The growing familiarity with streetcars indicated just how accustomed Berliners had become to moving about the city, and doing so not as neighbours but as commuters, strangers, and spectators. As city people circulated more widely and more frequently, the city in fact acquired an increasingly cosmopolitan quality. The busy commerce and restless recreations of the metropolis gradually overwhelmed the officious parade-ground ambience of the capital. As newspaper readers, Berliners discovered themselves to be constituents of a common metropolitan public. Simply the daily reoccurring habit of picking up a paper, repeated uncountable times in households, cafes, and streetcars across the city, indicated the correspondence between readers and metropolitans. The colourful play on metropolitan identities and metropolitan niches has been subsumed by the grinding work of social homogenization which emphasized the virtuous sameness – the basic thrift and hard work – of the German people.