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The Crawl: St. Pauli, 7/28

  • WEEKNIGHT: Tuesday
  • HOOD: St. Pauli, Hamburg
  • BARS HIT: Lehmitz, Der Clochard, Night Light
  • ODDITIES: Overzealous Irishmen waving double-ended dildoes
  • LEVEL OF INEBRIATION: Jolly to blackout

            Hamburg, second largest city in Germany, is a dirty old town. Mostly a dock city, it is a place full of beautiful architecture and attractive prostitutes. And there is no neighborhood in Hamburg—and most of the world—more filthy and vice-ridden than St. Pauli (the beer is a lie—the women here are neither jolly nor beer-laden). But Alex and I had one night left until the Wacken Open Air festival, the world’s largest heavy metal concert, and so we figured hey, let’s spend a night hopping around Hamburg’s metal bar scene and walking along the infamous Reeperbahn, along with the helpful insights of my new favorite website, Horns up, thumbs tucked, we went.


            The first bar we hit was Lehmitz, a seedy metal joint with a small wrap-around bar and a nice outdoor patio area. The bartenders were pretty inattentive, but they handed out cold Astra and Jagermeister like anywhere else. While a dive at heart, the bar apparently hosts a lot of live music in the area, and is famous for nude bar-top dancing and other debauchery of that sort. The problem with Lehmitz, though, was the soundtrack—there was no juke box, and the flavor of the night was Limp Bizkit, Sevendust, and a little Rob Zombie. As nice a place as it was, Alex and I gave Lehmitx and thumbs down, and moved on to Der Clochard.

            Imagine the grossest dive you’ve ever been to, and you’re not even close to the squalor of Der Clochard, a second-floor bar three doors down form Lehmitz. This place makes New York’s infamous Mars Bar look like Versaille, complete with torn posters, half-broken seating, and a bathroom that smells like rancid piss twenty-four seven. The bar has two things going for it, however: first, it has a juke box overflowing with Slayer, Manowar, Immortal, and other true metal classics, and second, it has a balcony that looks out over the warm neon sin of the Reeperbahn, allowing the drinker to take in the neighborhood as one glowing masterpiece rather than individual sex-kinos and dive bars. So, basically, Der Clochard awesome defined. Alex and I drank a case of Astra and a number of shots there while smoking hand-rolled cigarettes with a green-haired squat punk named Fabi who decided to come hang with us; she was sweet, and described a llama as “the animal that pukes” in her broken English (which was obviously better than our German). Content with the night after Der Clochard, we moved on to Night Light, planning on having a beer and calling it.

            This is where things got nutty. Night Light is an amazing bar, with harder turnes, better beer, and crazier patrons over all. Its logo, a demonic skull with a crown of thorns, immediately excited the crap out of Alex and I, and we piled in to the poster-lined death metal haven. The place was packed with pre-Wacken partyers, and the staff immediately made us feel welcome from our arrival. We hung around outside, pounding cold Jagermeister and met some of our some of our Wacken compatriots—a gay German firefighter and his sister, an old hobo-looking dude with a dog, a Jersey thrasher, a Texan grindcore kid, and a crew of Irish headbangers who did a mean American impression and returned to the bar after a short journey with a stack of the most vile pornography you’ve ever seen and—you guessed it—a two-foot black rubber double-ended dildo.

 Shamus McDildo does his oft-imitated Dildo Dervish Dance. 

We spent the next couple of hours swinging the floppy Janus-faced dick every which way and listening to the resounding thump it made when slapped against a bar table. At the end of the night, shitfaced, Alex and I stumbled to the U-Bahn, throwing our beers to the curb in mighty displays of boozed-up toughness.

            I don’t remember getting back to the hotel, though I apparently decimated a Toblerone from the mini-bar. By eleven, we were at a Backerei, sipping coffee and trying not to perish. Hamburg, you fishy little shithole, I love you.