Friday, 6 February 2009

Street of surprises

street signI have just read an article* which claimed that a road I live 10 minutes walk from is Europe’s busiest shopping street. Apparently almost 13,000 people pass through it every hour, making it more popular than Oxford Street. It's a road I know very well as it is where we do most of our 'high street' shopping.

The street is called Schildergasse (roughly translated as 'sign lane') and is named named after the painters & sign makers who used to work there.

I took a little walk there today to run some errands. I was keen to revel in my new-found knowledge so I spent a little time taking in the sights. This is what I saw:

llama1. A small llama advertising that the circus is in town.

(Well the llama is. I don't know what his friend in the fair isle jumper, leisure-wear blouson and bright blue slacks is doing.)

ice cream2. A giant ice cream atop of a shopping centre.

According to the artists they chose this motif because ice cream parlours are very popular in Cologne and the word 'cone' can be found in the name of the city.

Apparently several 'flavours' were trialled in the design phase but one of the artists decided the final version should be vanilla. Yes, really.

snow globe3. A lady trapped inside a snow globe.

She was trapped in there by an evil crone and her only hope of escape to a normal life - where she can order a takeaway, enjoy HD TV and collect virtual friends all from the comfort of the bubble that is her home - is to be kissed by a man in an unfeasibly pink fleecy sweatshirt.

Oh, it looks like her luck's in.

carnival man4. A green-coated dandy with a satsuma head.

He's one of many small pieces of street art which are put up at this time every year to herald carnival time.


*Read full article on the Deutsche Welle website

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