Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Morning Commute

The sun came out today, and out of nowhere 10,000 bikes showed up on the streets of Munich. Of course, that is a made up number as I don’t know the real number of bikes that re-appeared today, but you had to be weary walking anywhere near the bike lanes, as clumps of 10 or more bikers would speed by. I honestly don’t know what the regulations are around biking in Bavaria, but it seems that all bikers are held above everyone else – including pedestrians, This particular shot was taken on Ludwigstrasse, near Munchen Freiheit. The thing that always amazed me about this street is that over the course of 10 minutes, you can go from the second ring road all the way into the center. Now that’s what I call a morning commute.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Future of Air Travel in Munich

Of course, I’m not referring to the picture. That’s a picture of a Junkers JU 52, a transport aircraft manufactured in the 30s and 40s for both civilian and military service. The Ju 52 continued in use in air fleets into the 80s, but this one has been stationary for some time just outside the Munich airport at the 'Besucherpark.' But change is happening quickly at the Franz Joseph Strauss Airport, the second busiest airport in Germany. Because of the economic crisis, the airport has seen about a 10% drop in passenger traffic since last year, causing several lesser known airlines to pull out of Munich – such as Hungarian Malev and Clickair, a low cost Spanish airline. Also Air Berlin charter line is deleting many of their intercontinental flights to Bangkok, Cape Town, Maimi, Fort Myers, Mauritius and Cuba. At the same time other airlines like Turkish, Emirates, United, and Air Dolomiti have switched to larger plans on their routes. Strongest of them all, has been Lufthansa, which has really defied the downward trend by adding a third daily flight to New York and an additional weekly flight to Tel Aviv. And taking a long-term view, planning is still moving forward on building a third runway in Munich, although organizers face at least a two year wait (and a lot of angry protests from environmentalists) before breaking any ground. For me (I fly in/out of Munich once per week), I think Munich’s airport is one of the best in Europe with easy in/out, amazing efficiency, and good access to the city.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Garbage in/Garbage Out

One of the greatest benefits of living in a society that prides itself on order is FREE TRASH DROPOFF! With a dozen drop off points around Munich and the ability to get rid of just about everything, you may never have trash on your street again. Back in the states it would cost you $25 minimum per visit, and in Paris we never found such an important treasure. But there it was a bit different. Just leave things at your doorstep, and guaranteed they were gone within 10 minutes. Everything was recycled. But back in Munich, you can drop off cardboard, glass, plastics, wood, yard waste, furniture, metal, and about 20 other things I can’t remember. You just show your trash to the floor assistants, and they point you to the right bin. It’s easy and it’s free. This is a godsend for those just moving to Munich, and need to get rid of all those IKEA boxes.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The People’s Bath

All I can tell you is my photo hardly does the “Grandest pool in Germany” any credit. It has been described as one of the most beautiful pools in the world, but the signs to not take photos and the pressure (as with most of Germany) to conform was enough to limit my ability to really show the grandeur of these pools. There are two large pools with amazingly high ceilings, statues, fountainheads spewing water, and intricate ironwork – which resembled an amazing Roman bath. That’s the gist of what we saw in the common area. I’ve already committed to returning and seeing the rest of the public baths. Believe it or not, the baths were given to the city of Munich as their first public bathhouse in 1901 by a wealthy engineer, Karl Muller. He bequeathed 5 houses to the city, which boasted a combined value of 1.8 million gold marks with the stipulation that the money was used to build a pool that could be enjoyed by the citizens of Munich. So we did our part, and it felt like we were back in 1901. What we ended up missing was the steam room and private cabines, which contain a locker, a bed, and a bit of privacy after your swim for a quick nap. Til next time…

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sprechen Sie Englisch?

