Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Reeperbahn in Hamburg: One of the Europe's oldest and most famous red-light districts. Photo by Anuj Chopra

Red Lights Go Out In Reeperbahn

By Anuj Chopra

HAMBURG, GERMANY --At first, it feels like you are in a high-security enclave. High barricades bookend the infamous Herbertstrasse, sometimes called the "street of shame". Then, you notice women perched comfortably on swivel chairs, dressed in nothing but stockings and suspenders, looking out from narrow shop windows. Some stick their necks out, to lure passers-by to come in or to hurl invective at tourists trying to cheekily snap a picture. Known for its tacky sex shops, strip joints, bordellos and casinos, the Reeperbahn in Hamburg's St Pauli area is one of the oldest and most famous red-light districts of the world. Once a favorite hangout for fatigued sailors from ships that anchored at Hamburg's famous port, it slowly began drawing hordes of tourists from all over the world. But now prostitution is slowly dying in the Reeperbahn. The sex industry here is in terminal decline as prostitution flourishes through more modern ways, mainly through the internet, a medium that is considered both discreet and safe...

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