Almost exactly a year after my friend E and I explored Stuttgart-Süd, we finally managed to play tourist in Stuttgart-Ost. Although I did look it up on the web to see if there were any areas that held any special interests, I wasn’t really sure what would await us.
I’d only ever visited one particular street as I knew someone there but apart from that I didn’t know much of that area. What I had read, and what interested me especially, was a part that was built in 1866 for the working classes; the houses were called villas, each one different from the others, and it was made clear this housing colony was for the working class who actually worked, not for riff-raff.
It turned out, though, that hardly anyone in S-Ost knew about this history or where exactly those villas could be found; mainly because the older population who might have known was gone, and a lot of the people we encountered didn’t speak German that well. I researched the area again when I got home and am now equipped with a map; I’d like to go there again and take a closer look.
Overall, we had a great day, we walked around for six hours, and the weather was fantastic. What surprised me most was that everyone we met in the street was super friendly. I tried not to have any expectations regarding the “people factor” due to our unfriendly encounters last year in S-Süd, so this was great. Funny thing was, older people always asked who we worked for. I didn’t get it the first couple of times, but then I caught on: they meant which newspaper did we work for… They couldn’t believe we were tourists, and tourists from their own city at that! Looks like people with cameras only ever go to that area to report on something.
The bonus was that some people who saw us with our cameras wanted to have their picture taken. Wow! I’ve never ever had that before. The first guy was out shopping with his wife, asked if we would like to take his picture, I said we didn’t get that often, and then he told us his story – he was used to it because he used to be a candidate for the mayoral election of some little town outside of Stuttgart. The second guy saw us, smiled and gestured towards himself asking could we take his picture and send it to him, it would make his wife happy. Sadly I was so unprepared for willing photo subjects that my shots didn’t turn out that well.
So, a beautiful day out with lots of nice and friendly people. The pictures I brought home are more like what I used to shoot a year ago (I made a point of trying to do that); I used my 50 mm lens and my 105 mm macro lens, and the result is just how I like it – trivial little things you see on a casual walk through the streets.