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Hipsters Create Oases in Urban Wastelands

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    Cinicus Magnus

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 04:30 PM

Spiegel said:

Welcome to "Frau Gerold's Garden," a leafy urban oasis in Zurich made out of shipping containers. Such temporary hipstervilles, which combine trendy shops with food, music and urban gardening, are popping up all over the world -- but also priming the areas for development and gentrification.

The sign reads "Toad Pond" at the top, followed by "Frau Gerold's Garden has built a place for yellow-bellied toads here." Below it lies an empty beer bottle; behind it, a fence and then some train tracks and power lines. The sound of a rail service announcement echoes across the tracks: "There will be disruptions to your service. Replacement buses will be made available." Sunshine is reflected off Prime Tower, the tallest building in Switzerland. A yellow brimstone butterfly glides across the nearby lavender bushes, as sunflowers droop lazily over the side of an abandoned shopping cart.

"Frau Gerold's Garden," situated in an industrial park in western Zurich, is what the Swiss refer to as a "Gartenbeiz" (beer garden). But it has more to offer than just pints of local brew. In an effort to fuse several elements of hipster culture, German designer Katja Weber has put 2,500 square meters (27,000 square feet) of wasteland to novel use.

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