portstrasse: Your Town – Your Space – Your Music

What is “portstrasse”?  For many it may be the name of one of the U3 stops (now called “Altstadt”), or one of the streets leading to the Bleiche in Oberursel.

For others it may be the building on the corner of that street and opposite that station where the Friday Night Jazz session takes place, the children’s cinema, and other events.

But there is a lot more to the “portstrasse” than just that, especially for the town’s teenagers, some of which may not be obvious at first glance.

It’s full title is “portstrasse – the forum for youth and culture”, and is made up of four different offerings.  The café, the “bluebox” cinema, the “musikhalle” concert location and the “kunstbühne” stage.  And they have been doing this for over 30 years, making them one of the oldest organisations of its kind in Germany.

The café portstrasse has recently extended their opening times by a massive 10 hours per week.  They are open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 4pm until 8pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm until midnight, and on Sunday afternoon from 3pm until 6pm.  And to celebrate the new opening hours they held a “Start-Party” last Saturday evening.

So what makes this café so special and sets it apart from other places to go in the town?

Well, with the focus on the teenage population, the priorities are somewhat different.  For a start, the soft drinks are at more affordable prices and cheaper than alcoholic ones (assuming that someone is old enough to buy them in the first place).  When there are not other events going on, the water is even free.

There is a bar, but there are also tables to sit at and talk, a dart board, table-top football, and other things to do.  There is even a sound system that mobile phones can be attached to, the motto here being “Bring Your Own Music”.

Verena Herzberger and Savas Köktas with some of those present at the Start Party

 Verena Herzberger and Savas Köktas with some of those present at the Start Party

But the real difference are the staff, who are all trained social workers.  Reading their biographies shows what a range of skills they have and topics they cover, not that you would know if you just visit on a Saturday evening to chill out or have a chat.

Although one skill did come in very handy at the Start-Party.  Savas Köktas, who joined the team in October, used to work in the catering business and even had his own delicatessen.  He spent the afternoon preparing the Turkish buffet with a group of boys.  His “normal” role at the portstrasse is advising children with “migration” backgrounds, something that he also does outside of the normal opening hours.  Apparently there is enough demand for that advice, and the café offers a place for young people to go to.

For more information on the “portstrasse”, there is the website on portstrasse.de, and a Facebook page, both in German.  We also publish details of many of the events in English in our Events section.  With so much on offer, it’s a place that everyone should know about.

About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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