Back in Hamburg, I used to live on the 6th floor, no elevator. In my bipolar bachelor pad. In winter, it constantly felt cold like the windows were open. A test room for polar clothing. And in summer, it was a million degrees hot. I could offer nocturnal Bikram Yoga classes. There was no in between.
I hardly had visitors. No one was willing to walk up the stairs. It had its good sides. Whenever a rare visitor did ring, I had 6 floors time to get ready. „At least, with this daily work out, I can save the gym fee“, I thought. My previous tenant promised me a nice butt. But that never happened. Instead, I became efficient. Do I really need to walk down the stairs again this week? Does the supermarket deliver everything?
My apartment was in a fancy part of Hamburg. All houses, built around 1900, are white and shiny and reflected by the even shinier water around it. But no rich person wanted to live inside my Hunchback crib. So it was affordable for me. I particularly remember a certain one-night-stand, on our way to my place, saying „you can’t afford to live in this neighborhood“. I lost him on staircase number two. Because I kicked him.
There was one species, who would come to my place deliberately and because of the stairs: photographers. They loved my Mediterranean blue staircase, winding up around the cone of light from the skylight. Most of the time, those neighbors, including me, who didn’t pay a weekly cleaning lady „forgot“ the obligatory, monthly staircase cleaning. Those stairs would get so dirty. When you walked the staircase at dawn, the romantically whirled up dirt looked like natural waste floating in blue water. You see, I had much to offer for photographers. I had several models using my home for a shooting.
Now I live in Berlin. I’m walking up less but uglier stairs. I often think back to my old flat. For example, it took exactly one tightly written postcard from my friend Helen to get from the mailbox to the fifth floor. I remember sitting in the early mornings on the first step with my DJ suitcase, too lazy to walk up, after a long night of Djing. And one neighbor, on their way to work, passing me „ah, you must be a doctor, returning from your night shift! Hope you saved many lives“. I sticked to that story, when explaining my „unaffordable lifestyle“ to my one-night-stands. In the end, playing a song at 140 bpm can also be a CPR.
I had one final shooting at my place this year, right before moving out. And I finally had time to dig through the photos. The photographer Stefanie Baars needed to check it out as a future shooting location. And I was her test model, on the staircase and around the house. I love it! I feel like I look like a different person in all of the pics. Can you guess which are edited with photoshop?