36 Hours in Hamburg

The New York Times published a short article about Hamburg. Besides learning a little about this fascinating city, it's worth discussing some of the selected vocabulary and the style of a newspaper article.

I recommend reading the article first, without revealing the words' meanings.

«Hamburg, the maritime and media center of Germany, is a city of jarring juxtapositions. The industrial waterfront heaves with rusty docks, while its center is filled with emerald parks, blue lakes and cream-colored villas. Sex workers ply their trade along the neon-lit Reeperbahn, while old-money families have made this Baroque port into Germany's richest city. And despite playing second fiddle to the cultural juggernaut that is Berlin, Hamburg breeds its own brand of the cosmopolitan cool — with a large Turkish population, gay enclaves and fashion centers — who mingle at chichi restaurants and steamy underground clubs. Where else but this high-low metropolis can you window-shop for Cartier diamond necklaces during the day and slum it with punk rockers at night?»

You can read the full article here.

Now, place the mouse pointer on the words in bold if want to reveal their meaning.

  1. Do you think that these are keywords to understanding the excerpt? Compare your understanding of the article before and after.
  2. Are there any other words that make the article difficult to understand? Which?
  3. Have you ever been in Hamburg? If so, do you agree with the description in the article?
  4. Do you think the article encourages or discourages people to visit Hamburg? Explain.

Share your comments with us!


Jola said…
This is a great post Ignacio :)

I would say that someone was trying very hard to use the most sophisticated and fancy vocabulary to attract readers attention. But that is always with Travel section in any papers, especially with The New York Times.

Only on the margin (I know that you prefer American English):
has been to/has been in/has gone to

1. He has been to Berlin. (He has gone and come back.)
2. He has been in Buenos Aires. (He lives there.)
3. He has gone to Toledo. (He hasn't come back yet.)

At least according to my British books :)

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