game of groans / by Mark Ziegler

I may be bad luck for German soccer. I was here in 2002 when they lost to Brazil in the World Cup Finals. I'm here again, and they play a very strange game against Italy to get knocked out in the Semis of the Euro Cup. I knew things would get crazy if they won last night, but I didn't know the streets would be packed with Italy supporters in the case of a loss. Even a party bus of Italian fans made its' way down Kurfürstendam around midnight. Either way, it was fun to take in the game with the locals.

A friend made an interesting observation: it seems like (in Berlin, at least) the age range at many of these places is pretty varied. Lot's of fußball supporters young and old out last night, and in the same restaurants and bars. During my afternoon exploration of Prenzlauer where were families everywhere it was a similar situation. Tons of kids; little street fairs; fruit stands; playgrounds ... almost puts Park Slope to shame. Maybe it's just an urban thing in general, but it seems to be especially present here. Then again, maybe everything only seems different when you're in a less familiar place. I could just be constructing these differences in my head.

There is one thing I'm pretty sure of. Sunday night Italy or Spain will win, and either way we'll be serenaded by car horns - celebrating; rubbing it in - well into the night.