I found this very nice post in a blog of an American teacher who has lived in Dresden now for a couple of years. It sounds like a love letter to our area, the Neustadt neighborhood. But read on on your own:
A little rant, because I love where I live
I am so sick of people wrinkling their noses about Dresden-Neustadt, where I live, and telling me how awful the Neustadt is. It’s loud, it’s smelly, there are punks and dog shit everywhere. Yeah, yeah, tell me something I didn’t know. Despite all that, I will let you know how I really feel. To exploit my good old American love of the superlative: it’s the greatest place in the world.
It is loud here if you are on one of the main streets, sure there’s traffic, and often there are people out, talking or grilling or getting together in their garden or living room or in the park. Or right now, they are screaming because of whatever is happening with the soccer game on TV. So if you like your peace and quiet, either go home and leave my neighborhood alone or find a quiet place here, of which there are TONS. But I won’t tell you where because you don’t care anyway.
It can be smelly, especially in the summer from the grilling (which is a matter of taste if you like that or not) the dog pee and poo all around (which annoys me too) and maybe because of some smelly people. But come on, where don’t you have those three elements? Jesus, where I come from we have super smelly Amish people, especially on Fridays in the summer, because they only bathe on Saturdays. I’ll tell you what, they smell worse than the punks or the squatters here who don’t bathe at all.
And on to the punks. Sure, there are punks around. But if you are polite to them and don’t treat them like a total jerk, they will leave you alone too. They used to ask me for change before I had any kids, and I always said that I didn’t have any. I did this in a nice way, looked them in the eye, and smiled. Do you know what? They always wished me a nice day. Honestly, not sarcastically. Once I was noticeably pregnant with W., and still lived between two of major punk begging areas, they stopped asking me for money. Since I have had kids and am on the go with my kids most of the time now, they always leave me alone, clear the way if I’m pushing a stroller and are genuinely respectful. Sure, I don’t like their dogs, since they are ratty and unpredictable, but have never been bothered or threatened by their dogs, either. It’s probably more my own dislike of dogs that gets me riled up in that respect. Honestly, I find the punks to be nicer than a lot of the other people out there on the streets. Small town dork that I am, I find it super cool to live somewhere where there are punks on the street. And a rather affluent American former colleague of mine put it this way, “I like living somewhere where my son can see that there are lots of different people around, and that the punks are not dangerous or scary”.
And there’s the dog shit, and honestly, nobody likes that. But there are more and more responsible dog owners who take a baggie with them and remove their poo. But there are still lots of jerks who don’t.
Then there are all the good things about this neighborhood: the beautiful architecture, the interesting and friendly people, all the kids (I’ve heard we have the highest birth rate in Dresden, if not in Germany, but can’t back that up with any numbers), the openness, the proximity to everything you need or could possibly desire as well as the possibility to get out of the city pretty quickly if you want. I’m sick of hearing how “antisocial” it is around here. I know of lots of other places in Dresden where you can go and see a much worse crowd hanging around the supermarkets, and I’m not talking about Prohlis or Gorbitz. Anyway, I guess what it really comes down to is that I really like this place where I live, I like going out the door and just about every time seeing someone I know, not having to drive to go shopping or to get anywhere at all, it’s a neat and dynamic place with so many playgrounds, petting zoos, and kid-friendly cafes that we really can never complain of boredom or running out of things to do. It’s a place that breeds and attracts people who are square pegs who don’t fit into round holes, and that’s just fine here. So enough of my long-windedness. I hate to carry on debates about such matters of personal taste, and even though I may be too polite to say it to your face, the next time you insult my neighborhood, do want to know what I am thinking while you barrage me with insults about my choice of a place to live? Stick it where the sun don’t shine, baby.