Friday, December 3

Party district before the lockdown: “We don’t need any new flirts”

Bwhen the police force marched through Paradiesgasse, a lot of beer flowed and a lot of rain fell. In the Legend Bar, a young blonde woman scored countless goals at a foosball table divided by a plastic wall by carefully putting the ball in the same position with two plastic players, pausing for a moment and then shooting relentlessly. At the burger stand in Klappergasse, the delivery driver packed various boxes of fast food into his backpack. It’s the last night out before the new lockdown, it’s Halloween and, to top it all, it’s full moon.

Elena Witzeck

Alt-Sachsenhausen is a strange sociotope in the narrow old town streets on the southern Main side of Frankfurt. Most of the city’s residents only see it when they drive south on the multi-lane access roads from the city center in the evening. Then it lights up and flashes red and green from the alleys branching off to the right. With its labyrinthine, crooked knight and paradise alleys and the bars stuck together, Alt-Sachsenhausen hardly differs from the party districts in Lisbon, Barcelona or Ljubljana, only the cider bars in the area have their own tradition. Since the tourists left, the district has developed into an enclave of revelers, which is a problem because everything is tight here. The other day, dissatisfied drunks have turned bottles after police officers with the curfew. Since then, the emergency services have been there in large groups and in full gear.

Political communication in the Legend Bar

Political communication in the Legend Bar

Photo: Elena Witzeck

It’s still early, there is still silence in front of the Frau Rauscher cider bar, the door of the Schöppsche bar is still closed. Curfew is actually at 11 p.m., but the youngsters roaming the Klappergasse are not entirely safe. Some believe they remember having celebrated until five in the past few weeks, officially then without beer. In front of the Eintrachtkneipe Klapper 33, a doorman who is just sending the first guests away. Must be. It’s just a small room and you don’t want to mess with the city here. The police come here regularly and immediately shut down the shops that are too full. Inside, the bartenders and bosses have to be careful that the drunk don’t feel too comfortable with each other. “As with children,” says the doorman. And what does he do from Monday when everything is tight again? Wait. Check finances. For the time being, get by on 70 percent of his wages.

Fear of loneliness

The two students who hurry through the Klappergasse with serious faces say they are just passing through. They want to go to friends, it’s someone’s birthday, so it is more comfortable for them in private. For half a year they have been sitting at home with their books and materials, which is “depressing”, they lack the library in particular, a place for concentrated reading and work, which often does not work well in the shared apartment. In “Alt-Sachs” they wouldn’t go for a drink anymore, not even to get to know someone. “We don’t need any new flirtations,” says one. “We have a stable circle of friends”. Better than being stuck in a long-failed relationship like other friends and not being able to break free for fear of loneliness, the long winter, the dark evenings.

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