Is it worth it? Be honest, how many times have you asked yourself this question? Or been asked, only to receive unsolicited advice: Why all the effort? Be reasonable! – Bullshit: Reason is for cowards!

While working on this issue, we were inundated with questions like:

  • Do you really want to go to Paris for this? You’re going to too much effort!
  • You want to “fetch” the Mona Lisa from the Louvre on a cargo bike? Forget it.
  • Why should DOWNTOWN readers be interested in a London sex club? And a perfume story certainly isn’t for everyone.
  • Do you really want to turn one of Germany’s best furniture stores on its head for a single shoot? You could just photograph the bike mounts at home or in the office…

1 plus 1 need not always equal 2. Most of life’s calculations don’t work out the same for everyone. This is not a glitch in the matrix, but rather makes it your responsibility to do what seems important and right to you. We did just that – and we couldn’t be more proud of this motley issue, full of bold articles that motivate, excite, and inspire.

The latest DOWNTOWN issue is available now in our free magazine app. If you haven’t installed our app yet, now’s your chance to download it for free App Store (iPhone / iPad) or the Play Store (Android smartphones & tablets).

As Charles Eames rightfully said: “The details are not the details, they make the design.” Of course, you can do everything with the 80/20 rule, but you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of seemingly peripheral things. Whether it’s a kind remark, a small gesture, or honest praise: we never know how much that can mean to others. The same applies to our daily routines and unconscious behaviours – because they don’t just define who we are now, but also what we (can) become. This applies equally to the work we produce, and it’s reflected in the content of DOWNTOWN Mag.

DOWNTOWN is no longer just an urban bike mag, but has evolved into a full-blown lifestyle magazine, portraying a lifestyle that we want to live: full of adventure, variety, curiosity, enthusiasm, and inspiration. DOWNTOWN is here to get you unstuck out of your daily routines; a magazine for all the exciting things you could experience.

The title of issue #007 is “Escape the Ordinary”. Not because the ordinary is bad, but because there is so much untapped and unlived potential to be discovered outside. And that doesn’t always take big “aha!” moments. Big changes can also occur in silence: the only way we experience this world is through our own perception. So what happens when we sharpen our perception, honing it with new ideas and expanded horizons? Therefore, this issue is packed with food for thought, looking at everyday life from new perspectives, and simply doing the same thing differently.

Paris? Paris! Why? Because, Paris! Not everything needs a logical explanation: we simply felt like conducting our big cargo group test in Paris and went through with it. And so we pulled into Paris with 12 cargo bikes in tow, painting the French capital red for a week. It was a huge effort, but also a ton of fun! And since our night-time visit to the Louvre, we’ve had the Mona Lisa hanging in our office… but that’s a different story. If you want to know which is the best cargo bike, and which ones to steer clear of, then check out this in-depth buyer’s guide!

We also put two EVs through their paces for this issue: the Volvo EX30 and the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV. We tested one of them in rainy Hamburg, and the other in Paris, with some surprises and disappointments in store. Why couldn’t the latter deliver? You’ll have to read the review to find out!

What does Tokyo smell like? What about Gdansk, Naples, or Abu Dhabi? Our interview with Gallivant founder Nick Steward delves into the world of perfumes. We talked about prejudices, sexiness, and beauty, as well as typical mistakes when buying perfume, and added a valuable term to our English vocabulary while we were at it. Not the perfume wearing type? Be warned, this story could change that!

Speaking of travel, what does it mean to do so? Is it really just to satisfy a longing to see strange places? Or is it more about discovering new things in familiar environments and everyday life? DT author Konstantin Arnold asked himself this question, taking us on a very personal journey through his adopted hometown of Lisbon.

You don’t have to talk about everything – but it’s a good idea to talk about sex! That’s why we travelled to London to attend one of Juliane Mueller and Conor Cregg’s Sex Club classes. Spoiler: It’s about so much more than sex, and plays an incredibly big role in personal development, making it one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Whether you’re single, lovers, or a married couple, and whether you’re having lots of sex, little sex, or no sex at all. But read for yourself – we can only recommend it. Especially for the boys!

It’s not just our visit to London’s Sex Club that was about transparency and creativity, but also our article looking at the music of the future, how AI is changing art and culture, and which AI tools artists are allowed to use, and which not. We discussed the future of music with lead singer and producer Rosi from Circuit Minds – a band that doesn’t even exist. Inevitably, we also talked about how we define art and reality when they’re shaped by algorithms, and where to draw the line between the creative process and a lie.

Would you rather have a real Banksy or your bike hanging on the wall? What do design classics from the likes of Vitra, Knoll, and USM have to do with bikes? And why should every stylish apartment have at least one bike as part of the decor? We hijacked one of Germany’s finest furniture stores, arranged some of its most expensive furniture, and drilled holes in every other wall. Have fun with our ultimate guide on how to properly keep a bike!

Now that you have somewhere stylish to store your bike, you’ll need something suitably stylish to ride: My brother Max and dad Manne visited Taiwan and met up with the folks behind bike brand Momentum. Read their report to find out how people live urban mobility on the other side of the world, and why urban bikes still have a hard time in Taichung, the centre of the international bike industry.

Is it worth it? It’s not just others that posed this question while we were producing DOWNTOWN issue #007. We did too, wondering what we got ourselves into. Will it turn out the way we hoped? The future cannot be predicted – and even less so can life, especially if you’re breaking new ground like we did in this issue. But one thing’s for sure: you always come away from new experiences smarter than you were before. Not trying something because it might not work out is about as foolish as believing that everything in life always goes according to plan. Courage and risk are part and parcel of daring to try something new. It’s the only way to grow and develop, and that’s precisely what makes it so much fun!

So what are you waiting for? Escape the ordinary, be brave, and dare to try something new!

These (and many more) stories are just a few clicks away. If you have already installed our free app, you can download the latest DOWNTOWN issue directly there. If not, first install the app from the App Store (iPhone / iPad) or the Play Store and then load the latest issue within the app. Then you can sit back and enjoy the new issue (ideal with a cold beer or delicious coffee)!

Robin Schmitt,
Editor-in-chief and founder of DOWNTOWN

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Words: Robin Schmitt Photos: DOWNTOWN