Thomas, 48, started selling Hannover, Germany street paper Asphalt due to being out of work and struggling with homelessness and drug addiction. Hannover is currently hosting this year’s Global Street Paper Summit.
Why do you like living in Hannover?
I like living in Hannover because it’s very green and quite relaxed. Hannover is very small for a city. There’s a large wooded area and an even bigger lake in the middle of town. It’s called the ‘Maschsee’ and the promenade on one side is great for strolling. The Maschpark goes around the lake, with a marvellous town hall and museums within spitting distance. Every visitor to Hannover needs to see this city-centre oasis and take pleasure from it.
What are the people like who live in Hannover?
At first sight, people in Hannover are rather reserved and aloof but if you are warm and open with them, this facade fades away. Although Hanoverians like their town to be considered alongside other German cities, their charm makes you feel more like you’re in a village. Hanoverians love to celebrate at the world’s biggest Marksmen’s Festival with beer and ‘Lütje`Lage’ [a special drink of beer & schnapps that can only be found in Hannover, and which street paper delegates will get a taste of during this year’s Global Street Paper Summit].
Where would you go in Hannover to eat out?
If I went out to eat in Hannover, then I’d go to the old town. With its houses that are hundreds of years old, it’s ideal to wander around in and while away the time, perhaps going into one of the many excellent restaurants and cafes. At the ‘Marktkirche’ in the old town there’s a large brewery-bar where you can eat really well, have a drink and celebrate. For visitors to the town, there’s the little known ‘Cafe Konrad’, which is especially charming and welcomes all minorities.
Visitors to the town really must take a look at the area known as Linden
Linden is much older than Hannover. It is still where most people come to work as well as being the social centre. People now live alternative lifestyles and strive for a fair society. It’s a large, colourful community of busy streets and alleyways. In the middle of the northern part is the ‘Faustgelände’, where there’s a flea market every Sunday in summer that encapsulates the style of life typical to Linden. Come and see us!
A great place to visit for free is the ‘Tierpark’ or animal park
A green space that’s free to visit is the ‘Tiergarten’ or animal park, where there’s free-roaming wildlife. This extensive green space offers the opportunity to observe many wild animals. It’s not far from the large city-woodland, the ‘Eilenreide’.
Here’s a secret that only Hanoverians know about
If you need to meet someone at the central station in Hannover, then you meet under the ‘Schwanz’. This is the horse’s tail on the sculpture of the King of Hannover on horseback and is the most reliable meeting place for those in the know.
Translated from German by Louise Thomas
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