Although we didn’t have much choice in furnished apartments, or any lead time to speak of, and on our scouting trip we were only able to visit 1 apartment, the one we saw turned out be just what we needed and is in a beautiful, central neighborhood.
Achenbachstrasse is a tree-lined street with an old-world vibe, but full of young families (there’s even a birthing center here). Living at number 3, at the very south end of the street, we are within walking distance to at least 3 grocery stores, an open-air market, several drug stores, a playground, public transit, and dozens of restaurants.
(However, like at home, we seem determined to live as far away from D’s school as imaginable, but at least on weekends we’ll have a lot to keep us busy).
You can read about the history of our street on this web page for the historic hotel just a few doors down from us, the Villa Achenbach.
It’s a street that is well-known in Düsseldorf; when we were touring the international school here (ISD), the admissions woman there knew of the street. It’s a notable bike route, and at any time of day you can see bike commuters flying down the street, which is calm due to it not being car accessible for its entire length (only bits of it are accessible from the main streets surrounding it).
Düsselfdorf is divided into districts; we are in the district officially named Düssenthal, but more commonly referred to as the “Zoo,” since before the war, the park nearby with the same name was a zoo. The “zoo” park is a large green space with small canals and a little lake. On our journeys there we’ve spotted both white and black swans, an egret, green parrots in the trees, and a duck variety I’ve never seen, with pink legs and feet.
Just across the busy street to the south of us is the recently-gentrified district called Flingern, which is chock full of bespoke bicycle shops, charming hipster eateries, and more ice cream shops.
(The Germans are seemingly obsessed with ice cream, and you can easily purchase a cone on nearly every block throughout the city. In fact eating ice cream while walking or cycling may require its own post as this is a now a daily thing for us!).
As German cities go, Düsseldorf is a fairly ‘new’ city, with mostly post-war buildings. But our street has some buildings that appear to be pre WWI, or were built in the Weimar years between the wars (art deco style), or were at least we built to appear that way.
I just can’t seem to stop photographing them; here are some shots from our neighborhood, along with other notable buildings in the area (like the Frank Gehry buildings, and on the other end of the architecture spectrum, the Goethe museum) that have caught my eye.
Can you spot the green parrots in the tree at the Zoo park?