Trip Diary: Frankfurt (Sponsored by Lufthansa)
On September 13th, four women from San Francisco and Los Angeles (@melissademata @windowofimagination @jayzombie @spottedsf) boarded Lufthansa’s FlyingLab (SFO to FRA), a unique experience that provided a glimpse into the future of flying. This kicked off the start of the me Convention, an inaugural event in Frankfurt focused on the future of new creations, new leadership, new realities, new velocity and new urbanism (#createthenew). On board we watched a crew film speakers in-flight and listened to their presentations from our smart devices. These top class presenters from the me Convention provided passengers with insights on future technologies (like the self-driving car) and other topics like the future of work and changes in the music industry. We also had an opportunity to test new devices of tomorrow, including a sleeping mask with speakers + sensors designed to provide deeper, more relaxing sleep.
In Frankfurt we attended the first me Convention held at the Festhalle from September 15th to the 17th. Hosted by Mercedes-Benz and SXSW, the event brought together 150 experts from the creative, design and technology industries for discussions about the future. There were expert talks, inspiring keynotes, workshops, interactive labs and art installations throughout. The notable keynotes included an opening by first man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, as well as Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg, artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist and a closing keynote by musician and more A$AP Rocky. The convention was also a playground to interact with new devices (like a “live” vending machine) and new design (like a light and projection installation by acclaimed media artist Refik Anadol).
The other fun part of this convention and trip: an opportunity to explore many of Frankfurt’s urban hotspots. And I’m sharing those below.
During this trip we stayed at the modern new Innside hotel located in Frankfurt’s Eastend. Each room is sleekly designed and includes a complimentary mini bar of non-alcoholic beverages. Blackout shades are built-in to get a good night’s sleep. And the breakfast bar is one of the best I’ve experienced on any of my travels—you will be fully satiated until lunch.
One of the first areas we visited was Alstadt (old town). The square and the surrounding streets are full of historic buildings from as early as the 15th century, as well as charming cafes, restaurants and storefronts. Our favorite spot to visit was of the modern type: the MMK (Museum für Moderne Kunst). As you can see below it is a minimalist’s dream and we enjoyed exploring and photographing the shapes, angles and light within.
Closeby is the Eiserner Steg or the Love Lock/Lovers Bridge. And you can see why. Friends and lovers secure their affections for each other daily here. The bridge spans the river Main and it’s a beautiful walk along the waterfront anytime of the day.
We ventured to the Palmengarten another morning. There were endless conservatories and botanicals to explore—originating from rain forests to drier terrains. The cactus garden was one of the largest and my personal favorite. And this time of year was dahlia season, too.
For architecture I enjoyed walking through the Sachsenhausen district to see these decorative, half-timbered homes. The area is also known for apple-wine pubs (we visited a couple and I mention them below) and a row of museums, including the Städel Museum.
The Städel Museum combines modern art along with collections from the Old Masters. We were thrilled to find a light installation by California artist James Turrell in the modern collection. We locked ourselves in that chamber for some time.
One morning we found ourselves at the tippy top of the Main Tower. 56 stories up it’s the highest vantage point of the city.
EAT & DRINK
Between the conference and the sites of the city, we squeezed in some good meals and drinks. Here are some of them:
Maxi Eisen: A very colorful space in the vibrant Bahnhofsviertel district serving up Jewish delicacies, like this Pastrami sandwich.
Vaivai: A rustic and chic spot offering pastas, meat dishes and fruity cocktails made from this setup below. This is in the Westend of the city.
Plank: Plenty of coffee and wine was consumed here. This seemed to be our go-to spot to refuel. Also in the Bahnhofsviertel district.
Margarete: For market fresh produce and meats in Altstadt.
Another spot we enjoyed for our first dinner was Ramen Jun in the Westend.
Sadly we missed the Kleinmarkthalle, as we got there on a Sunday when it’s closed. This is the marketplace where chefs and locals source their fish, meat, produce, cheese, bread and spices.
Thank you to Lufthansa for taking us on this incredible journey. It was truly a unique experience that combined innovative content and the culture of a city. I hope you’ve had an opportunity to visit the city of Frankfurt or will be making a stop there soon.
*All images by me, Leslie.