And it took 5 editions before I caught on. But then. WOW!!!
(Btw, I don't know who the artist is that created this comical bicyclist, but it's a great picture! Imagine me stopping dead for Gers!)
Full stop! This is a wonderful magazine!
Not only does the magazine have a proper, recognizable "Rotterdam- touch", but it is chock-a-block of amazing photographs.
Sure, I like text. I write text. Text is what makes the world go round, as far as I'm concerned. And Gers! has a lot of well-written text.
But I'm an "image-thinker", and so images are ever so important to me. And my son is an aspiring photographer, so I'm always on the look-out for good, inspiring photography. And am very often disappointed. As soon as I think: "Hm, I could do that...better?", I am disappointed.
And believe me, I did not think that once when leafing through Gers! #5.
Take, just for example, the article about transgenders. Very 'hot': think Conchita Wurst.
In a text header it says: "The Netherlands are, supposedly, free and tolerant. We are mostly indifferent though".
Here you are. This is why this is a good, no, a great, magazine. No beating about the bush. The truth. Raw, Rotterdam honesty.
It has an article about the Rotterdam hookers. Whores, yes. Rotterdam, harbour and whores go together like ships and sailors. But the sailors dock far, far out, in Europoort, and need to be transported with minivans to the sex clubs of the harbour district. Again, the raw truth about an old port which lost its red light district to building projects and managers.
And there's much, much more. About football (Rotterdam and football are a given), about jazz (Rotterdam and jazz are a match made in heaven; this windy city is created for jazz, like that other windy city Chicago), about multiculti projects, about immigrants.
With a very definite large multiculti immigrant population Rotterdam is a hotbed of dissent and creativity at the same time.
Gers! is a typical Rotterdam slang word, with its root in Jiddisch. My mother saw her Jewish schoolfriend dragged from her home and deported in 1942. It was a defining moment in her life.
I grew up with a love-hate relationship with Rotterdam because of her stories (not the thing you want to hear over and over when you are a naïve romantic girl in the sex, drugs and rock&roll Seventies), but also with an over-developed feel for honesty, justice and tolerance.
Gers! seems to have this same feel.
Now all we need is an English version!!!
(By the way, for € 15,00 you can become a 'fan', and they will send the newest edition to your home.)