Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Forward

Today is the dreaded time change. While having an extra hour of day light is nice, it also means waking an hour earlier, which can be difficult to get used to.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Afternoon glow

While the trees are still awakening from the never ending Winter slumber the surfers are not... especially with good weather to enjoy the wave. It's the perfect day to skip out of work a little early and meet some friends at a local biergarten or to take your surfboard over to the Eisbach.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mid-day Warmth

Everyone is trying to coax the Spring weather into staying. It's also interesting to see what people tend to wear this time of year. It's a big mix of those staying bundled for the Winter with scarves and jackets, as well as the random t-shirt or American tourist in sandals. Then again you can always bring the butterflies along, too.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Petit Marché

The train station always seems to have something interesting going on, from the interesting characters it seems to draw, lost tourists, and occasional pop up market. Here's a touch of France to grab some foods and products if time or money don't allow for hoping on the train yourself.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


It seems to be a daily occurrence for foreigners to be discussed on the news, in the newspapers, or on the streets. Here a group gathers at Sendlinger Tor as part of a nationwide day of action to rid the country of discriminatory laws towards refugees and asylum seekers.

Monday, March 21, 2011

20 C+M+B+ 11

This interesting marking that can be seen on various doors around the city is usually put up promptly after the new year and left for the rest of the year. The numbers represent the current year, while the C+M+B are the three wise men Caspar, Melchior, Blathazar.

It's interesting to see this small blessing, because although Bavaria is very Catholic, it seems as though few are actually practicing.

[edit: Reader Lief says C+M+B actually means "Christus mansionem benedicat" which means "may Christ bless this house" - my sources were wrong. Thank you]

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Aptly named after Maximilian II, with his statue seen in the background, Maximilianstrasse houses both government and the city's swankiest shops. On a Sunday afternoon it turns into another place for people to enjoy a stroll or bike ride.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sankt Nikolai

This sweet little chapel looks somewhat out of place in the city center, however it's been here long before the modern surrounds. Originally built in 1315 it's most famed for it's ornate stations of the cross.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The remnants of Hertie, which was a department store, is now an interesting area of the city. Last week I was surprised to watch several 'taggers' spray painting the windows in broad day light. This week the windows have been removed from the upper floors, which were probably once office buildings. It will be interesting to see what becomes of this corner.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fire station

What was once a fire station is now part of a school. The telling details are the archways that are obscured by the trees is where fire trucks were stored and the bell on top which rang when the alarms went off.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Palais Holstein

The Palais Holstein is undergoing a bit of renovation, so I went and took a few photos of the interior, which is jaw dropping. Here is one of the courtyard. This residence has been home to the Archbishops of Munich, including the famed Pope Benedict XVI, who stayed here as recently as September 2006.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Hops is one of the major ingredients of beer. This floral looking blossom is the female part of the plant and gives beer stability and flavoring. The world's largest hop planting area can be found of course in Bavaria, in a place called Hallertau.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


This is one kitted out Bavarian bike. The exciting part is that bikes are out of storage and being spotted around the city more and more. Spring is on the way!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Preysinger House

One of the most picturesque streets in all of Munich has to be this tiny stretch in Haidhausen. On a tour of the neighborhood I was told this is the oldest house. It's nice to envision what the area once resembled with the quaint cobble street and steep sloped roof tops straight out of a storybook.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Schwabing scaffolding

The Altstadt isn't the only area with construction in the city. It also appears some very ambitious street artists climbed the scaffolding to decorate the neighboring buildings. And yes, your eyes are not fooled... that's intended to be Michael Jackson.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Viktualienmarkt and Karlsplatz were the two places where the city gathered to celebrate on the eve of Lent. Costumes are often elaborate and comical. I've seen these two drag queens every year that I went to take in this interesting cultural event. Another famous Queen member also lived in Munich - Freddie Mercury.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pre-Fasching Festivities

The Fasching party starts an evening early with confetti, costumes, and a stage already in place. The people of Munich always seem up for a party. It makes me wonder what tourists who unexpectedly stumble upon this think.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Market Frauen

Viktualienmarkt's ladies dancing is always a treat provided the weather is nice and the crowds are tame. Considering things begin at 11am it's usually not so bad.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fixer Upper

The main artery of Munich is Marienplatz and the criss-crossing subway lines underground. Marienplatz's underground will soon be undergoing some changes, which include connecting the Marienhof Ubahn entry with the rest of the station as well as a facelift to fix some water drainage issues.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Bakeries all around the city are gearing up for Fasching. Krapfen (which may be one of my least favorite German words) come in a large array of flavors. So far my favorite has been the caipirinha inspired with brown sugar and lime.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Munich's traditional breakfast of weißwurst sausages (never more than 2), pretzels with sweet mustard, and a weißbier is a great weekend activity. My word of advice is not to ask or know what is in the sausage, because it's a bit less enjoyable. Locals also refuse to eat these after noon, which dates back to the olden days when refrigeration was uncommon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

