Ed Ward leaves Berlin

Ed WardMy pal and rock journalist extraordinaire, Ed Ward, is leaving Berlin and putting his Berlinbites blog to rest. He’s setting up in Montpellier, France, and will have a new blog soon. Ed’s been planning this move for several years. Why is he moving?

Ultimately, the city and I just didn’t get along. I became unhappy with the picture Berlin was painting of itself to the world, emphasizing the negative, emphasizing death over life, always twisting the narrative to avoid mentioning things the city should have been proud of. The weather, of course, could be brutal in the winter, and the winter seemed to last for seven months. The food, for most of my stay, was awful, although I have to say that’s one thing which was definitely on the upswing in my last couple of years there. The architecture was relentessly grim, and, with the city sprawled out over an area that seemed the size of Los Angeles, there was an awful lot of it: this past March I’d just returned from Texas and France when I agreed to meet friends at a recently-discovered Chinese restaurant in Neukölln and took the Ringbahn from Schönhauser Allee to get there. I was really demoralized by the time I arrived from the endlessly repetitive vistas of depressing buildings and squalid streets, and this just fuelled my need to get out even further. And I saw all of this reflected in the faces of the residents, so many of whom look either desperately unhappy or lobotomized. I couldn’t see myself getting older there, and given that one of my not-so-unconscious goals in moving in the first place was to find female companionship, I’d long since given up on finding a German woman who wasn’t consumed with self-loathing or incipient mental illness. Not to say that they don’t exist, but the only one I found wasn’t a romantic prospect, although it was encouraging after all those years to discover there were occasional nonconformists.

I’ll post here when Ed’s new blog is up. Meanwhile Ed has a regular rock ‘n’ roll spot on NPR’s Fresh Air. (Photo: Ed Ward and Curra’s in Austin during SXSW 2008, by Jon L.)

Author: Jon Lebkowsky

Co-wrangler of Plutopia News Network, cohost Radio Free Plutopia. Podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. Former editor/publisher, FringeWare Review; associate editor at bOING bOING and Factsheet Five; writer at Mondo 2000, 21C, Wired, Whole Earth Review, Austin Chronicle; sub-editor at Millennium Whole Earth Catalog; blogger at Worldchanging. Digital culture maven, podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. On The WELL, Cohost of VC (virtual communities), Media, and Civil War (.ind) conferences.

8 thoughts on “Ed Ward leaves Berlin”

  1. Hello, I am from Montpellier (but in the US for the moment). I have been in touch with Ed for a few years. Do you know whether his Berlin email address is still valid? I will return to Montpellier on Thursday and would like to meet Ed. Thank you and Happy New year to you.

  2. Hi Jon – Just wondering if Ed has started up his Montpellier blog yet. I miss his insights (I lived in Berlin during the early sixties when the Wall went up) and returned again only a couple of years ago; Ed was my generous guide to the “new” Berlin. New for me was finally being able to visit “East Berlin,” off-limits for us when I was protecting the American sector. As you probably know, he and I were also colleagues at Rolling Stone in the very early days. Anyhow, thanks for any info you have on his current whereabouts and plans. Albest, Baron Wolman

  3. I’ve been reading Ed’s blog in Montpellier, actually signed up and became a follower, and haven’t figured out how to contact him via email. Can anyone help – I’m new to this blog context.

  4. Not sure how much crack Dr. Dot is smoking or how she presumes to speak for the entirety of Berlin. I’m in Berlin and I miss Ed. And I’m certainly not the only one.

  5. Dr. Dot it is said, is a sexual abuse victim. She was brought up by a carnival (USA, no Karnaval Dland) family moving from town to town. She learned at an early age what men were willing to do for sexual pleasure..and became on more than one occasion the sad clown in
    a sick and abusive world of abuse. I think she is doing a pretty good job these days with her efforts to help all of us with her ‘EXBERLINER’ magazine work. God Bless Her.

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