07 July 2005

A note from a neighbor...

Dear Neighbors on Bad and Unteren Neckarstrasse

Technically, we don't live on one of these streets, but we're essentially there.

Because of the heightened noise pollution and ruckus lasting several
days due to more drunken groups of people on the shores of the Neckar,
[after my query to the police] I was informed by officer Mr. xxxxxxxxx
that I should move out to Wartberg, and please don't complain about it
any more.

Find a Realtor and move away as soon as possible.

Welcome to the new Germany.

"The insanity will be invisible, when it has taken on enough mass!"
- Bertolt Brecht

"You may deceive all the people part of the time, and part of the
people all the time, but not all the people all the time."
- Abraham Lincoln.

With kind regards,

That was a welcome change from the boring stuff normally crammed in the mailbox. There have been a lot of people hanging out along the shores of the Neckar (though not the last few days, because of the rain), but I haven't been disturbed by them. Mostly they are quiet and keep to their own groups. The river bank is a public place, as far as I know, so there is no reason why they shouldn't be there. Sure, there was one day when about 8 police cars & vans showed up, but it wasn't like there was a riot or anything. But in general, I assume that between the water and the shady trees, it is a cool place to be in these very hot last few weeks.

I have never been or felt threatened by them in my apartment or walking by, and the noise they make is no more disturbing than the occasional ambulance siren, honking horns or church bells you would hear anywhere. So what's this guy's deal? Well, I guess it is the police response, which, if true, is somewhat disturbing. My guess is that this guy complained during the Neckarvergnügen, which was much louder and more crowded - but it was at a limited and known time.

It reminds me of the people that move into a place because of its "cool factor" and then complain about the byproducts of that cool. For example, 6th Street in Austin was the heart of the "Live Music Captiol of the World". It was an incredible collection of clubs, and any night of the week you could find a huge variety of live music to satisfy your musical cravings. As the inevitible gentrification began, people would move in to new "loft apartments" in the cool zone, and then bitch & moan about the loud noise emerging from the very clubs that made their "cool zone" cool. When you move into a house on the San Andreas fault, you would be a bonehead to think that you would never get hit by an earthquake.

I'm not trying to claim that this area of Heilbronn is as cool as Austin's 6th Street or anything, but it is interesting to me. The very thing that drew us to this apartment in this area draws tons of people every day, and at least 95% of them are not drunk & disorderly.

I am guessing that there is more to this letter than what was said. I can't believe that the police would tell the guy that after one complaint. If so, that's a big problem. If that was the response after his 10th complaint during the Neckarvergnügen, I could see why they would say that.

In any case, it is interesting that someone would go to the trouble and stuff the malboxes of everyone on Bad and Unteren Neckarstrasse. I am guessing that the guy who wrote it is the same guy who went out of his way to tell us how bad we were when we ran across a street against a red light to catch our bus.


At Thursday, 07 July, 2005 , Anonymous steev said...

Wow! I would be sad to see him leave the neighborhood, because a neighbor who quotes Berthold Brecht AND Abraham Lincon to you is a rare treat. Well, maybe not in Germany.

He does sound like an annoying busybody. That at sort of gentrification phenomenon you mention happened (and I assume is still happening) a lot in San Francisco, too, people moving into the trendy SOMA or Mission clubbing areas and then complaining about the people clubbing and lobbying to get the clubs shut down.


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