Illustration: André Liegl

Hello there and welcome to another edition of Darmstadtian secrets. The season of joy, love and Glühwein has arrived. If we are lucky we will even have a little snow. If so, please grab your kids, your partner and/or your pet dog and go outside. Summer was nice, hanging out lazily in Herrngarten with first semester students, but the real deal is winter. Clear fresh air and warm sun rays served on an ice cold winter day. Not much that can beat that, except for the later cuddling up on the couch with a nice tea, coffee or if you really want to go „all in“ prepare yourself and your loved ones a hot chocolate.

But before you can come back to the cosiness of your own home, the question is where should you go. Obvious (like in your face) is the annually returning Glühwein and Bratwurst massacre from Marktplatz to Luisenplatz called Weihnachtsmarkt. Don’t get me wrong – it is valid and it is nice but it is mainstream. Little alternatives pop up all around the city, some for one day, some for a weekend but all made with heart and passion. There is for example Foodtruck Weihnachtsmarkt in the court of Centralstation. Pretty close and with opening hours just like its big brother, this one is a cute, very modern alternative in the centre of town. The people of Bessungen have to adapt a little with their Weihnachtsmarkt hours, but this real sweety is located right in the heart of Bessungen on Forstmeisterplatz. Beginning at the end of November, four weekends in a row, Eberstadt residents go to Oberstraße, where there is a cosy afternoon market. In Martinsviertel you can check on Mollerplatz, the second weekend in December.

Enough Christmas, here comes New Year’s Eve. To list all the possibilities, like every year, is a helpless task (overview: www.partyamt.de). You will find parties and people everywhere in town. If you don’t have any plans, it is a good idea to just go outside and look for something that night. My absolute favorite last year was a pop up block party around Johanneskirche, near Kasinostraße that I stumbled upon by accident on my way to a friend’s party. Awesome. Please do that again.

After all this food and drinks in abundance, it is time to get back into bikini shape as carneval is almost ready to take off in February. Make use of Darmstadt’s indoor swimming pools, saunas, bodyshaping studios and boulder houses. Get some fresh air and downhill skiing/sleigh action on Moret between Darmstadt and Dieburg: just follow the street up Darmstadtium until you are lost in the woods, if there is snow, that is. Or, of course, you go and swing your disco trash hips at the gay friendly „Schrill und Laut“ in Schlosskeller, moshpit away to metal music in Oetinger Villa or have a sauna-like live rock music experience in the cellar of Bessunger Knabenschule. If you want to keep your extra pounds and can’t stop drinking: „Zucker“ in Martinsviertel now offers a pub night with an english speaking host every last Tuesday of the month.

For now, yours sincerely,

P.

Next time we will recapture the spirit of eighties’ Darmstadt in our english punk special „Cheers, Butcher!“.

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