The annual G20 conference of the world’s major economies met in Hamburg last week, with leaders convening in palaces and demonstrators rioting in the streets. It brought to mind the cheerful violence that greeted me and my brother, Tony, on a tour boat trip during our visit to the North Sea port back in, I think, 2003. We began on the city lake and ended up plying rivers with campgrounds and beer houses along verdant shores, from which groups in small boats would embark, approach, then launch attacks with hand-thrown water balloons at our boat. We would duck behind the gunwales. (Sorry, no shots of projectiles in mid-flight; the fotog was busy ducking!) Fun, but a bit edgy, given the scruffy look of most of our interlocutors. Some of them may also have been in launch mode at last week’s summit.
The video here is a German product. The weather is gray and Christmas is near. There is no narration (but a couple of musical interludes that may be zipped through). The video demonstrates very graphically how difficult it is to meld modern architecture into the architecture of history and tradition, of which Hamburg still has long stretches. But the Germans, too, are trying to find a middle way that works, such as seems to be on display in the long, curved, then sharp, mainly traditional building pictured in the screenshot below. Nah, turns out to be from the 1920s. Oh well. Beneath that is another shot of Hamburg’s canals. The shot on top of this post shows the same canal scene today lit at night. Finally are a few shots from our Hamburg visit a decade and a half ago, with apologies for the flawed photography.