Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Frankfurt flashback

Here are a few photos of one of the Chinese gates at the Bethmann Park in Frankfurt. It's called the 'Garden of Heavenly Peace' and was created in memory of the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Legend says if you spin the ball in the lion's mouth that you will have good luck.

What I love about this is the reminder of my early days in Germany 2.5 years ago. We were staying in Frankfurt for several weeks while Stefan finished up some business. I had just moved to Germany and I was nervous to venture out.

I remember thinking, 'What if someone says something to me and I don't understand?' or 'What if I get lost?' Some days it was paralyzing, while other days I would explore the city walking from one end to the other.

On one of my first excursions through our neighborhood, I stumbled upon this beautiful park. Here I could observe the teenagers from the near by school, and the elderly people enjoying the sun. I often went just to take photos of the flowers that were in full bloom. This park was also home to 2 cats that the old men loved to feed deli meat to. One of the men even brought a brush to brush them out. There were plenty of oddities. This is where I would go to think, to read, to draw, and to feel somewhat connected to this new foreign world.

I have not written much about Frankfurt simply because I started this blog long after we lived there.

From the haze that Frankfurt was for me, here are a few places that stick out in my mind that I would recommend visiting if you are there:

  • The Ivory Club
  • Teelerium, which was on Bergerstraße (I'm not sure if it's still there - I didn't find a website). 
  • The Opera House
I don't recommend visiting the area around the train station - it's very seedy. I had to walk through to pick up our marriage license translations, and boy was I naïve! I saw business men pouring out of, and being lured into, strip clubs. I saw a man dealing drugs and another smoking something that I presume was crack. I wish I was joking. Even during daylight I didn't feel safe in that area.

But then I did see plenty of random reminders, in English, that let me know things would be OK in this strange new world.


JoernandAllison said...

What a sweet memory. Minus the drug deal and strip club, yes, the area around the train station is quite seedy.
It is funny to look back at the wide-eyed person you were when you first moved here, and compare her to the confident person you are today. Think of it as a huge accomplishment, but never forget those first feelings of awe when you first came here :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I love that this silly meme brought back such memories!

Emily said...

I definitely can't believe how much I've learned in the past couple years. Definitely things you can't learn from a book!

Thanks for all of your fun ideas! It definitely brought the memories back. I should post some photos of the apartment we lived in - for some reason Germans LOVE this burnt orange color. Seriously ugly.