Sunday, June 23, 2013

Berlin Hipster for a Day

I decided last night at around 10pm that I would try to get in to Berghain today. Berghain is the most famous techno club in Berlin -- and arguably the best club in the world -- and its fame is almost mythical. They are also one of the biggest gay-friendly clubs in Berlin. Their parties start on Friday nights and run all the way until Sunday evening, with no break in between. You can show up even at 9am on a Sunday morning to try to get in. The reputation of this party, which takes place in a run-down building in the middle of an abandoned lot, is that "they party like it's still the decadent 90s in New York City." If you are serious about entering, then you had better be dressed like a Berlin hipster, because the bouncers are very discerning. And, you could forget planning for a big group to all get in, because ironically you have to seem a bit "too cool to care" in order to get past the bouncers, and groups bigger than 2 or 3 almost never get in. For this reason, many Germans or people who have lived in Berlin for several years have not been to this world-famous club. (Some of my friends refuse to go, because they think it's ridiculous that you have to wait in line and then be arbitrarily rejected.)

Now, I am a math teacher, pretty much the opposite of a hipster. I can count on one hand the pieces of black clothing that I own, which are not brand-name skirts or dresses. Despite this, I wanted to at least attempt to see what Berghain is about before leaving Berlin. It's Pride Parade weekend, so I knew that getting in to Berghain would be tougher than ever, as it is one of the main after-party clubs. So, I got a full night's sleep and got up at 9am today (Sunday) to research what to wear in order to resemble a hipster. The websites are funny. They said that if you want to get in to Berghain, then you should make sure you "wear black and be skinny." And, "don't talk while waiting in line."

I threw together a pretty good hipster outfit, I think: Black long-sleeved t-shirt; a black-and-white textured skirt that I rolled up to make it shorter; a pair of ripped black tights (I had to take a pair of regular black tights and rip them by hand with scissors, since I don't keep tights once they get runs in them); a painted black leather bracelet; a dark fringe-looking necklace; and a deep red lipstick. I must have done an OK job with my hipster costume, because when I rolled on up to the door of the club, the bouncers automatically assumed that I had already entered previously and were asking to see my stamp for re-entry. When I said that I didn't have a stamp, they hesitated, looking into the club, and then said to me apologetically, "I'm sorry, lady... but not today."

--BUMMER!!!! I guess it must have still been very crowded inside, even though it was already 11am on a Sunday. (The parade was yesterday, and people flew in from all over Europe to party in Berlin. So, it's hardly a surprise that they were still partying a mere 24 hours later.) Well, since it's my last weekend in Berlin, I'll have to come back to Berlin and try to party at Berghain some other time! Now I have a whole rest of Sunday to hang out in my hipster costume. I think I'll go ahead and enjoy this -- being a hipster for a day. What do Berlin hipsters do on a Sunday? Do they go to brunch dressed in black and order eggs and cappuccinos, like everyone else??

PS. Maybe vegan brunch, over a box of cigarettes? (I don't smoke, unfortunately. But, if I did, I might be a more convincing hipster.....)

PPS. I found a Guide to Being a Hipster, thanks to Google. I will need to find ways to sneak into the conversation that the band has sold out, apparently.


  1. Aw man, too bad you didn't get in, but at least you tried. :) Maybe hipster dog will make you feel better:

    Hope you still have a fabulous last weekend in Berlin before you get to start your new Northwest adventure!

  2. Haha. I love the hipster dog!!! OMG those glasses and scarves are all the rage in Berlin.

  3. Also, this is an excellent guide to how hipsters dress: