Having lived some years in Friedrichshain, I've witnessed the district's transformation from working-class but lively community into west German upwardly mobile professional's playground.
As with Prenzlauer Berg before, the property developers have moved in en masse, creating an upsurge in eigentumswohnungen (private flats) which has indirectly impacted upon the previously reasonable rents. The buildings were once "typically East German", but new riches have brought a splash of colour and penthouse flats of which real Friedrichshainers could only dream about.
Moreover, the bars and cafes are almost exclusively of the "Ballermann" package holiday variety (cocktails, palm trees, water-pipes), geared towards German tourists and the easyJet mob. Decent bars and restaurants are few and far between.
If this were not enough, the area around Frankfurter Tor has seen numerous neo-Nazi attacks on tourists and anyone vaguely foreign-looking in recent months (Friedrichshain is edged by the Lichtenberg and Marzahn housing estates where, sad to say, right-wing sentiment is the order of the day for the largely disaffected and unemployed youth).
So, all in all, great if you're wearing blinkers.
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