It is one of those best kept secrets. You never hear anything about it, you never read something about it. When people talk of Düsseldorf, it’s about fashion, or an upscale sheen that’s absent in Köln; it’s about the Düsseldorf-Hafen (Düsseldorf Harbor) or the Rhine Tower, Rhineturm in German. All memorable places, of course. The recognizable skyline has become the symbol for Düsseldorf. It’s a beautiful city and it shouldn’t be overlooked next to its bigger neighbor.
As I was walking from the central station- the friend I was with promised there was something else here that I would absolutely love. He was right. I think this is Düsseldorf’s best-kept secret. You’re walking along surroundings that look ordinarily gray and dull and you turn a corner and suddenly there it is: a magical street full of homes painted with wild colors and even wilder imagination. It’s enough to say that I was dancing with joy. On this day especially, it was completely empty. No one else was there- just I, and the treasured explorer who had brought me here.
Kiefernstraße is simply delightful. In itself, it has an interesting history with regards to squatting issues that emerged in the 1980s. Along with the first view, above is a little grid through which I am trying to convey the atmosphere of this mysterious street. I am not aware of who the artists were, I am still looking into it but it’s slightly difficult because most of the information is in German (at which I’m not so good). Little trailers are parked along the sides of the street, painted in different themes; perhaps attempting to capture the aura of bygone hippie days!
These two pieces spoke deeply to me. The amount of work and imagination that went into them is absurd. On a sunny but brisk winter day, as the light reflected above the house tops, I thought to myself that it was worth it coming to Europe. The biggest pleasures are unexpected- not waiting in public places and famous city symbols (those are great too, of course!) but my ultimate fulfillment from travel comes from places like these.