I was in town again today, because my aunt celebrated her birthday today, in the care home in the city centre where she lives. Because the cake I am inevitably forced to eat at such events does not satiate me, I had a great bowl of Pho for dinner at a new Vietnamese bistro afterwards. Until fairly recently, Vietnamese food was surprisingly difficult to find in Germany, because while we have lots of Vietnamese immigrants, they mostly operate Chinese or Thai style restaurants serving germanized Asian food.
Meanwhile, sexist catcallers seemed to be out in force today. I don’t really get a lot of catcalls these days (thank heavens), because the sort of blokes to catcall women on the street also tend to be the sort who like them really young. Hence most women start getting catcalls sometimes in their early teens, while they gradually wane from their mid to late twenties onwards. Today, however, I got catcalled on the street on two different occasions. My sin: Daring to walk around town in a fairly tight and low-cut top (I was on my way to a party, so I’m not going to walk around in jeans and t-shirt), while having breasts. They were really rude, too – you’d expect grown men to know that it’s not okay to loudly comment on the breasts of random women on the street. I was seriously tempted to make audible remarks about those guys’ tiny dicks.
I also took my camera along, mainly to take a few photos of the birthday party, but I also took some photos of local sights. Today, I’ve got several shots of the Wallanlagen, a park built on the foundations of the old citywall and moat, as well as some other buildings and monuments.
The old city moat with the so-called Wall windmill, the only survivor of formerly seven windmills in the Wall park. The mill was still active into the 1940s. Today it houses a café.
A closer view of the Wallgraben, the old city moat, and the spectacular flower beds in front of the windmill. The mill itself is hidden behind trees.
Low-hanging trees dipping into the moat in the Wall park. The park was originally created in 1811, when the old city wall and its bastions were dismantled, having outlived their usefulness.
The Wall moat takes one of several sharp turns. It still follows the star-shape of the old bastions and city moat.
An ornamental lamp at the Rosenplatz (rose square) directly next to the Wall park.
This monument, set up one or two years ago, is dedicated to Wilhelm Kaisen, first postwar mayor of Bremen. He remained mayor well into the 1970s, in spite of having been quite old when first appointed in 1945. The two slabs depict the ruined city Kaisen inherited and the city he rebuilt. I’m famously not a fan of Kaisen – largely because I disagree with many of the postwar rebuilding decisions he was responsible for – but this is a nice monument.
The swineherd monument at the entrance to the Sögestraße, one of Bremen’s main shopping streets. “Sögestraße” means “swine street” in Lower German, because in the past the farmers from the surrounding villages would drive their swine to market along this street. The monument is extremely popular with children. I don’t think there is anybody born in Bremen in the past 40 years who has not riden on the pigs or the dog at least once.
A sow with two piglets set a little apart from the main group of swine with swineherd and dog.
The firestation Am Wandrahm, an interesting brick building from the 1930s that serves as the headquarters of the Bremen fire department.
The entrance of the “Altes Gymnasium” (old gymnasium), a secondary school with a long tradition. This is actually not the original home of the “Altes Gymnasium” (which was destroyed in WWII), but the former girls’ school An der Kleinen Helle, hence the figures of the two girls on the columns. On the centre column, you can see the Bremen coat of arms. My grandmother went to school here when it was still a girls’ school.
A colourful graffiti on an underpass between the streets An der kleinen Helle and Daniel-von-Bühren Straße.
Finally, here is one photo of the birthday party. My aunt (in the wheelchair at the back) surrounded by friends and well-wishers. Green and pink are obviously popular colours this year.