Cologne aka Köln or as I call it "The KÖ" is a medieval city off the Rhine River in the NRW. It is considered to me one of the most progressive cities in the region if not all of Deutschland. There are just over 1 million inhabitants and over 40% hold a passport to somewhere else. We are also the LGBTQU+ capital of Germany, we offer the best in beer with our Kölsch and we fucking own Karneval. I said what said.

Visiting and living in the KÖ are two entirely different animals as the city is way different to outsiders than residents. It basically has a vibe and a movement that cannot be duplicated. Basically the city is older than God and most of it is standing as is even after the war. Built split by the river it is designed on a ring where whatever is north and south is cut into eastern and western regions. For those here for a limited time this can be extremely disorienting. If you care to wonder, you will find the KÖ is a small, small world. You will always the same faces and you will learn everyones routines. Also nothing and I mean nothing at all never changes here. If you have been here before there isn't much else to see. It's the KÖ's endearing quality. While the city never changes its people are transient and that's the prestige.

While the rest of Germany is experiencing brutal winters even as close as Leverkusen the KÖ never drops below 17 Celsius and snow always melts to sleet. No offense to the rest of the country but we just do it better. There is always something happening here. The scene is bar none. Our museums and arts programs are stellar. The KÖ is also a communications hub so all the media giants are here and this brings a lot of diversity and English language jobs here. In the same city walls you may require three different types of mobile transit to get from point A to B. But she is small enough to simply walk especially when the train is too hot. And forget about parking because there isn't any after all this is Europe.

We have multiple Deutscher goodbyes, our Bitte is full of inflection and Gerne is our signature close. Do not be surprised by the pensioners who still speak dialect who in my opinion run the Südstadt. Instead of going to a bar try the Universität rolling green or the Belgisch Viertal where the drinking crowd is all outdoors. No one in their right mind is eating on the Aachner strip when the good stuff in on the hidden ecke of the Innenstadt. If you want to get close to home Kalk is as good as it gets fashion and culture. I said that too. The Kino culture will also try to get you close with OV movies three months after their original release. If you are vegan and hip Sülz has some of the best spots in the suburbs of the city. Oh and I know, I know ... Ehrenfeld is everything. But I don't care to schlep three trains from what I can see out of my window for brunch. And of course there is our Dom and her Blade Runner-esque surrounding shopping streets of Hohe Straße and the Schlidergasse. We just got a Topshop and a Sephora so I guess we made it.

I tell you I don't know how I survived this transition with her. She is my home away from home. Sometimes I just wanna get away from her but the moment I return I can't see how I ever wanted to leave. I somehow find joy in seeing the same guy doing heroin in the stairwell at Severinstraße or smelling the stench of fresh piss on the U platform at Haubtbahnhof. These are the things are everywhere throughout our beloved Germany but they just jolt you a bit more here. Yeah I love Hamburg for her Chicago like tease and Passau for her cold Key West feel. But here in the KÖ everything ugly is love. Good old medieval, river cooled, love locked, drunken and jeck filled love.

Leibe Deine Stadt!