Seems like most people speak English in Munich, which makes learning German quite difficult – as it’s really not needed in most places. The majority of service industry employees speak English in Munich, which my understanding is this is quite different from most of the rest of Germany. Honestly, the only times German has been required has been when a technician shows up or when you get a haircut. Short of having poor cable service and a really bad hairstyle, survival is definitely possible in Munich. But for those seeking services focused specifically on native English speakers – try some of these. Website for English speakers: Toytown. List of English speaking doctors from the US Embassy or the same list of attorneys. How about certified translators. For English bookstores, try Hugendugel at Salvatorplatz 2, or Anglia English Bookshop. For food, try G&A Grocery Store, which is a good spot for peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies.. For entertainment, you can try the English Drama Group, or this list of English Cinemas.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Party Central

This poster is from an old party, but the club and the party scene apparently live on in Munich. Given Munich’s mild and early to bed/rise personality, it’s hard to believe that locals party hard. But if advertisements are to believed, the party rages on in Munich. Some of the more well known clubs in Munich include the P1, which was made legendary as a club for US-American Army officers after WWII, and is now one of the most popular nightclubs in Munich. It also happens to be located next to the Haus der Kunst. Other popular night clubs include the Atomic Café, one of the few located in the center, which is very popular among students; as well as M-Park, a huge club on Lansbergerstrasse with 4000+ sq meters, each room with a different music style from house to Salsa. Also of note is Backstage, focused primarily on rockers as a standard concert venue. And finally, you have the Q-Club (as seen in the posters), which is the largest club in the party zone of Kultfabrik (which claims to be the largest party zone in Europe - near the Ostbahnhof). The Q-Club has nine lunges, nine bars, and two galleries.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Grüß Gott!" (Greet God!)

The Bavarian/Austrian phrase "Grüß Gott!" is as common in Munich as beer and schnitzel. You hear it everywhere, without thinking of its religious undertones. This saying originated in Catholic parts of Bavaria and Austria by priests in the 19th century, and has long been the most common greeting. With more than half the population Catholic in Bavaria, you can understand why the phrase became meainstream. It’s actually a shortened version of Grüße euch Gott (may God greet you). You see these types of salutations in many languages, and often their religious origin is even more apparent, such as in French adieu, Spanish adiós, Italian addio and Portuguese adeus – all translating as “to God.” But don’t take what works in Bavaria as working in the rest of Germany. If you say "Grüß Gott!" in Cologne, Berlin or Hamburg, you may get a response of "Wenn ich ihn sehe" (when I see him) or "Hoffentlich nicht so bald" (hopefully not too soon). (Photo taken at Freimann cemetary in Schwabing)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Morning Commute

I’m an early bird, usually on the train by 7 am. At that point, the trains are open, lots of seats, and lots of space to work. At 8 am, it’s not quite the same as this photo shows. I would describe it as a packed haus. Don’t get me wrong, it was nothing like the sardine can that was the Paris Metro at 9 am, but for Munich natives who like their space and order – it was quite disrupting. While in Paris, I noticed that the metro at 7 am was filled with an ethnic smorgasbord, mostly people going to blue collar jobs – cleaning, maintenance, security, etc. The White collar crowd never hit the trains until around 9 am. In Munich, it’s quite different. The 6:50 train is longer and more crowded than the train at 8 am. Germans are early to work, and early to play – or whatever they do in the evening That’s true of just about all types on the morning S-bahn. In some ways, public transit becomes the great equalizer.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Column Headings

What’s the significance of a column heading? If you look at the buildings surrounding Konigsplatz, you would say that the architect, Leo Von Klenze, was taking full advantage of the decorative elements of each of the Greek column styles to bring all of the buildings in balance. Each buildings boasts different styles of Greek columns. The most spectacular of the three buildings, the temple at Konigsplatz (at the base of this photo) uses Doric columns, which lie flat at the base and top and are by far the most plain. The Glyptotek, shown in the distance is still attractive, but utilizes a slightly more decorative column – the Ionic which shows two curly cue decorative elements at the top. The least attractive of the buildings, the archaeological museum, really has an inferiority complex next to the other structural gems, so it leverages the most decorative of all Greek columns, the Corinthian style which is lined with floral decorations.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Schwabing Chic

