Sunday, September 15, 2013

Off Topic: Paying my Old Home a Visit

Today, J and I took a walk in a part of town where I lived from 1983 thru 2003, for almost 20 years. As it is rather close to the center, it is exposed to changes more than the suburbs or villages; this former quarter of workers and fishermen, a place of factories, workshops, and poor families is becoming an attraction for night-crusers and past-noon-breakfasters. The place has become more colorful, more crowded and even a little posh since I lived there.

The chimneys of the fish factories are still there, the "Fabrik" has become a well-known concert hall. It used to be a place where machines were produced. The hammering, rocking rhythmes are still there.
Backyards of these former stores and workshops are now turned into cafés, theatres, dancing halls and kindergartens.

 The size of some houses shows that the place used to start as a village, but became residence of many whose wealth was created in the factories.

I found a mural recalling the building of the shopping mall "Mercado" which was started where a Jewish cemetary used to be. The negotiations about building it or not became an issue of international attention. The mural shows the solution: The cemetary which had been given up and sold already, had been desecrated long before, the tombstones had been turned into cement for a bunker. The compromise was to build the shopping center OVER, not on the cemetary. Under survey of Rabbis, the fundations were layed with great care. Unfortunately, even the mural about these events was desecrated by a grafito.
This is the back entrance of the shopping mall today. And inside in the basement, there is a memorial wall with the names of all the persons who were buried on this cemetary. Also the Mercado is different from most highly commercial shopping malls. It consist mostly of small pavillions for shops, cafés, and restaurants, much in the way they existed before the mall was built.
 Some cafés and shops in this quarter still have the whimsical character from the era before it became fashionable to live or to go out here.

And sometimes, funny things seem to happen like someone leaving a broken teapot on the pavement on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Teatime in Ottensen.

1 comment:

Yael said...

Ahhh, a lovely "Spaziergang" Eva-Maria, with some interesting details and stories told!
If I were walking with you, I would have taken that broken teapot and given it to my friend Cochava, who would have carefully cut it in more pieces and used it in one of her wonderful mosaic pieces!