Whitney
im Treptower Park
Foto Treptower Park Whitney

I'm Whitney, and I was born in Minneapolis, a city in the US. It's a really nice city, but the people don't go to the park like they do in Berlin. Minneapolis isn't as green. The people like going out into the city. I personally love Berlin. There is a lot of diversity, and all kinds of people from different backgrounds gather in the parks. Today, I was walking around Treptower Park, and I saw a family eating ice cream together. They were all wearing shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers.

Across from them sat another family. They had on these cool clothes that I had never seen before. They were covered from head to toe. The women had on headscarves, and two of the men were also wearing headscarves, but each one had a different shape. They were eating and listening to music. I loved seeing these two diverse families gathered together in one park. I'm also thankful to be part of this park community. I came to Berlin for love, but I stayed because I fell in love with the city.

Margerita
im Treptower Park
Treptower Park Margarita

Hello, I'm Margarita, and I'm in Treptower Park relaxing with the family today. Well, not the whole family – just with one of my children.

About 8 years ago, I was here with my two older boys. It was springtime, and we had beautiful weather, just like today. Both of my boys at the time wanted to look at the fish in the pond. Actually, they were trying to find fish under water. The little one bent over the pond to see if he could find one, but he leaned in so much, that he fell headfirst, right into the water. He was suddenly gone. Thankfully, my husband was able to grab him by the hair and pull him out of the pond.

All the while, as dirty green water dripped out of my son’s mouth, across his eyes, and down his hair, his older brother only wanted to know if he had seen any fish while he was down there! The older one was six at the time. The younger one must have been about three. To make matters worse, we didn't have a change of clothes with us, so my older son had to give his brother his underwear so he wouldn't have to walk around naked and wet.

In the end, things turned our alright. We at least we had beautiful weather.

Clemens
im Treptower Park
Foto Treptower Park Clemens

My name is Clemens. I was born in Berlin-Treptow and haven't lived anywhere else for 62 years. I love this district more than anything. It has a balanced blend of beauty and scum. A park story? Well, there’s this huge field in Treptower Park. In 1981 and 1982, two concerts were played there. The first one was by Barclay James Harvest. The second one by Bob Dylan, who didn't say "hi" or "bye" to us once during his performance.

I don't know if he was on drugs or something, but we, as GDR people, were very disappointed in Bob. Of course we were happy to be at one of his concerts, but he wasn't able to sell enough tickets to play at the Waldbühne in West Berlin. That’s why he played in the east. Roger McGuinn was his opening act. I think I liked him more. Ever since I saw Bob live, I've stopped liking him.

Carina
im Treptower Park
Foto Treptower Park Carina3 169

Hi, I'm Carina and 34 years old. We're here in Treptower Park, and I've been living in Berlin for two years. I love coming here to do a bit of sport, meet with friends, drink a coffee, and do some people watching. It’s always fun watching what others are doing here.

What I especially love about Treptower Park are the many artists who play music here and sing. Dance groups and yoga communities come here, too. Yeah, that's what I love – the sporting activities and the artists.

What I don't really like about the parks (and about Berlin in general) is all the trash, especially in summer. Teens and even adults, just leave their pizza boxes and party crap lying around. It's a bit sad to trash left behind.

I was initially shocked by all the trash when first came to Berlin. People kept says, "Berlin is poor, but sexy!" But I see things differently now. Berlin is poor and dirty. Period. It's really a shame. I have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior. I just don't get it.

Ever since I was a kid, my family taught me to throw my trash in the paper bin or a waste basket. I just don't get it! Perhaps is laziness. People should really be more considerate of others, including those who throw parties. Perhaps there should be a designated time for parties in the park. Maybe there should be rules that prevent people from littering.

While traveling abroad, I saw examples of countries handling this problem better. Like in Brazil, people living in Rio de Janeiro get fined for throwing their trash on the ground, and it worked! Littering costs 100 EUR. It’s a lot of money, but it’s unfortunately the only solution in some countries and cities. So yes, I support littering fines. These people don’t care about keeping our environment clean. I’d be amazing if everyone just cleaned up after themselves. Yeah, so that my sermon today. Shame on you litter bugs!

Bobby
im Treptower Park
Foto Treptower Park Bobby

My name is Bobby, and I'm from Wales. I work as a street musician in Berlin, so I often come to Treptower Park to busk. I busk all year. The cold in January makes the music special. I was one of the only buskers in the park this year. It’s hard work to earn money in the cold, but it paid off. People couldn't believe I was playing in winter. Sure it was cold, but when the sun shines, your hands warm up and you can keep playing. It’s warmer outside now, and more people are in the park. The more people who come, the harder it is for listeners to concentrate on the music. Listening is important to me, even if it’s just for a few minutes. I love it when people dance and listen to the lyrics. LIke with my German song Ringbahn. It's a story about Berlin and the circular railway. It's always going in circles, so you have to get off the train sometimes and take a breather.

Belqees
im Treptower Park
Foto Treptower Park Belqees4

My name is Belqees, and I'm in Treptower Park. An interesting thing happened to me once here. An old man came up to me and asked why I was wearing my headscarf when it’s hot outside and if the garment was too warm. Taken back by his question, I told him that my headscarf isn't too warm, and that I wear it because of my religion. It's important for people to respect each other’s religions. Muslim women wear headscarves because we don't want men to see the beauty of our hair. No one forces me to do it. If you want to wear the headscarf, you can. If you don't want to, you don't have to. I like my headscarf. I feel more at ease when I wear it, and I feel safer when I go out, too.

Everyone in Germany is free to wear what they want. No one in Berlin cares if men walk around wearing women’s skirts. And if men can wear skirts, then I want to wear my headscarf or hijab in peace. I also respect other religions and what people wear. People tend to think women wear headscarves and hijabs because men told us to. That isn't true. My husband says I can wear whatever I want and I'm free to choose. All in all, I've learned it's important to respect others. That’s it.