Old stomping grounds
Had a chance to spend 24 hours in Frankfurt last week, sad to learn that Henninger Beer no longer exists, but happy to see that the city has revitalized and re-invented itself. Frankfurt has always been the commercial center of Germany, but in recent years, there’s been more of an emphasis on culture and green spaces. The downtown area is still gritty and urban, but the edges are a bit softer.
A few days after we left, I did a little exploring on Google Maps to check out some of the places I used to live, like Gibbs Casern, along Ronneburgstrasse. The satellite view shows clearly the old U.S. Army buildings, and even the faint outlines of an old softball field used by troops and their dependents, now mostly looking like an overgrown weedy lot. There’s even a greenspace that’s identified on the map as the “Ami Spielplatz,” or the American Playground.
It was fun showing my son the city I grew up in, and fun to shoot a few snapshots along the river and downtown. I’m not particularly sentimental about Frankfurt, but it is the place where my dad first turned me loose with an old Asahi Pentax Spotmatic camera, and where I learned some of the basics of photography and film processing from a crusty old German instructor at a photo lab set up as a recreation facility for U.S. forces.