Hamburg is my kismet. I was born on the coast of the Baltic Sea, lived by the North Sea for many years and moved here in 1999. I am definitely a Northern Soul who needs to taste the saltwater in the air on a cloudy day in the tideland. However, I am also a city person who feels suffocated by the quaintness of small towns. I need more than a limitless sky above me, I need a pavement littered with cigarette butts and chewing gum to keep me balanced. The city girl in me gets her satisfaction from the never ending stream of impressions that Hamburg has to offer. This pearl really has more facets than a diamond, and having lived in neighbourhoods as diverse as Barmbek and St. Pauli, I have come to know quite a few of them.
I couldn’t imagine living without the Stadtpark close by, where we fearlessly jump into the muddy lake on sultry Summer days. Precious are my memories of watching the sun rise on that weirdly shaped building at the harbour. This city has the scenery for the kind of film that you’d like for your life story with the roughness of the streets, soft showers of blossoms along the copious canals and romantic old shacks on the Elbe. Speaking of films, I adore the little pearls of the cinematic kind such as the Holi, 3001, Metropolis and B-Movie, independent “Lichtspielhäuser” that have been giving the finger to the large multiplex cinemas for numerous decades. Hamburg is so much more than what the tourists get to see.
The other day I met a woman in the subway who was born in Ghana, raised in San Francisco and had studied in Sweden. My roommate looked at me and said: “This is why I love this city, can you imagine this happening in my hometown of 20,000 souls?” This city can do anything. And you can do anything in this city. Maybe I am too much in love with it, because I am reluctant to leave for anywhere else. Hamburg is my city…what other city could compare?