My weekend in Leipzig: from Reudnitz to Connewitz

Last Saturday, I donned my rain-defying tights, torn denim shorts, tank-top and jacket sans hoodie, jumped on my bike and spent much of the afternoon and part of the evening at Reudnitz’s Sonderposten and surroundings.

I could already hear the samba drums when approaching Lene-Voigt-Park where that community fest took place, and once there, I was pleasantly surprised by a girl from the German samba group, Samba Pintada, singing about Rio de Janeiro in well-rehearsed Portuguese.

I ran into three separate sets of friends and talked for a while, then had Polish beer from the Poniatowski booth in the heavy bout of rain. Acquiescing, I rushed to take refuge under the tarp of a Gambian vendor who was listening to Cape Verdian music, swaying while serving couscous with a very nice orange-pink sauce, which I wolfed down.

After spontaneously pigging out on lasagna (do you detect a theme here?) and on nice conversation at the Reudnitz home of friends I’d randomly run into, and then listening to a few minutes of a live performance set to a silent film playing on a big screen back at the park, I had to jump on my bike again to go straight to a neighbor’s house in Südvorstadt. *Catches breath* We played Singstar on PlayStation and I got my ass kicked.

Still feeling like a wet dog from the rain bout earlier at the park, I asked my neighbor for some makeup and perfume so I could appear halfway decent; we then walked to Connewitz‘s Werk 2 to dance to silly pop music in their big warehouse-style hall. Alongside us was a crowd that looked like they would’ve been in diapers when Nelly’s Hot in Herre (not to be confused with the German word for “gentlemen,” “Herren”), first came out in 2002.

On Sunday the crowd I encountered during my wanderings was a bit more mature.

There were no Nelly “classics” playing, but Dolus Mutombo and his music partner Giulia Zappalà, the duo Tidemore from Berlin, and Maria Schüritz – Looped SoulSongWriting performing live, respectively, at three people’s private apartments in Südvorstadt. Interspersed with quirky short films projected on their walls.

This is called Tapetenwechsel – a cool event organized by Leipzig locals in a different neighborhood each time, where people agree to open up their homes to showcase talent and give Leipzig-based music and film lovers a chance to enjoy it for free and meet like-minded folks. All you have to pay for is drinks or snacks you might want, besides doing the right thing and tipping the artists.

That’s right. I got a Facebook invite from Dolus to go see him play at a stranger’s apartment. If you were able to find out the address, usually from a friend, you’d encounter the door open, you’d be in and welcome, and once inside you could get the address to the other two apartments on that evening’s circuit. Never heard of this kind of thing before. In the paranoid society where I once lived, the U.S., I can’t imagine this being common.

Glad to be living in Leipzig, where all I need is my bike and some stamina to have a fun, diversified, culturally rich, laughter and music-filled weekend in different parts of town.

My weekend in bad photos I took with my phone along the way:

A Global Studies doctoral degree holder and former newspaper reporter, avid eater, pseudo-philosopher and poet, occasion-propelled singer, semi-professional socializer, movie addict, Brazilian-American nomad. In this space, she will share some of her experiences and (mis)adventures regarding various topics, with special attention to social issues.

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