On Friday night, I joined some of the other American language assistants and their various interesting German flat-mates on the Reeperbahn: more commonly know as the Red Light District. Apparently things don't really get pumped up in the city on weekend nights until midnight, if not later. Now, it is important to clarify that the Red Light District where the prostitutes are is not actually accessible to women. I heard that if a woman were to walk on the street where men go to have a good time they would get urine thrown on them. Bizarre. Coming from Wellington (population 280 or so) this is quite a shock. That being said, Reeperbahn is still tawdry and sleazy. Neon lights cover every corner of the long wide street. Signs like "Gay Sex Kino" and "Sex Wunderland" line the side-walks. Sex shops are more numerous than Dunkin Donuts in New England.
We drank some local beer at this very funky bar, which was simultaneously someone's home. Then we walked around a bit, found a convenient store where the others bought beers to stroll with. As it were, open containers are very much legal on the Reeperbahn on weekends. I guess they aren't really legal in the rest of the city, but if you don't cause trouble then no one will bother you, probably. We found an empty stage in the middle of the square and parked it there for a while to people watch.
We eventually made it into a club called Molotov where it happened to be Gay Party Night. We danced for a couple of hours before all the Americans turned in, because we aren't used to the crazy late-night hours of the Hamburgers.
An interesting experience. A colorful city.