Square peg Frankfurt

This is a guest post by Angela Onikepe.

So let’s talk about beauty. What is it? Straight lines? Symmetry? Perfectly round circles? Something that matches the societal standard of beauty?

I think beauty is more a case of square pegs. The fact that square pegs never fit into round holes (as the saying goes) or any other shape for that matter, is what makes them beautiful. Square pegs give us the image of messiness, disorder and chaos but that’s the fun of it. The same can be said for life and what is all around us.

Take the city of Frankfurt for instance. It’s the financial capital of Germany and although it is quite well known, it does not necessarily get the same courtesy as some of its sister cities. Berlin is always described as “dynamic”, “cosmopolitan” and “exciting”. Munich gets even better treatment since it’s known as being the most “beautiful” and “green” German city. Dresden is known as the “Florence at the Elbe.” How can you beat being Florence?

Call me superficial but the term “financial center” does not exactly make you daydream or think of a city with personality. It certainly does not make you want to go and immediately buy a ticket to see what it’s all about. Being known as the “financial center” does not elicit thoughts of idyllic settings and relaxation (okay, maybe some of you are more imaginative than I am).

Even so, on a recent visit, I found Frankfurt to be full of square pegs; I had the sensation of slowly unwrapping a present with each peek getting better and better. It was an explosion and fusion of shapes; all sorts of mixtures of lines, patterns and styles that made me positively giddy. Circles mashed in with squares and squiggly lines; spirals twirling around with straight lines and odd-shaped holes. The combination of the old and the new, which to some might seem messy (read → ugly), was seamless.

Frankfurt 1

Downtown Frankfurt, the Nextower building.

Frankfurt 2

The Römerberg is the centre of the Altstadt (the old town).

Frankfurt 3

Love padlocks. Couples come to the Eiserner Steg Bridge to profess their everlasting love by fastening locks with their names onto the bridge.

Frankfurt 4

Downtown Frankfurt.

There was a whimsical feeling to the city, almost as if it was reminding me of what it means to be human – a disastrous but yet fascinating mix of all kinds of things. Now, that’s my kind of beauty in an idyllic setting, a place that reminds me not to take myself too seriously; there’s nothing more beautiful or freeing than that.

*Folks, thanks for coming along with me on the ride; I would also like to thank head-honcho Talkers, Isaac and Robin, for allowing me to play in their world. That’s beautiful too.*

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