It was freezing cold last night on my way home. From the S-Bahn stop in Altona I can reach my flat in about ten minutes. This time, I wanted to take the bus to avoid walking and getting exposed to the cold. It turned out the bus trips are irregular due to a protest. I had no choice but to walk, and this is what met me along Grosse Bergstrasse in Altona.
Altonaers are demonstrating against the gentrification of this part of the city. They also call it Yuppisierung literally ‘Yuppification,’ which is a neologism for the neologism, yuppie. Yuppie, in turn, is originally an acronym for someone who belongs to the social category YUP, or which Young Upwardly mobile Professionals. Gentrification usually leads to more expensive rent and the influx of commercial establishments. Hamburg, as a metropolitan, keeps on evolving. Ottensen, an adjacent burough of Altona, is undergoing gentrification. Restaurants and bars are starting to fill its streets. The area used to be turf of immmigrants. HafenCity didn’t undergo gentrification. It is a new built-up environment that caters to business establishments and upclass residency.
They want to keep their little gardens, parks and play grounds. But how long will Altonaers be able to hold their ground?