First-time visitors to Hamburg may have some trouble, at least initially, getting their heads around this vibrant quarter. Fanning out to the northeast of the Altstadt, St. Georg is a place whose rich diversity is best understood by trips down its three main streets: Steindamm, Lange Reihe, and An der Alster. Just across the main station, Steindamm begins as a one-way street full of sex shops and prostitutes lurking in doorways and turns into a busy road lined with Middle Eastern restaurants and minimarkets and a large mosque. A few blocks over, in the middle of the three, is Lange Reihe, a long, narrow thoroughfare brimming with gay and lesbian bars and cafés and some of the best places to drink and eat in town. Lastly, a short walk from Lange Reihe to the outer Alster lake’s edge, sits An der Alster and a row of luxury hotels and penthouse apartments that come with million-euro views.
When there was every reason in the world to stay away and see the ruins, one woman traveled to Greece to get to work.More