Off The Tracks with Anthony Parasole

On New York vs. Berlin

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Photos: Press/Private (Anthony Parasole)

Off The Tracks intends to change roles offering a weekly contribution narrated by various artists in- and outside the electronic music scene. Up next is the American DJ, producer and label owner Anthony Parasole who has just released his debut album Infrared Vision on Dekmantel. Living in two cities, New York and Berlin, he compares both with each other, reflecting upon the pros and cons of either city.

I currently live more in Brooklyn, NY where I was born and raised. I grew up in a little neighborhood called Bath Beach – I’ve only ever lived in Brooklyn but later moved throughout the years and currently live in Prospect Heights which is a really nice neighborhood to live in. Great food, nice coffee shops and things to do, plus it’s close to Manhattan by train.

View from my apartment building

In Berlin, I’ve set up a comfy little living situation that lets me get comfortable and enjoy Berlin whilst also keeping my daily schedule like going to the gym and other things that I like to do on daily basis. When my gigs are over, I head back to Brooklyn as that’s where my family is, as well as my studio and things. When I’m in Berlin for long stretches I get a little homesick sometimes, I guess that’s kinda normal for anyone. Just the comfort aspect of being around friends and family, although when I’m in Brooklyn I always get to the point when I want to be back in Berlin to be around and get inspired by that creative spirit.

I decided to make Berlin my second home for numerous reasons, one of which is being based where my management are and the other my residency which makes it an easy choice. It also sort of reminds me of Brooklyn in a way, like in 1998, its young vibrant and full of creative energy. I find the vibe very similar and I love being in Berlin as it’s created a nice second home for. I also love its flexibility to fly to gigs, as it seems like it’s just an hour or two to anywhere in Europe, it’s great!

Stream: Anthony Parasole – Infrared Vision

The one thing I don’t like about Berlin is the winters, these are tough for me. The reason isn’t the weather though. In Brooklyn, I would say its colder with more snow! I find the biggest con in Berlin is that in the dead of winter months the limited amount of sun. It goes down so early – it drives me crazy! And the smoking! It seems like everyone is a smoker and you can’t escape it. It’s a pet peeve of mine but it’s fine. Outweighing that, the biggest pro for Berlin has to be the nightlife. It’s literally incredible and inspiring and it makes me excited walking into a venue like Berghain to play as well as just going out to many other places I’ve been around in this city. It’s a wonderful city for an artist.

In NYC the biggest pro is an obvious one and really undisputed. The food is absolutely incredible from the highest end eateries to the most traditional neighborhood places, you can find incredible food around every corner in every neighborhood, there’s nothing really like it. The biggest con is easily that the living cost is kinda high, but you learn to adapt and find spots you like – restaurants, stores for food etc that will keep the cost down a bit. It can also be quite overbearing and claustrophobic, just the sheer amount of humans and nervous energy. This can’t be shut off so you learn how to live in it, but some days you just don’t want to be bumped for the 200th time – but it is what it is!

Comparing the changes in each city, in Berlin, the ones that jump out the most is that the rents have gone up a lot in the past few years. However, I have my own theory on this, that I think it’s maxed out now. Rents can’t keep rising and expect to fill apartments and homes with employee salaries not matching so I think it’s going to plateau for a while in Berlin, one of the changes I see that jumps out first is that Berlin has sort of become a foodie city over the past few years with a lot of new restaurants and markets to get good food. For me, this really been a fast and welcoming turn around.

In NYC, it’s been pretty well talked about how the city cracked down on nightlife in the late 90s to close the clubs down so they could develop prime real estate properties that most of the clubs in NYC used to occupy. This really crushed the city for a long time, I mean it easily took over ten years for the city to regroup and find new homes and balance the nightlife. Now, it’s the best I’ve seen NY since that time frame, although it took nearly 20 years to get back some energy in the nightlife – that’s basically a lifetime.

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