...since we moved from the dull and grey, late 60's concrete ghetto, 5km's from the city center, and into our charming, nook-and-cranny-having, 4th floor, ornamented ceilings appartment, in the lovely A.D. 1912, red brick building on Frederiksbjerg... guess what I favour.
The ghetto (Gellerup) was actually not that bad - once you got passed the noise, the mess, the bad seeds stirring up trouble, and the fact that you were a foreigner (and was looked upon as such) in your own land. It sure had it's charms - especially during summer, where everything was green and lush. Unfortunately though, the noise levels increased in magnitude and duration.
But it's been the frame of my life for 14 years or so, and 6 years for Liv, and apart from my parent's place, it's the longest I've ever lived in the same place.
It's difficult to leave the ghetto. You get lullled into a dazed condition by the spacious appartments with all modern comforts, the more than cheap rent, the (usually) good public transport systems, and the many nearby shops and the mall. It really is a small community within the community.
But the area has been going downhill ever since I moved out there (not that it's my fault, mind you). The violence has increased, the noise has increased, the ratio of foreigners has increased. By every year it has excelled in living up to it's reputation as one of Denmark's worst ghettos. In the time we've lived there, I've been threatened once, my friend was mugged, we've had a break-in in our basement, and several other minor things. Others however, has not been so "lucky". Many lives has been lost in gellerup, and I distinctly remember the tripple homicide that happened one night at the parking lot, right outside my kitchen window. I'll never forget the images of brain matter being flushed away by the fire brigade, when they came late at night and cleaned up the mess.
There's also a lot of fond memories from Gellerup. The friends, the parties, the band I played in - not to mention the fact that Liv and I actually met in what was then me and a couple of flat mates' kitchen. I gave up smoking in Gellerup (for other reasons than being in Gellerup though). I got my first chopper in Gellerup (and lugged it up and down to 2. floor, in fear of it being stolen from the basement). I got my first job doing 3D, while living in Gellerup.
- I could probably go on and on, but I won't. I love our new appartment, and I love being back in the neighbourhood I grew up in. Heck - I'm pretty sure I delivered newspapers in our building, some 23 years ago, give or take. And the area has become even better than when I first lived there. Lot's of great dining, cafés, special shops etc. My parents only a 5 minute walk away. Hardly any noise. Nice partial overview of the city. Everything within reach. An attic that, if we decide to and can save up the money, can be turned into extra square meters of appartment.
I certainly don't miss the ghetto, and I haven't set foot there for a year now. And if it takes another year before I do so, then I won't complain.