After dark

Tourists are often disappointed to find Marienplatz and the city center are very quiet after business hours. Even in the middle of the night Munich is quite safe and so very peaceful even if the Rathaus looks slightly spooky.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Here's an updated image of the destruction / construction going on along Kaufingerstraße. It will be interesting to see the progress over the coming months and what I'm told will be the new home for Sport Scheck.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Old Man Winter

This fountain sums up my feelings regarding Winter. As soon as it feels as though it might be over it comes back and is impossible to escape.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Coffee Thaw

After a dusting of snow and blistery temperatures Starbucks decided to set up a small van and hand out samples to help people get through what we hope is the final freeze of the season.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I'm not alone in missing the biergartens and anxiously awaiting their opening. The only somewhat redeeming fact is that starkbier is available at some groceries around the city, although getting friends to crawl out of hibernation to enjoy them with may be another issue.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Local lore

In being such a village of a city it's easy to begin to recognize people on the streets. Some stand out more than others due to distinct clothing choices, while others seem to always be in the same location. On occasion it's a combination of the two, which is the case here. For the record leg and arm warmers increase 'kreislauf' so the German circulation sickness isn't able to take hold even in the middle of winter.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


In keeping with the notion that the city is really undergoing a revitalization period there is yet another construction / excavation project underway on Westenriederstraße, which will include a new building complete with 14 apartments, 2 offices, 2 store fronts, and a garage with 18 parking spaces. Property in Munich is at a premium and costs nearly double as much as any other German city.

The ruins below must have such interesting stories to tell.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

One stop shop

A quiet scene in Viktualienmarkt. Believe it not beer isn't the only beverage of choice around here. Rieslings and Franken Wine are made in Bavaria, too. The sign for the Obazda, as well as the 'obst standl' in the background are also typical for the area. One wonderful aspect of the Bavarian dialect is the ability to add an 'l' to the end of virtually anything and instantly it denotes something small.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


The Brandhorst Museum has a collection of notebooks from Picasso on display so viewers can get a glimpse at some of the prolific artist's works. If you go to check out the exhibit you can see for yourself how Picasso used artistic license and inspiration from others to gain such a reputation.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lunch break

Area workers and those traversing through the city center stop for a bite to eat or chat with friends at the Rindermarkt. Having such a mild winter occasionally means blue skies and sunny days, which are happily accepted everywhere.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In need of a change

Walking past many of the city's travel offices and outfitter shops it's difficult not to notice ads for Tunisia and Egypt still decorating the windows. The beat on the street is that Germany could do its small part to ease tensions by having Mubarak come here for his medical treatments. Human rights advocates may not favor this idea, but having peaceful protesters injured is also not ideal, so hopefully there is a resolution soon.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Former Karstadt am Dom

Along the füßgangerzone the old Karstadt building is drawing a lot of attention. There are quite a few interesting projects going on in the city center with cranes and building projects underway all over town. It will be interesting to see how the new building blends with its surrounds. Here's to hoping it's not going to be yet another H&M or run of the mill chain store.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


With beautiful blue skies and the shining sun it was the perfect weekend to get out and enjoy the weather. The area South of Munich has considerably more snow than we see in the city. Some of the visitors tempted fate by walking onto the frozen lake.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


All kinds of craziness was going on today in the city center. The 42nd Munich Safety Conference, which Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel, as well as many other global power players attended was held at the Bayerischer Hof. The increased police presence with heavily armored gear stood on virtually every corner as protesters for a myriad of issues gathered in Marienplatz and the fußgängerzone.

As I walked through anti-globalization protesters were chanting reggae style to 'burn Berlin to the ground'.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bayerische Hypotheken

The façade of the old Bayerische Hypotheken und Wechsel Bank fascinates me, because it's the beautiful remains of the old Central Banking district. HypoVereinsbank, which sponsors the Fünf Höfe art museum, moved locations in 1998 opening this area to be more of a shopping mall. It's a fantastic symbiosis of melding old and new.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Visiting and navigating the hospital is always an interesting experience, especially in a different country. Considering that having a baby is one of the only joyful reasons for being there.

Something I'm hearing more and more of is shopping around for delivery rooms that offer a variety of foods, paint colors, and music choices. It should come as no surprise that many new parents want to fool themselves into believing they will deliver exactly as they envisioned.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Of roughly 10,000 Jewish citizens in Munich when Hitler came to power, only about 200 were left alive at the end of WWII.

