Naomi Larsson works for the Guardian. During her time in Berlin, she lives in the district of Neukölln. Foto: The Guardian
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A Londoner in Neukölln "It feels so serene compared to London"

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Each week, we interview a neighbor for our Tagesspiegel "Leute" district-wide newsletters. Interview by Madlen Haarbach

This time we interviewed Guardian journalist Naomi Larsson on how she sees Berlin-Neukölln, a district that experiences a lot of gentrification.

What do you do?

I am a journalist from London currently based in Berlin on a fellowship from the International Journalists Programme. I normally write for the Guardian but I've been placed here at Der Tagesspiegel for two months as part of the exchange programme.

How did you end up in Neukölln?

A friend who lives in Berlin set me up with a brilliant couple who occasionally rent out a spare room in their flat. It’s right on Richardplatz so the location is perfect and I can’t wait for the Christmas market to happen so close by.

What do you like about Neukölln?

There’s something romantic about the dimly-lit cobbled streets around Neukölln, especially close to Richardplatz. I love how many cosy bars and restaurants there are in the area, but it still feels so serene compared to London.

What don't you like about Neukölln?

Even after only being here for a few weeks I can tell there is tension around Neukölln becoming more and more expensive. A lot of people are worried about how it will price different communities out of the area. It has already happened really dramatically in London, so I wouldn’t want Berlin to go through the same thing, especially as the diversity of Neukölln is what makes it so special.

Ismael Duá (r.) started "Le Salon", a regular culture club in the bar "Das Kapital". Foto: Felix Rodewaldt
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What do you recommend?

My favourite bar is Das Kapital on Karl Marx Platz. It has a great community feeling as the people are really warm and friendly. You feel incredibly welcome as a stranger in a new city. If you're interested in art, the bar hosts regular talks where artists discuss their work. I also came across an organisation called Cinema Politica that puts on independent political film screenings in the basement of Du Beast on Innstraße. The screenings happen every few weeks and there’s always an open discussion at the end of film. It’s good if you fancy doing something a bit different on a Monday evening.

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