Corona destroys dreams - an obituary for the Roxie
For many months I have seen how dreams and livelihoods are destroyed by the lockdowns. While in the early summer, despite all the cuts, there was still optimism and many club operators and others tried to defy the crisis positively with some smart ideas (for example, the Südpol in Hamburg took in more than €100,000 in survival aid through creative crowdfunding - I myself acquired a whole 10 cm² of the club at the time ?), resignation and brave somehow-going-on perseverance now prevail. If you read interviews from a year ago, sentences with the tenor appear again and again:
"It's really hard for us right now, but we'll get through it. But there can't be a second lockdown, because that would definitely break all our necks!"
In the late summer of 2020, I noticed that the first pubs, clubs and stores in the neighborhood were disappearing and more and more empty locations were staring at me. Even the bakery diagonally across the street, which had always existed here, struck sail. But all those who were able to manage to some extent put all their hopes in the hope that the worst would be over by autumn at the latest. In fact, these hopes seemed to be fulfilled, gastronomy and some clubs were able to reopen under strict hygiene regulations and even sexwork and working in S&M studios was possible again for a few weeks. We all hoped to have made it with a bloody nose. Even then, saved reserves, if any, became frighteningly scarce.
But then came the second wave, which has just seamlessly transitioned into the third. For more than a year there are basically no more concerts and techno events (techno events where you have to sit unfortunately don't work at all!), the Kinky Hedonistic scene is dead, studios and sexwork are in a death-like doze. More and more studios even shut down their web pages - for cost reasons and in order not to appear to be working "illegally" after all. You can' t even sit down in a café in the countryside. And of course, all this cannot remain without many victims, especially since simply far too many fall through the cracks of the "rescue" aid. Of course, great locations come and go at all times - but this mass death by closures is far worse than anything experienced so far.
And now it has also caught my favorite bar restaurant, the Roxie ☹
When I think of the Roxie in Rentzelstraße, an incredible number of wonderful and intense memories come up in me, whole movies run in my head. The cocktail happy hours three days a week, from 5 to 10 p.m., were always a blast. You could have super delicious breakfasts and international meals here and you were always treated like a good friend. Inside, everything was paneled in dark wood and when you walked through the back of the store, you first passed a beautiful conservatory and then stepped into a sunny garden shaded by old trees with rustic wooden tables, chic bistro tables and even beach chairs.
In the evening, this garden was illuminated by hundreds of colorful lights, in the glow of which you could - and did - dream and snuggle. And every now and then, even a cute little mouse would drop by, looking for fallen morsels.
The Roxie was the place that always worked - every day of the year, from morning to night, in any weather. And somehow there was always a nice place free for us. The Roxie was like a second living room, only bigger and more exciting. When I expected guests from out of town, one thing was for sure: nothing could go wrong here (unless you had invited notorious complainers ? ).
Here I even organized my first BDSM regulars' meetings - because I knew that the operators were super relaxed and just great.
Here we also sat with the team of the legendary Graceland studios and made plans for further assignments of radio play legend Konrad Halver - my dear, much too early deceased heart-friend - as the fucked-up Reeperbahn commissioner Dobranski. And also the insane radio play project "Gualagon - Frankensteins Schreckensgigant" and its planned sequels were worked out here (and in the Hindukush and the Windschirm).
And here it often became incredibly emotional and loving. And even more often just wonderfully relaxed and cozy - and very very tasty.
I don't know how many Flying Kangaroos, Ballaballas, Sex on the Beach, Guinness, Montepulciano, Roxie plates and Ducksteins I consumed here together with great people. Here I have experienced incredibly emotional hours together and here I felt comfortable even alone and somehow at home and together with friends.
The Roxie was much more of a place for me than just any venue serving delicious food and drinks, it was one of my heart places that made me feel so wonderfully safe and positive. When I lose a place like that, it really hits me hard every time and I miss the location and the good times there for many years. When I think of Reza's wonderful Persian restaurant, my paradise, or the Hemingway in the Treppenviertel, the Cuba Mia (also on Rentzelstraße), the Hindukush Garden, the Schweinske Zwo, the Moloch and others - there is always a void when such a special place has to close. I can only hope that at the end of the crisis not only the cold purpose gastronomy survives, but also the great places where the operators shared their dreams with others
My beloved Roxie, I will always have you and your team in my heart and my dreams - and am actually crying a few tears for you right now. There is no replacement for you. You were one of the locations that kept me tied to Hamburg when I made plans to go to Berlin again... one anchor less....
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Why I of all people write a blog about passion, sex and everything around it? Because until a few years ago I myself was still incredibly clueless, preferred to put myself in cuddly dream worlds and was a sweet, yet inconspicuous sexually almost completely inexperienced cutey.