The answer to why so many Berliners hang out


This conversation took place while walking around Neukölln with a friend whose most important aim in life is to make money, save money and invest money. Therefore, he left Germany and moved to Switzerland.

“These people don’t know the value of their time, just look at all these people just hanging out.”

“Really, where?”

“At that restaurant and in these cafes. . . don’t they have anything to do?”

“Its dinnertime, they’re eating.”

Had I read Currid’s book on “The Warhol Economy,” I would have been able to answer this question properly defending all creative loafers in Berlin. Unfortunately, back then, I didn’t know the evergreen influence of Warhol or how the creative economy worked. As read in a Candace Bushnell novel, I didn’t know how to negotiate the system. Apparently, I should have been spending all my time on the Berghain dance floor and then at least my urine would have been part of an art exhibition.

Currid describes how the creative economy happens through proximity with other creatives in social settings, like bars, cafes, clubs as places where you not only meet the people you are looking for,  gatekeepers or tastemakers, but also as places to exchange ideas.

“No market relies more heavily on social networks than the exchange of cultural goods –like fashion, art, and music. Cultural industries and their products are driven by taste rather than performance.” Currid

So essentially creatives hang out in the same scene, and they give work and find work through loose social networks. They are the gypsy kings to merchant princes. #ebwhite

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