Has Schwabing lost its cool? This area of Munich traditionally was the artist quarter, but you will be hard pressed to find artists who can afford Schwabing these days. With some of the highest housing prices in town, there has been a strong influx of foreigners and a squeeze on locals. With that said, this neighborhood is by far one of the most dynamic in town; with its busy cafes that line Leopoldstrasse and Munchener Freiheit, its steady flow of students from Ludwigs-Maximilians-University and the Technical University of Munich, and finally the quiet streets that are hidden next to the English Garden. In addition, Schwabing has hundreds of boutique shops. This particular photo is one taken just behind the Freiheit complex. I personally go back and forth on opinions about Schwabing. Lately areas like Haidhausen, Bogenhausen, Gartnerplatz and Lehel seem to be on top. I don’t care for Leopoldstrasse as I think it’s a bit dirty, but I love all the neighborhoods to the west cobbled together by small intimate streets, as well as the neighborhood to the East that forms a gateway into the larget back yard in the world – the English Gardens.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Munich’s Italian Costco

Being so close to Italy certainly has its advantages. There’s no shortage of Italian restaurants, you occasionally see a Ferrari or two passing by, and you have some of the best imports in the world. Feinkost Spina, Italian importers, are located out at Euroindustrial park. With more than 7500 different Italian imports, you will find a whole lot of pasta, olive oil, and some of the best wine in the world. In fact, they carry more than 1500 different Italian wines. If that doesn’t’ work, try a little grappa, coffee, or Italian cheeses. For all those Italian lovers, this is almost as good as a jump down to Tuscany. The company has been operating in Munich for more than 30 years. Believe it or not, they accept in goods daily with fresh foods from more than 100 km away. So next time you are out at Euroindustrial park, visiting one of the many warehouse stores, get a bit of culture at this well established Italian Costco.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Virtual Reality

In a posh town of Grünwald, Southwest of Munich is Bavaria’s version of Universal Studios, where you can see movie magic being made every day. Bavaria Film City, with a 320,000 square meter complex, makes more than 150 hours of cinema and TV films every year. This was the birth place of German movies “Das Boot,” “Cabaret,” and “The Never Ending Story.” Bavaria Filmstadt is the largest film studios in Europe. During a 90-minute tour (even one per day in English), you can get the behind-the-scenes stories of some of Bavaria’s biggest movie moments. There, you will also see film relics like the submarine from “Das Boot,” you can make your own film, and you can even see movie stunts taking place on a daily basis. It’s a mix of old and new, as it looks back more than 80 years, but then shows you the future with a 4-D total emersion experience. More than 1000 people work at the Film City, as it is the center of their tourist and business operations.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lap of Luxury

Only a stone’s throw away from the central station are some of the most plush new apartments around town. The Wohngebäude is the heart of a new residential/business complex that raised the bar for central Munich living. Flanked by the offices of Conte Nast, the five-star Charles Hotel, and the historical Park Café; the apartment complex caters to those who want to be central, but with all the luxury of some of the top communities in the city. Construction on the units just completed this past year. Designed by the same firm that developed the World Exposition in Berlin in 1957. On one side of the apartments, you will find the old botanical gardens, and on the other you will find the Saint Boniface abbey and Benedictine church. The church was founded by Kind Ludwig I, who is also entombed there. Apparently, it’s quite rare for an Benedictine monastery to be situated in the city, but apparently Kind Ludwig I bought the former abbey to ensure the monks would be close to him at the residence.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Par for the Course

