LUXEMBOURG-VILLE — The population of men who for years have hung out near the Gare and urinated on corners and in alleyways is endangered, warns a local conservation group.
Rita Landsmortell, president of the Urban Conservationist League, says that development in the area is making men feel ashamed to pee in public, so they are relocating to other parts of the city.
“All these greedy developers care about is putting up modern apartment buildings and renovated business units,” she said. “Just the other day I heard a story about a man who had to go all the way to Gasperich to find a dirty sidewalk to pee on.”
The situation is so dire, experts say, that within a year pedestrians might be able to walk from one end of Rue de Strasbourg to the other without having to step over a puddle.
Chantal Lorentz, who grew up in the Gare district and still lives there, says that she is shocked by the decrease in the number of peeing men.
“When I was little, I used to be woken up in the early morning by the staccato tinkling of a species we called Morning Drinker,” she said. “But more and more, all you hear is the buzzing of young professionals on electric scooters and the voices of delivery men saying ‘how much much organic coffee did you order, madame?’”
Developers, however, say the migration of peeing men is normal, and that soon new populations will replace old ones.
“In one new apartment building, we have no fewer than nine single professional men, men who spend the whole weekend partying, and I guarantee they’ll be peeing on the street in no time,” said developer Jean-Claude Pees.
Still, Landsmortell and other conservationists would like something to be done. One option that might satisfy everybody but would be costly, she says, is to create an urban sanctuary where men can pee freely, openly.
“There are plenty of warehouses we could convert into a reproduction Gare district,” she says. “It would consist of stoops of dimly lit bars, sidewalks caked with dried chewing gum and cigarette butts, and alleyways stacked with empty beer bottles — all of the places where men in the Gare love to pee.”