A couple of months ago, I was happy to see that Hamburg was one of the cities that made the “best cities for street art – chosen by travel bloggers” list on the Kami & the Rest of the World blog.
Street art is one of my favorite types of art and one of my favorite parts of any city. When visiting a new city, I enjoy going on a stroll without any particular aim and doing a “photo walk” – which in my travel dictionary simply means walking and taking photos. Exploring the street art scene of a city, I think, is a great way to slow down and to take time to get to know the local neighborhoods and streets.
And when I moved to Hamburg two years ago, I did do a photo walk around my new neighborhood, gathering my first impressions of the area, and getting lost in the streets which were still unfamiliar to me.
Here are some photos from my Hamburg street art photo collection, including some photos that I took on that first walk as a newcomer to the city.
Hamburg Waterfront Harbor- and Water-Themed Street Art
The Elbe river and the harbor are an important part of our city’s identity as the “gateway to the world”. As such, the water- and ocean-themed murals and graffiti on our streets and in particular in the waterfront area offer a glimpse of how Hamburgers see and experience the beauty of the city.
Colors and Characters on Hamburg Streets
While the river – as well as the Alster lake in the inner city area – forms what is probably the most exciting and beautiful part of Hamburg, there’s of course much more to the city and its artistic expressions.
After making a donation to an environmental charity, signing a petition to protect a rainforest, ‘adopting’ an endangered animal, and doing all these small actions hoping to make a difference for the environment by supporting environmental causes, I ended up on so many direct mail marketers’ lists that my pile of return address labels (sent to me as “gifts”) started getting insane.
I’ve called and emailed many of these non-profits to remove me from their snail mail lists (“because receiving updates via email is the best way for me to stay updated“, I said, and it’s true – I much prefer receiving email newsletters), and some of them actually honestly told me that they may or may not be able to remove me from the list. I could either wait and hope that I’d be removed, or try and contact the direct mail marketing company (which I felt was unfair – I didn’t ask the company to send me donation appeal letters, nor did I give them my mailing address to begin with). Even if they decide to remove me from their mailing list, it’d take 3-6 weeks for that to go into effect (by then I’d probably be re-added to the list through some other direct mail marketing company).
So my next step was to make this picture of a footprint (my own) surrounded by pieces of return address label stickers. As you can see in the above photo, all these came from environmental charities, nature conservation organizations and wildlife advocacy groups.
I sure don’t send that many letters to need hundreds of address labels, and I don’t think anyone would find having an excessive amount of address labels useful. So, (until there’s a better way to easily opt-out from direct mail lists) this is one example of what else one might do with all those stickers.
Related: I also found this site about “silly” nonprofit direct mail marketing.
This is my (what started out as) spring project, now my fall project, trying to put together a quilt made with recycled fabric (old T-shirts, old/shrunk sweaters, etc.). The top photo is what I started already, some cool design ideas. The other three pictures are what a friend of mine (who inspired me to start this project) has already achieved. This project, currently just random pieces of fabric lying around on my ‘sewing desk’ in my ‘creative project room’ downstairs, is like a constant reminder of what’s wrong with my life.
Literally for over 6 months, I just kept telling myself “when I have time I’ll get to the project and finish my quilt.” It’s also a reminder that I should prioritize my life better, take care of my mental well-being, and spend more time away from my work desk and doing fun, creative stuff.
So starting next weekend (not this weekend, because I’ll be traveling), this is one of the fun things I want to be spending more time doing, instead of being stressed about work. Now that it’s the long rainy season, I’m looking forward to being more active in my ‘creative project room’!