Half an hour (M) lower Elbe: the lower pedestrian area has lots of cheap shops and a little deserted square. And what else?
I know the man from somewhere, at least by sight. “Hello. Enjoy your meal!” The pensioner laughs, “thank you, thank you”. We start a brief conversation in the lower pedestrian zone in front of Brödis. There is hardly a moment when there isn’t a line in front of the cheap bakery. So also on this cloudy, fresh afternoon. “Go eat,” I say to the man. . He stabs a piece of currywurst with a small fork and bites into a dry roll. “I’m here often. At least I can afford it here. I can eat two curry sausages there.” His companion nods. “Good day to you both then.”
Pun (M) lower Elbe
I continue my walk along Elberfelder Strasse in Hagen. (M)untere Elbe – I remember from an earlier pun. But it doesn’t seem very alive here. Several craftsman vehicles line the street and block the view of the storefronts on the opposite side. A woman with a prescription in her hand goes to the bear dispensary, a young couple from Woolworth put their purchases in a backpack.
There is an old box with worn hangers on the sidewalk in front of the clothing store. “Free take away” is written on the box. But nobody cares—at least for now—about hangers.
“Sören” presents sporty fashion in a stylish and chic all-round showcase. A clothing store with a wardrobe in the higher price segment has been out of the ordinary for years in the lower part of the pedestrian zone. The operators do not count on passing customers, but on regular customers from Hagen and especially from the neighboring towns.
Heat is provided by radiant heaters
A few meters away in front of Vincenzo’s coffee bar, a few people are sitting drinking cappuccinos. Plexiglas partitions protect guests from the wind, while radiant heaters provide heat. It looks cozy, I want to sit here for a few minutes, but I notice a friend across the street.
I flew over. “Man, long time no see. How are you?” I ask my former schoolmate. Let’s talk about it and “yes, take care, maybe we’ll see each other again soon.”
Located above the Märkische Bank underground car park, the space is spacious and almost always seems deserted. This is not just a dignified marketplace in an old Italian city. I sit on the bench, do nothing. Somewhere I hear a bird chirping, a car rumbles behind me, three young women two benches away are talking and laughing loudly. A bit too loud for me.
Opposite, on the pavement, a bed of budding meadow flowers. A bit of nature, a bit of an eye-catcher and a nice splash of color in the lower part of the pedestrian zone, which otherwise looks quite gray and somehow “not fish and not meat”. Not alive, but not dead either. Not beautiful, but not exclusively ugly either.
The homeless man has set himself up in front of the electrical box with his sleeping bag. He pleads quietly and imperceptibly. Two women – one pushing a pram with a baby in front of her, the other holding a small child – head towards the train station. One of the mothers spots a tired-looking man, rummages through his bag, puts a coin in his donation basket, says, “Good luck to you.” The man nods quietly and smiles.
Parts of this year’s summer series “Neulich in Hagen” can also be found on our website www.wp.de/neulich-in-hagen.de
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