"Mein Viertel" means my quarter, and refers to the immediate surroundings of your home in a city. For me, it also refers to where I know the people I meet on the street, where I go to the market, buy groceries and have my post office. It also includes a few broader landmarks which I relate to. Here a few snapshots of my quarter in Frankfurt am Main.
It's Frankfurt am Main. Main is a river, and not a qualifier. It does not mean that this is the "Main Frankfurt" while the other Frankfurt, at the river Oder, is inferior. Sometimes English speakers get confused with that. And then there are many Frankfurts, for example in the United States. But these are not the Frankfurts we talk about, and I don't know anything about them.
But I know Frankfurt am Main, from my time working at Bosch Telecom in Kleyerstrasse. It was the attempt of the Bosch Group to get a foothold in the Telecom Equipment market, at the time telecom services were liberalized in Germany and other European countries. Via various steps, the "TELENORMA - Telephonbau und Normalzeit GmbH" was integrated into the Robert Bosch Group in 1989. It was said to be one of the world's best telecom engineering companies and went back to its foundation as a telegraph manufacturer in 1901. I was working as a management trainee in the early 90s, started in the Security Technology Division and was posted to Paris, where we bought JS Telecom and started a Post-Merger Integration. I personally learned a lot, even though the venture was not very successful. 1999 the public network division was sold to Marcony Company and private networks and devices went to the Private Equity company Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) for 400 Mio USD, and rebranded TENOVIS. I was already at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) at that time. But I heard that a headcount cut of globally 40 % and having PE managers bragging that they were just released from jail for insider trading charges, did not go down too well. In 2006 the company was sold to AVAYA, and still, on Kleyer Strasse the office buildings are occupied, while the production facilities have, across the road have been converted. The more famous stories of " Fallen Angels" are companies like Kodak, Nokia, Erickson, Voigtländer, Borgward. But Telephonbau and Normalzeit, might also qualify for that category. Or perhaps it is more the Olivetti of telecommunication. This is how I came to Frankfurt am Main the first time. Now I am back. Times have changed, and I am re-entering the city from a different angle.
Frankfurt Bockenheim is a nice and lively place to live. It was Feibai's love for Leipziger Strasse, which made us abandon the further search, and made us convert the short term rental into a longer commitment. It is the University quarter and has a good library, and nice cafés and restaurants. Even though my favorite café is Laumer in Westend. All easy to reach in Frankfurt. First of all the city is flat and the bicycle takes you everywhere conveniently. And secondly, Frankfurt has an excellent and reliable subway. This is another change to 25 years ago: the subway is actually clean and safe. Even the Frankfurt Main train station, is not a drug den anymore, but a well-organized facility, from which you can reach the surrounding countryside easily for a hike in the Taunus or Rheingau, and go further for example along the Middle Rhine Valley, which became UNESCO Cultural World Heritage. The airport, which's expansions have been debated and even the source of violent protests some years ago, is also convenient when it comes to being connected. But of course, in the South of the city and in the major operational landing and take off corridors this causes quite some noise. Not so, in Bockenheim.