in Berlin, especially the service offered in Banks. Maybe a hold-over from Soviet-era bureaucracy — maybe all of the bureaucratic former Eastern Germans ended up manning all of the Berlin banks. Well, that is not the case with the Deutsche Bank of the Future!
I don’t know how many people have actually been to Berlin — and with my friends, I am sure most of them; however, everyone always asks where I live. I guess you can say I live in Moabit, Berlin, or Tiergarten. Heck, I think it is important to just show you… you’ll get a much better idea.
“Although a large body of research does show that people become happier as they move from being very poor to lower middle class, after this point the impact of income on happiness is much weaker. Think of someone who makes $100,000 one year and $110,000 the next—do we really expect this additional income to suddenly make this person fulfilled, without a care in the world? (You can also think about whether such changes in your own income really make you happier with your life on a day-to-day basis: Being informed about a raise certainly makes us happy, but the $10,000 doesn’t make our siblings or in-laws any less difficult to deal with over the course of the following year. …) Although people believe that having money leads to happiness, our research suggests that this is only the case if at least some of that money is given to others.” Via HBS
I feel like money can’t buy you love; however, in the United States, where everything is dependent on cash-in-hand, money does buy you rest, calm, security, and health. In my new home, Berlin, money isn’t a number-one priority because there are social services — a safety net — that takes that baseline level of “what would I do if I lost my insurance/home/car/job feeling that constantly is renting space in all of our heads. Sadly, in America, money is all there is. Cash is the only currency. Social programs are under-funded, neglected, and shameful to actually use. We’re in a country that considers any sort of public funding, subsidies, or support to be part and parcel of a “nanny state,” considered to be a bad thing in this land of the rugged, boot-strapped, self-made, capitalistic, individualist. So, while money can’t buy me love, it can get me married, can subsidize a family, education, insurance, vacations, time off, rest, travel, schools, colleges, cars, medical care, unforeseen expenses, and the kinds of safety next that only money can buy.
Poll: How Much Do You Need to Live Comfortably?
:-( All three bikes got stolen last night. Fuck.
The three bikes in question were my SOMA Delancey single speed and Mark’s old reliable Giant mountain bike, a bike that Mark has owned for probably more than a decade, and a spare green piece-of-shit
Well, I really loved my SOMA Delancey single speed and can highly recommend getting one. Since they sell the Delancey as a frame, I got to build the bike up from the frame, and really bought some amazing components for her.
I really had her dolled up with a Miche crank, a Chris King headset, a Brooks Professional saddle, a Shimano 105 brake, a Salsa stem and seat tube, and a gorgeous wee two-finger brake lever. She was nimble but she was not a fixed-gear bike, she was a single-speed. I will miss her and I am sorry that she was stolen.
May she rest in peace.