Apparently, it’s not like in New York, say, where you put in a year’s time, wear a little more black and drop your sidewalk smiling habit, and can proclaim yourself a New Yorker. After today’s international affair, though, I beg to differ. These aforementioned masses—the many Danes, the Scots, the Brazilians, the Japanese, die Welt—took Berlin in stride this morning. Everyone trod upon historically-laden land with surprising finesse and good humor. While it’s possible that this sort of merry bonding is characteristic of these Marathon events, I can’t help but think Berlin (and the absolutely fantastic weather we had here today) contributed to the good vibrations. It’s a city with a history that everyone, pretty much no matter where they come from, can connect to, reference, or feel something about. And in that sense, I also think it is like New York. Akin. Not at all a twin city, but similarly revered. And in this shared similarity—the city’s international lure—I wish to alter this hearsay about Berlinership.
Today I ran through familiar parts of the city and felt proud to recognize my surroundings. I didn’t know the people before, behind, or beside me, but I knew where I was, what I was doing and why I was doing it: I was claiming myself, my ability and my place. Now, wherever you make that happen, is a place you can call your own. Today, I’m a Berliner.