The latest issue of Companion digs its teeth into North-Rhine Westphalia, discovering the best places to go and most interesting people to know in Dusseldorf, Cologne, and all around Western Germany.
Companion have been busy turning our sights onto some of the eclectic communities of the Rhineland and consider the differences between their two major cities and their cultures to figure out why each one thinks it has the edge on the other. Charlotte Miess, a chef, small business owner, and self-proclaimed local patriot, stakes the case for Cologne by showing a few of her favorite spots.
Additionally, some of the most flamboyant divas let readers in on their experiences living on the fringes of society, and we learn about the highest concentration of Japanese people outside of Japan in the world, Dusseldorf’s Little Tokyo. And of course, the pages are filled with much more besides. Grab a copy from a nearby 25hours Hotel and find out for yourself. They’ve just opened up two new places in—you guessed it—Dusseldorf and Cologne!
Drag Queens of Dusseldorf
Life as a drag queen isn’t easy—besides the stares on the street, those outfits don’t come cheap, you know. “Shoes in our size are bloody expensive! We get through an incredible number of tights. We need underwear, artificial breasts, outfits, makeup, and wigs. You have to keep in mind, nothing about our characters, from head to toe, is real.” Companion get an insight into the struggles, politics, and inspirations of the city’s drag community.
The Cologne Circuit
Charlotte Miess owns her own food truck, is due to open her own cafe, and has renovated a few buildings around the city. And she knows Cologne like the back of her hand. Bicycle by her side, she walks readers through the 2,000-year-old Roman town from the UNESCO World Heritage Cathedral to the record shop she frequents, and tries on some fresh new sneakers—all while grabbing some food and drink along the way.
Since the mid-20th century, huge numbers of people from Japan upped sticks and left for the trade industry in Dusseldorf. Today, around a quarter of all Japanese people in Germany are located in and around the city. Many have taken root around the centrally located Immermannstrasse, and the area has come to be known as the Little Tokyo of the Rhine. We wandered this small piece of the East Asian country with a couple of its residents, and took a few suggestions on where to go and what to do while we were there.