Winter is coming! I can feel it… In Western Pennsylvania cold spells are measured by ‘a large squirrel, predicting the weather’ – Phil Conners (Bill Murray) Groundhog Day, 1993.
Who or whatever Berlin’s equivalent rodent is I suspect him/her/it to be huge!.
Casting a dark and icy shadow across our fair city for way longer than necessary.
On Saturday night my girlfriend and I ventured out on to a chilly Friedrichshain street loosely aiming to become inebriated and maybe find dinner. And then, about half way down, we were accosted by what (at first glance) seemed to be an angry mob. Locals, I thought.. Finally had enough of my unfathomable politeness!…
Luckily for us this was no lynch-mob. It was, in fact, one of the most heart-warming things I’ve ever witnessed. 400 or so Berliners traversing the neighbourhood in unison, singing!
The congregation ground to a halt beneath a local resident’s third floor balcony. It was lit by fairy lights and at full capacity. A whole family were stood up there possibly wearing those Hawaiian necklace things, Lei’s? (I was stood at a distance). Without any ado they launched into ‘Leaving on a Jetplane’. Some sections (particularly the choruses) given added gusto by the crowd. The street was in full swing! After some applause and cheering ‘Stand by me’ swiftly followed.. And this one really brought the house down! (not literally, that would have been harrowing).
It was the perfect execution of a beautiful concept devised by a man named Volker Siems, 39 (Organiser). All in the name of community spirit:
Flyers are distributed (in conjunction with pollyandbob.com). Everybody walks from street to street, balkon to balkon, singing along or simply standing and taking it all in. ‘DIE NACHT DER SINGENDEN BOLKONE’.. Berlin loves you!
More info: ‘The Night of the Singing Balconies’
Text: Rob Bravery