I lived in or close to Düsseldorf for about 6 years and there are a few spots in the city I particularly enjoy. One of them is a street that is going from the synagogue in Derendorf towards the Rhine. This street was only a few blocks from mine, quiet, very green and with lots of old and interesting houses. Very much like some of the streets in Berlin that I like. The only downside to it was that at the end of it there was always a police van standing guarding the synagogue and you could not take pictures of the building – which was very nice and interesting by the way – without them recording your ID and asking you many questions. This happened to me once together with my brother. Nevertheless I always hoped that one day I would live in this street, because it was so full of character.
Another interesting bit of Düsseldorf actually involves the variety of neighbourhoods which are all utterly different. Bilk is the student part, Flingern and Oberbilk the rather run down cheap areas, Derendorf and Pempelfort are the quiet slightly more expensive parts and then the ridiculously expensive part on the wrong side of the Rhine: Oberkassel. I myself lived in Derendorf as I already mentioned and I preferred it to the more lively places in the south of the city, because I could actually have my peace and quiet.
The people are also just as varied as neighbourhoods are. There is a big Turkish community with areas behind the main station where they would speak Turkish with you in the shops as a default. There is also a Japanese area with lots of sushi bars and Japanese shops where they only know a few words of German too. And then there is also the fact that Düsseldorf can be very German with gun clubs and pub owners who start lecturing you if you don’t order beer. The latter part is probably the reason why I can’t see myself living in Düsseldorf at the moment, although I often feel melancholic when I see the skyline of Düsseldorf at night when driving over a certain bridge or when I walk along certain streets with which I connect pleasant memories.
These last few days were very much like living in the past and at one point the air had this hint of a smell that reminded me very much of a certain time when I was living around here. And then at the same time it’s so obvious that I and my life have changed so much in the last years that the connection to the past seems only like a thin thread that can rip apart any moment now. There is no way back. And even if there was I would gladly run into the opposite direction.
Why? Well, because I prefer to choose adventure over familiarity anytime!