so here goes:: this is a terse description of the place I live in!
Living in a hive of faggots
quite a lot of queers
I am an ex-pat British fag, living under the following dubious circumstances in Berlin,
City of Sin
( and it does Not disappoint!)
So here goes:
Having reached the age of 71 after a lifetime of commuting between Blighty and Germany, in careers split almost evenly vetween the theatre and the pop Music Business, in the wake of a stroke: I realised that it was time to be serious about settling down under circumstances and surroundings as gay as possible:
Well much gayer than These they could scarcely be!
I have mostly live in gay flat-shares somewhere ob other, and did not really want to change a lifetime’s habits: so I googled for gay sheltered accommodation in a Metropolis (thinking in Terms of Hamburg, London ot Berlin, all of them cities I have lived in at length: London sadly yielded nothing: Hamburg neither: but Berlin had LEBENSORT VIELFALT under construcion for opening in Spring 1012 under the Patronage of Berlin’s gay Mayor Wowereit! But how the hell to get in!
Hopeless I thought, but worth a shot: with the help of some friends in social services: amazingly I got a place for May of last year: so, yes: I have been here for exactly 1 year:
This is a factual description:
a large disused, reconstructed kindergarten in the very heart of West Berlin: with quite a large garden courtyard. on 5 floors there is accommodation for gays and lesbians on a multi-generational basis, quite a few in their 30s and 40s too, so it’s not too much like the ante-room to a crematorium! There are quite a few individual 1 or 2 bedroom flats, most of them with balconies on the west side and in the full sun! Some even have 2 or 3 bedrooms, so there are some gay households. There is one large Flat-shaare for gay men with care requirements, which is where I live, so one has access to trained medical assistance round the clock. This has already been extensively written up by The Guardian’s Kate Connolly, cf. this link: xxxxxxxx
The building also has 2 large conference rooms, a resturant with terrace and extensive dance floor and a stage for entertainment on a varied basis, even gay films on a large screen: other activities here include a ;
a garden group ( to etablish our own “orchard and Bowling green !”)
a neighbourhood assistance group, where we pool our individual talents and motorised transport to help one another, e.g. on IKEA runs——— ob Trips to the doctors etc.
a comprehensive gay and lesbian library, which is much used for research purposes and which will eventually also be perusable online
There are regular tango and latin dance classes in the restaurant which rejoices in the name of the Wilde Oscar!
It is especially wonderful to be in a place which is right in the centre of a large Metropolis, and not hidden away on the peripherary. This is crucial to the atmosphere I would say and the surrounding streets, which include the famous Kurfürstendamm are distinctly ’multi-cultural’ in flavour, which is not always the case in Germany!!
Part of the remit of tue Care Flat is to try to integrate Alzheimers patients, with “normal” old faggots…. A daunting task, and one which is still making great demands on all of us: adventurous indeed! More ambitious than the EU (who I suspect are behind this notion) might have envisaged!
Not necessarily the part of the Project I would recommend to all and sundry!
But overall I am certainly not complaining!!
If anyone is in this neck of the Woods, do drop in!
Peter Sibley (alias Rita the Ruin
, my alter ego in the theatre group: They are all such goddam virtuous bourgeois faggots and dykes that I decided to plan a ruined transvestite, alcoholic namphomaniac queer. Weich as many of us know, is much closer to the mark! Pix available as from next weekend on my blog. xxxxxxx)