Frankfurt Raimundstraße 1975

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to see this same view 30 years later (2005), courtesy of Beni Calchera.

The west end of Platenstraße curved around and met Raimundstraße right at Number 27, where my family lived (just over the bar, then known as Rudi's) in 1959 "on the economy" for about six months, while waiting for Platenstraße housing to open up. Around the corner to the right is the Number 17 trolley (Straßenbahn) stop (Haltestelle), which goes east to the Ginnheim Endstation and west to Dornbusch, the Eschenheimer Turm, the Hauptwache, the (then-bombed out) Opernhaus, and finally the Hauptbahnhof, where you could change to dozens of other lines (e.g. the 11 to Höchst) in the big "free kill zone" out front.

Tiger Bay Further along Raimundstraße was a Lebensmittel where you could buy eggs (one at a time!), black bread, unsalted butter, Frankfurter Würstchen, etc -- bring your own bag. If I'm not mistaken it had its own vegetable garden. I think D'Angelo's Ristorante Italiano (Marco's pizza) was on this street too, but who remembers... by 1975 it was long gone (I didn't know it at the time, but this was the best pizza I'd ever have). Also a Kino that showed only one movie: Tiger Bay. I'm serious, in three years I never saw anything else on the marquee, and people were always lined up (it's actually quite good). I'll bet when Moon-Spinners came out in 1964, they showed that for three years too.

   Just around the corner to the left is a Trinkhalle (seen in this 1959 shot from the apartment window, click to magnify) where you could get Limonade, Gummi Bears (20 years before anyone in the USA heard of them), and Henninger beer in big brown bottles with ceramic tops (that's a Henninger delivery truck). Behind the Trinkhalle is a plant nursery, which you can also see in the color photo above. The composite photo below looks left (west) from the same apartment, showing trolley poles and wires, a Citroën (Zitron) car and a VW, and Platenstraße housing in the background. Shortly after these photos were taken, some sort of youth center (AYA?) was erected on the vacant lot. (Michael Helgemo informs me that by 1963 it was an American elementary school.)

You can just barely see the trolley tracks in the cobblestone steet (hint: maximize your browser). The trolley stop serving Platenstraße is just out of sight to the left, at the intersection with Fallerslebenstraße. In the 1950s and early 60s, the trolleys on this line were still made of wood and had special seats for amputees from the war ("Sitzplatz für Schwerbeschädigte"). The trolley conductor wore a little box on his stomach and walked up and down the aisle collecting fares ("Noch jemand bitte?"), which were based on how far you planned to go (e.g. "geradeaus", all the way), and then punched your destination onto the ticket (Fahrkarte), which had a little map on it. I seem to remember that at certain places where trolley lines diverged, the driver had to lean out the front with a long pole and switch the tracks manually, but that might have been in another city.

Links:

Thanks to Willi S. Brunn for remembering the name of Rudi's!

Tiger Bay
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Frankfurt Photos / Frank da Cruz / fdc@columbia.edu / August 2003 / Last update: 17 October 2012