Over on the southeast part of Berlin....there's a nifty park called Gorlitzer Park. It's measured at roughly 500 ft by 2,500 ft.
Historically, this was where the old Gorlitzer Train Station stood....at least until it was bombed in WW II. Some traffic did continue on until 1951....and then the whole place was shut down....then torn down. Since the 1980s....it's been converted into a city park.
In various stages, the city has done different things to the park....to enhance it and transform it. One might get the impression that there's never been one single plan....that this was simply open land and good ideas flowed in occasionally.
So, you ought to have this idea in a highly urbanized area like Berlin....that the park would be of great value.
There is this other side to the story of Gorlitzer Park....where you can get just about every type of drug you desire, at any time of the day.
Based on who you have talking over the park.....it ranges from a mid-level drug zone, to one of the largest transaction zones in Europe. It's within easy walking distance of a subway area,
The openness of the park allows the heavy user to do his thing right there, and just lay on the park grass until his high ends. In warm weather, you can stand around at different points of the park and observe a hundred-odd people just laying there....doped up.
Cops? For at least a decade....cops have targeted the park and attempted to bring this business to an end. Most of the early efforts were comical. By 2012, with a conservative government in charge of the city council....they tried a zero-tolerance gimmick....which can be described as totally ineffective.
This week, with a new left government in charge of the city....they dumped the zero-tolerance effort. They will still run the cops through on occasion but they've more or less stated that it's now part of the city environment....like it or not.
The value of the park to the city? If you knew that character of the park, the type of people you'd bump into and the possibility of finding syringes around? Well....for most Berlin residents....the park is worthless and avoided.
As far as the users of the Gorlitzer Park are concerned....drugs are already legal and there is little to fear from the authorities or the cops.
If you tried to get rid of the park today? I would imagine that locals would all pipe up the green scenery, lush gardens, and recreational aspects. Oddly, at one end of the park is Lausitzer Platz, which has a beer gardens aspect, and fairly positive part of the community. Five or six restaurants rest around that small area which is a decent place for an afternoon sip of beer.
There are a hundred aspects or characteristics of Berlin today. There is the technology development situation. There is the political situation. There is the art character of the city. There is the historical slant. There is the nightlife and wild lusty side of the city. There is the long Jewish-tied slant to the city. There is the cinema side of the city. There is the architectural landscape of the city....where structures dating back hundreds of years are noted, and ultra-modern buildings are being erected every single week. There is the massive urban transportation story which can be told in a positive way. And, there is the drug aspect of the city....which Gorlitzer Park tells.
There are 3.5 million residents to the city, and some folks have the idea that within ten years....it might stretch onto 4 million. It's a magnet....it draws people from not just across Germany itself....but Europe, and the world.
As far as I know....no one has ever done a poll or survey to lay out drug users in the city (I'm not talking about the once-a-week weed smoker). Out of the 3.5 million residents, and 100,000 daily visitors to the city....I'd take a humble guess that roughly 150,000 folks are regular drug-users (one step up from the weed-smokers). Some just transit through the city. Some are attached to the scene and find some job to get by, and enjoy the landscape and comradely of the Gorlitzer Park scene. Some just like the fact that the cops won't mess with you much.
It's a park with a limited history, a shady present, and a questionable future. Depending on who you are....it might be a 'no-go' area....or a 'must-go' area.