Ask a Local: Anzhelina Polonskaya, Frankfurt, Germany

With ANZHELINA POLONSKAYA

Frankfurt city skyline along the River Main

Your name: Anzhelina Polonskaya

Current city or town: Frankfurt

How long have you lived here: 2 years

Three words to describe the climate: windy in winter

Best time of year to visit?: spring, summer


1) The most striking physical features of this city/town are
. . . The skylines and the River Main. Frankfurt was destroyed during the second war, and the skylines give a “fresh air” to the city. Of course, I cannot compare the city to New York or Chicago, but I think the modern architecture makes Frankfurt unique, if we are talking about Germany in general, and fits in general the composition of the city. Everything is around the River Main: holidays, boats, sports, cafes and walkways.

2) The stereotype of the people who live here and what this stereotype misses. . . [It’s] difficult to say. Frankfurt is an international town, and my German is not good. Mostly I have relationships with artists; they are very open.

3) Historical context in broad strokes and the moments in which you feel this history. . . Well, the main historical landmark is the House of Goethe. The poet was born in Frankfurt and it’s an honor for the local people. I am not an exception, in spite of coming from other country.

Headshot of Anzhelina Polonskaya – woman tilting her head and smiling at the camera. She has shoulder-length brown hair and brown eyes and is wearing a white blazer on top of a blue shirt

4) Common jobs and industries and the effect on the town/city’s personality. . . I guess it is the jobs in finance. There are many banks and people from all [over] the world are working in Frankfurt. Probably Frankfurt is the best city in Germany for English-speaking tourists, who don’t understand German.

5) Local/regional vocabulary or food? Throughout Germany, Turkish food is popular. You can find kebabs everywhere. They are cheap and really delicious. Of course, you can find many restaurants for traditional Bavarian meals – beer, sausages, etc. – but if you like Spanish or Italian food, this is not a problem either, as the town is multinational.

 

Anzhelina Polonskaya was born in Malakhovka, a small town near Moscow. A bilingual edition of her poetry, Paul Klee’s Boat, was published by Zephyr Press and short-listed for the 2014 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Polonskaya has been awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship and many residencies all over the world. Most recently, her first volume of prose, Greenland, appeared in a German edition.

Top photo by Flickr user Chris Yunker; second photo by Anzhelina Polonskaya. 

Ask a Local: Anzhelina Polonskaya, Frankfurt, Germany

Related Posts

Manila

Ask a Local: Glenn Diaz, Manila, The Philippines

GLENN DIAZ
Abroad, I’ve encountered people whose idea of Manila is a violent, lawless place where people openly carry guns and eat dogs and sing videoke all day long. Only one of the three is true (although the Duterte regime, like good authoritarian regimes do, has mastered the art of making lawlessness seem perfectly legal and above-board).

Ask a Local: Alda Sigmundsdóttir, Reykjavík, Iceland

ALDA SIGMUNDSDÓTTIR
No doubt there are several stereotypes of the Icelanders, but one is that they are endearingly kooky and believe in elves. Like with most stereotypes there is a kernel of truth in this, in that many Icelandic folk legends center around hidden people, also called elves, that lived inside hillocks and boulders in a parallel universe.

Image of lake and sky

Ask a Local: Aimée Baker, Plattsburgh, New York

AIMÉE BAKER
Plattsburgh borders Lake Champlain, one of the bigger lakes in the United States at 120 miles long and 12 miles wide. It’s so deep and large we have stories of our own lake monster, known affectionately as Champy, living in it. There’s no bridge from our city to neighboring Vermont, so travel across the lake is done by ferry.