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Posted by
MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 18 February 2010 in Documentary & Street.

Claustrophobic, eh. The German term Ballungsraum means more than just 'metropolitan area'. The literal translation would be 'agglomerating space'. And that's what you can see here. Cologne was preparing for the Carnival and everybody, natives and tourists, shoppers and carnivalists were on the streets.

Cologne has a population density of 2457 inhabitants per square kilometre, this doubles every weekend at peculiar places, and at special events even more people come from surrounding regions and foreign countries. It's like Bangladesh at home, you have to walk carefully, don't push! People in front of you, besides you, behind you. And you are amidst them.

Peter from Amsterdam, Netherlands


18 Feb 2010 9:20am

@Peter: Exactly. :-)

Christine Walsh from Astoria, NY, United States

Looks like a typical lunch break everyday in the Times Square area :)

18 Feb 2010 12:12pm

@Christine Walsh: I think you are one of the few who really know what I mean. :-)

B.Held from Santa Fe, United States

this is spectacular!

18 Feb 2010 2:48pm

@B.Held: For a by-stander - yes. :-)

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

Wonderful image . I love how all these signs pop up from the darkness ;)

18 Feb 2010 3:25pm

@MARIANA: No street lamps needed. :)

JoeB from Brampton, Canada

Oh he masses, more than three people is considered legally a riot. Don't need street lights the store signs light up the night, even the colonel of chicken is represented. :)

18 Feb 2010 3:40pm

@JoeB: A little bit of everything, but the stores' quality is drastically decreasing.

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

the neons give this a cool Blade Runner-esque feel!
I remember such hustle & bustle as a student in Trier many years ago at the old town fest, fighting to get served drinking Alt Bier?

18 Feb 2010 8:11pm

@Ted: _Never_ ever ask for an Alt in Cologne if you want to leave the city alive! Never! Alt is Lower Rhine area only! In Cologne you would drink a think bitter swill called Kölsch. If you are to Bonn, you would have to bear the undrinkable Bönnsch. Brrr!

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Definitely like Northumberland Street on a Saturday afternoon, or the Bigg Market on a Saturday night - busy (ish).

18 Feb 2010 8:13pm

@Curly: I remember a Saturday before Christmas ca 20 years ago where I was able to move only with the masses - there was no chance of breaking out of this block of people!

Laurent from Lyon, France

well this is packed!!!

18 Feb 2010 9:00pm

@Laurent: You bet!

Philip from South Wales, United Kingdom

City life eh? Its like Manchester when Christmas shopping!!!

18 Feb 2010 10:21pm

@Philip: If this would be a December shot, people would be stacked!

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Quite a busy nightlife that you have captured here. I love all the lights, but not certain I like the American influence. :-)

19 Feb 2010 12:59am

@Steven: Unfortunately this street is going south - not because of KFC or McDo, but because of the many cheap clobber shops that are solely adressing a teenage audience. The number of such shops is increasing for a couple of years, and now they fill the whole street.

Céline from New York City, United States

Nice shot ! Good capture of all these lights !
It's funny how all cities look the same...

19 Feb 2010 1:14am

@Céline: Unfortunately, yes!

Jen from Alpharetta, United States

A little too crowded for me, reminds me of Mardi Gras!

19 Feb 2010 1:56am

@Jen: No wonder, this was last weekend, when people prepared for their Carnival parties.

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

There are many such locations that look just like your shot or even more crowded in Tokyo and Yokohama, just at weekends!Only that here the illumination tends to be more colourful and varied!

20 Feb 2010 4:56am

@Japanalia: Agreed, Japanese cities are outpacing ours! :-)

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

Ah, but a friendly bunch I bet.

27 Feb 2010 4:21pm

@Twelvebit: Depends on your fitness. Sometimes it's a nightmare. Sometimes I don't care.