Our country is still in lockdown mode and there are few options for recreation outside of our own four walls. I don't know about you, but for me, a nice walk through Frankfurt is always a welcome alternative in such a case. Whether on foot or by bike, there is a lot to discover in the extensive GrünGürtel. What I personally particularly like here are the works designed by artists of the New Frankfurt School in cooperation with the Caricatura Museum für Komische Kunst. Admittedly, not all of the works are accessible or in use during the winter months and during the lockdown. For example, the Squirrel King by F. K. Waechter can only be visited again when the StadtWaldHaus (also always worth a visit), on whose grounds the work can be found, is open. And the Pinkelbaum - also by F. K. Waechter - at the Jacobiweiher is also shut down during the cold season. But there are many more works that you can discover on foot or by bike. I present you here my favorites:
The GreenBelt Animal by Robert Gernhardt
I like the area at the old airfield in Bonames. Admittedly, I prefer a bike ride there in the warmer months and also when you can stop at the Tower Café. But even in this rather dull time I can only recommend a trip there. The Alte Flugplatz is easy to reach by bike or by public transport (U-Bahn (U2) to station "Kalbach" + 10 min walk or Bus 27 to station "Nordpark" + 5 min walk). If you walk from the old airfield over the Niddabrücke, you will be greeted by the GrünGürtel-Tier by Robert Gernhardt since 2006. It is quasi the mascot of the GrünGürtel and a very charming piece of comic art in public space. It is always happy if you take a picture with it.
A real photo hotspot: The Me Monument
I like to cycle along the banks of the Main towards Oberrad, where I then cycle through the fields to Green Sauce Monument. The way there leads past the ICH monument designed by Hans Traxler - a perfect photo hotspot. True to the motto "Everyone is unique" anyone can climb the pedestal here and become a monument themselves. I would love to know how many photos have already been taken here since the opening of the ICH monument about 15 years ago.
Owl in a Norwegian Sweater and Monster Woodpecker in the City Forest
The City Forest is the perfect destination for a welcome break from the Corona routine. I find it particularly idyllic at the Jacobiweiher near the Oberschweinsteige. Take a relaxing stroll along here - it really clears your head. At the pond you can find the already mentioned and currently not dripping pee tree as well as an adorable owl in a Norwegian sweater - one of numerous objects by F.K. Waechter, which decorate the GrünGürtel. Waechter connoisseurs should know the owl from his book "Wahrscheinlich peckt wieder kein Schwein". If you go for a walk, you should look up just before the bridge between the path and the water to spot the owl. For me, the lovable critter always puts me in a good mood, even in bad weather.
You'll find another work of comic art if you hike back to Oberschweinsteige and then follow Oberschweinsteigschneise. After about 20 minutes you will come to the crossroads with Kaisertannenweg, Hainerweg and Steinweg. This is the home of the Monsterspecht - also designed by F.K. Waechter - is at home. To be more precise, it is already the second Monster Woodpecker. The original had fallen victim to a storm and fungal infestation. The nearly six-foot "strange bird" can be spotted on a 173-year-old live oak.
Ab nach Schwanheim zu Monsterkindern und Struwwelpeter-Baum
Another of my favorite walking spots is the Schwanheimer Wald with the adjacent Schwanheimer Wiesen. And here, too, you can spot comic art. In the forest, a stately oak tree has dropped three "monster children." These are three huge acorns that children are welcome to climb. The "monster children" also make perfect photo subjects!
Just a few minutes walk away in the Schwanheimer Wiesen, a pollarded willow was found by F.K. Waechter into a Struwwelpeter of the special kind transformed. Of course, the funny tree is especially beautiful when its crown blossoms in all its glory. But even with its trimmed winter hairstyle, the tree is a real eye-catcher!
I have not yet discovered all the works that are hiding in the GrünGürtel. The Barfüßler, for example, I only know from photos, the Sondermann sculpture in the Nordpark Bonames or the Tyrolean animals near the Wäldchestag area as well. But the lockdown will last a little longer - enough opportunities for more walks through our beautiful city, to discover new places, which I will introduce to you next time.
And where do you like to walk or cycle in the city area?
A post by Sebastian Betzold
More info on Comic Art in the GreenBelt: https://frankfurt.en/topics/environment-and-green/places/green-guerrilla/destinations/funny_art