Monday, June 4, 2007

A hamburger in Frankfurt

Our initial impression of Frankfurt was a strange one. The shopping area could have been any city centre in the UK or Ireland, and yet it was countered with back streets and side streets of non-descript municipal housing blocks. Something I imagined that Eastern Europe was like in the late 1960’s.

The traditional old town seems to have been swallowed up to a degree by bland utilitarian modern blocks that smack of East Berlin in the movies. This is tempered by soaring semi-skyscrapers in the financial district (just a short walk from the centre), but for all the money being pumped in, sadly there is a more than average amount of people lying about drinking and begging on the street.

That said - there seems to be an undercurrent of vibrancy here, especially for the younger crowd with a big clubbing scene, alternative entertainment acts in out-of-the-way places and major groups, musicians and art movements. Definitely still a happening place for Dada fans like myself. Dada being the movement that brought us an anarchic view of art such as ‘Fountain’ the turned on it’s side urinal, or the Mona Lisa with a moustache and the letters ‘LHOOQ’ written underneath (when spoken in French it sounds like it is making a derogatory statement about the lady in question).

Quite accidentally I came across a run-down unremarkable street just off the river filled with run-down shop fronts. Virtually each one was an art gallery! They had the strangest mixture of paintings and sculpture I have seen in a long time. What was so refreshing for me was the fact that these were commercial galleries and obviously had the clientele to appreciate this type of art. Then I realized it was just around the corner from the modern art gallery and it all seemed to make sense.

When I arrived I wasn’t sure about Frankfurt, but I think it’s growing on me.

Time for an apple-wine pub crawl I think….

PS - with reference to today's obscure title - always one to be different - I had to have a hamburger in Frankfurt and, yes you’ve guessed it, I plan to have a frankfurter in Hamburg!

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