The Legal Guarian of a Patch of Dirt

Today I did what is possibly the most German thing ever: I applied to be the legal guardian of a patch of dirt.

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The word is Gartenpaten, which roughly translates to “garden godparent.” It means someone in a neighborhood who has agreed to look after a “garden” – or in this case, a small patch of dirt around a street tree in the middle of a sidewalk. Continue reading “The Legal Guarian of a Patch of Dirt”

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Hamburg: First Impressions

I moved to Hamburg about a month ago now. I’m no expert and I shy to call myself a true Hamburger, but the city’s made a strong impression on me so far. Here are some of my thoughts.

Hamburg is a city of extremes.

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“Good night, white pride” – anti-Nazi stickers like this are common around the city

The vegans are militant and the feminists are intense. On the far right end of the political spectrum, neo-Nazis beat up people on the streets and spew anti-immigrant rhetoric in the political offices. On the left, self-proclaimed antifascists turn abandoned buildings into refugee camps and community gathering spaces and glue anti-Nazi stickers in the subway stations. Even the weather is extreme – after a cool and drizzly June, this weekend hit 36 C (97 F).
Continue reading “Hamburg: First Impressions”