Many cities throughout Germany and other affected countries have adapted these golden 'stumbling block' pavers, which can be seen in the lobby of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater on Arcisstraße.

You may wonder why they aren't included on our city streets. More information can be found on the Initiative Stopersteine site.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pinakothek der Moderne

Munich has a large affinity for art and museums. The Kunstareal 'art district' of the city continues to flourish and several new projects are slated for opening next year. Pictured here is the Pinakothek der Moderne, which was designed by Stephan Braunfels and opened in 2002. The collection is impressive and includes pieces from Warhol, Picasso, Hockney, and many more.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Snow covers the Zentral Omnibus Bahnhof as scattered snow storms and freezing temps sweep through the region. This intergalactic looking building houses one of the bus stations of Munich (the other being way out at the Allianz Arena). Soon it will transform into more of a business park with the next door Skygarden, which had an open house Friday evening.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Social Experiment

Each time I visit the airport I seem to encounter an interesting phenomenon. Being the diligent law abiding citizen I always buy my S-bahn ticket, however a day ticket is a few cents more than a one way. Once I arrive at the airport it never seems to fail that it's next to impossible to give the ticket away. I've tried more than once. I'm not looking for payment, but here it seems the kindness of strangers is looked upon with extreme caution. I guess it goes under the same file as no 'leave a cent, take a cent' container at cash registers. Instead you just receive the 'German stare'.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Getting out in the cold wet weather can take some effort, however there are really impressive things to see indoors. The Paleontology Museum always fascinates me, because they hold classes there for university students and they have interesting little treasures all around the building, like this ancient little marine crab from Verona (Munich's twin / sister city).

Thursday, January 20, 2011


If you've traversed through the Hauptbahnhof lately you may have noticed this small machine tucked in the corner near the Kardstadt S-bahn entrance. Looking more similar to something you'd find in Japan is this vending machine filled with electronic gadgets for those that need instant gratification. Inside are hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, ipods, cameras, and headphones. Maybe it's only time before we get one similar to Nürnberg's that has detergent and kitty litter as well.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Olympic Preparations

While we're not certain if the Winter olympics will come our way we're still doing things the German way - being ultra prepared and having a finesse for detailed engineering. This is an image of the plans near the construction area at the Olympic Park. I'm not entirely certain what they have going on there, but the subterranean shell looks mighty interesting. I'm curious where it will have foot traffic, similar to the Opera House in Oslo. The latest stat is that 60% of the area wants the Olympics. We'll see if the other 40% can be swayed with Katarina Witt's campaign.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Big Top

Tucked away behind the ZOB bus station and the Hackbrücke S-bahn stop is the Zirkus Crone, where faint scents of animals can occasionally be smelled during the warmer months. The arena has everything from Europe's largest circus to intimate concerts and performances. It's interesting to see this venue be used for such varied shows. Now if only I could get a job working as a trapeze artist then I'd be set.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Biblical Naming

Bavarian born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, now known as Pope Benedict XVI hails from Bavaria. He was anointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977 and later became Cardinal. If a trip to the Vatican isn't in the cards his bronzed bust can be visited at the Frauenkirche. Clearly Munich is always in his prayers.

Lately Pope Benedict been in the news because of his comments on wishing people would return to using Biblical when naming their children. The most popular names for 2010 in Germany were Mia (coming from Maria) and Leon and in Bavaria they included Lena and Maximillian.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Where's Winter?

While much of the world is suffering through the Winter, flooding, and all around bad weather we've been showered with a bit of sun and unseasonably warm days. It's the perfect time get the bikes out of storage and enjoy some outdoor exercise or perhaps stumble upon something new.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

So Not Berlin

The city occasionally has thought provoking stickers and graffiti. It's funny to see a sticker stating 'so not Berlin' considering street art is very much Berlin. Is that a slight towards Munich placed by someone from Berlin or rather a sense of pride in not being 'unrefined' Berlin?

While Munich and Berlin are often the antithesis of one another, each city seems to have loads of heimat pride. It's interesting to note the dichotomy between the two. Sometimes they seem like feuding siblings: homogenous vs. diverse, village vs. metropolis, old vs. new... the list goes on.

Staunch supporters can be found on both sides and newcomers to the city will often find themselves being asked by residents the loaded question, 'How do you like it here?'. Proceed with caution.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Streets of Culture

One of the joys of walking through the Fußgängerzone of Kaufingerstraße is stumbling upon street performers and talents from around the world. Here two throat singers give onlookers reason for pause as their interesting sounds reverberate through the air.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Student of Life

Being a perpetual student doesn't always require formally attending a school or university, but being willing to poke around and explore foreign areas of the city. This is the atrium of LMU, which is one of Germany's most prestigious universities. Does anyone know anything about the organ?