Today an interview with Kyra Garske, Spotter for our Hamburg cityblog. Kyra is a Hamburg Spotter since the very first beginning! We met her in 2008 in Hamburg.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Kyra Garske, born 1980 in Berlin. I came to Hamburg 8 years ago and fell in love with the city and stayed until now. I’m addicted to traveling and other cultures. Love to try out new food, music and dancing styles. I’m living in Altona (a very vibrant neighborhood) in a shared flat with other students and “young professionals”. I love to buy fruits at Turkish bazars, listen to the ships that blow the horn, see the seagulls flying in the sky.
As professional graphic designer and photographer I worked for a textile company and for a photographer, but at the moment I’m looking for a new job here in Hamburg.
How do you like being a Spotter?
When I first heard about Spotted by Locals I was pretty keen on it. I love Hamburg and I’m often strolling around my neighborhood meeting some friends or take some pictures. I met Sanne and Bart and was impressed by their organisation of work, idea and their view on work and travel (or rather: how they turned their hobby into a profession). I wanted to write for them, for the blog, for travellers, for homies as soon as possible.
Months later I met an Australian guy travelling through Hamburg, who started to be addicted to Hamburg, like I am since years. He told me about a very informative online guide book which called “Spotted By Locals” and he showed me in the same breath that he found really cool places, no guide book has written about, like the Camera Obscura at Altonaer Balkon. He showed me the printed papers brimming with enthusiasm. I told him, surprised and a of course bit proud, that I wrote that and he invited me for a coffee just to thank me and exchange stories.
Another cool moment was when I opened my mailbox and found a really nice mail of someone who visited the Coffee-to-Fly and made pictures with big letters “THANK YOU KYRA” in front of the plane starting to so many different places at the airport and a big smile. Wonderful. If you go there, send me pictures. It was fantastic and I want more. ;)
An 6-month-internship brought me to Hamburg, and I fell in love with the city and stayed. The city is a good catch basin for all kind of people.
Hamburg is vibrant and different, – you always can find everything between snobs and punks, glamour and snotty, luxury mansions to alternative squats, old sailors in a pub talking about old stories to spoilt kids with their nanny, noble theatres in city center to secret electro parties at the habour, the rich (in history) soccer club HSV to the alternative rich (in hearts) soccer club FC St. Pauli, pulsative quarter to one-horse town, pastel colored polo shirt people to colorful Turkish bazar trader, scenic coolness to laid-back attitudes, sushi bars to fishbread, new to old, Holsten beer to Astra beer,… to … Come here and take a breath of diversity!
Of course it is a must, if you come to Hamburg, to take a walk along the Reeperbahn (redlight district with music clubs and concert halls), like all tourist do. But check out the sidewalks, like Hamburger Berg if you wanna go dancing.
Another “MUST SEE” is the harbour: Landungsbrücken. If the sun is shining you’ve the feeling everybody is on the feet at the harbour. Thousands of tourists bumble through eachother. Take the HVV ferry to see the harbour from the water, it doesn’t cost as much as one of the tourist tour costs.
Which prejudices about Hamburg are true?
If you meet a Hamburger, congratulations! Real Hamburger are rare. They are often very linked together among each other. One of the prejudices is Hamburger are close-lipped, with frosty character, silent like fishes. That’s actually true, till you found a way where you have something in common. It takes loooong time, but if you once have the confidence, you’ve found a friend for your life. No matter what kind of storm will come, he/she is there for you! As the harbour in Hamburg is always there.
Another prejudice is: Hamburger are rich, with brown faces (because of cabriolet) stuck in pastell polo shirts, with dark blue quilted sailor jackets with golden knobs, with yellow pants. Yep, right, there are few of them here in Hamburg. I’m not often in that areas so I don’t care that much, in addition to it you can have a wonderful walk through richer districts and watch and relax.
Cut a long story short: All united the enormous love to the Hamburg!
What is the most popular neighborhood to live in Hamburg at this moment?
Hamburg has 104 districts, quite different districts and faces. Most popular is since few years the so called Schanze, with many cafés and small designer shops it’s one of the coolest neighbourhoods (drink galao-coffee, see and wanna be seen, don’t forget big sunglasses). Sankt Pauli – of course – famous for nightclubs, red light district, harbour (24/7 hours of sin and fun). Karolinenviertel is peppered with small artist shops, young fashion designers, print shops. Ottensen is very fancy, familiar and reminds me always on Denmark – maybe because it was once – (drink an expensive coffee). Altona in between that all: calm, mixed and not really seen (see a real Hamburger pub). Far away, close to the main train station is Sankt Georg: gay, beautiful and peppered with loads of oriental bazaars (spice shopping). Wilhelmsburg known for many Turkish people and young, alternative students (alternative concerts).
Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
A perfect free day in Hamburg for me is when I wake up pretty early in the morning on a Saturday. Get out of the bed, walk through my sleepy neighbourhood to the Flohschanze (fleamarket), strolling around the wares that are displayed on wallpapering table by people who cleared out their houses.
Afterwards I like to meet friends for a long breakfast in a café. Often I go home after that for a little nap, sitting in the kitchen of my shared flat, reading newspaper. In the night, I like to meet people again for a drink at Toastbar or Familieneck.
The nightclub Pudel is one of my last steps through the night, where you can dance till the morning hours. Every Sunday morning there is Fishmarket at the harbour, where you can eat a fish bread or drinking coffee, buy some fruits or plants.
Another perfect day with more calmness could be
to drink a coffee in Transmontana
or have a view from Philosophenturm (Tower) to see the wonderful city from above
or do a short trip to Wilkommhöft in Wedel.
Check out all Kyra Garske’s articles and the other interviews with our Spotters.