Well maybe it’s a little bit early to start hitting the links around Munich, but I’ve been told that there are quite a few nice golf courses on the outskirts of the city. Munich’s best connection to golf exists around the BMW International Open, which usually takes place in June at the Eichenried golf club north of Munich. It is a quite popular tournament in the European circuit, because it represents the last chance for Ryder Cup points. And the highlight of the Open, is any golfer who makes a hole-in-one wins a BMW Z8. Crowds of more than 60,000 watch the action every year. When the tournament isn’t going on, the course is actually open to the public Mon-Thur, and has three nine-hole courses. Some of the other top courses include Golfzentrum Muenchen-Riem, Golfclub Muenchen-Riedhof, Golfclub Holledau, Golfclub Erding Grünbach. You can find a detailed list of courses here. But I’d give it a few weeks before it’s warm enough to play without the snow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Apartment Living in Munich

I have talked a few times about the cost of housing in Munich. It is by far the highest in Germany. A perfect storm of foreign investment, global company headquarters, and blue chip local companies like BMW make the city a hot spot. Combine that with the proximity to the Alps, a warm southern Bavarian climate, and a laid back beer lifestyle; and the pricing goes through the roof. For the last two years, Munich has been building apartments like you wouldn’t believe – thousands of them that line the train tracks outside the Hauptbahnhof. The new version of City living – great modern space, lots of terraces, and easy commute to the center of town. What it’s missing is any sense of community. What it leaves you with is an experience of feeling like you are literally living on top of each other. I caught this man catching a breath of Spring fresh air, amongst the endless satellite dishes. I’m not saying that local cable is bad, but this apartment should give you an indication. We were excluded from the satellite crowd, as we live in a historical building, so we look for other forms of entertainment – such as blogs about expats living abroad. Go figure. J

Monday, March 16, 2009

Great Lakes

Just Southwest of Munich is a set of five lakes which have become amazingly popular as weekend getaways for Munich residents. Starnberger, pictured here, is the largest and in fact the fourth largest lake in Germany at 21 km by 4 km. We travelled out to Starnbergsee over the weekend, and were amazed to sit outside (yes Spring really is here) overlooking the water for lunch and a few beers with a handful of very friendly locals. Other lakes in the area include Ammersee, Pilsensee, Worthsee, and Osterseen. Most of the lakes are close enough to Munich to be reached by local S-bahn trains, but bring your bike as Starnbergersee has path ways clear around it. Starnbergersee is famous as the location where King Ludwig II was mysteriously found dead in 1886. After deposition as king and being ruled as suffering from Paranoia, King Ludwig walked along the shores of Starnbergersee with one of the psychiatrists that ruled against him. Both were found dead later that night, but with no explanation of death – despite many theories. Today the city of Starnberger and the lake’s claim to fame is as the wealthiest community in Germany, having the most disposable per capita income.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Selling Munich

With well over 12 million visitors per year, tourism plays a critical element in the Munich economy. Approximately 10% of the 130 million visitors to Germany end up in Munich, with more than half visiting during the three-week Octoberfest festival. One of the leading drivers of tourism in Munich continues to be lifestyle based, a great climate, easy going attitude and what I would call a beer garden culture. Other major draws include skiers on the way to Austrian, German, Italian and Swiss Alps. Since Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006, tourism has increased steadily for the past couple years, but with the downturn in the economy Munich is expecting that flow to flatten or go down slightly. As we lead into Spring, it has been difficult to notice any slowdown, but like the economic indicators I talked about a few weeks ago – I think there may be a delay here as well. For now, as Spring appears there are no shortage of tour groups, full beer gardens, and – as pictured – bus tours throughout Munich.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Beer Can Beat Up Your Beer

For all the gusto that is German, my recommendation is to not stand in the way of the Strong Beer Festival taking place in Munich right now. The festival generally starts in mid March during Lent and after the Fasching celebration, and lasts about one month. The epicenter of this “Octoberfest without tourists” celebrations, as the locals call it, is the Paulaner Keller (which can accommodate 5000 revelers), but it is also celebrated in other places around Munich, such as the Lowenbrau Cellar. Strong beer gained its popularity way back when Napoleon rode into town and sold all the monasteries to local businessmen, who sold the monk’s beer. Each of the breweries followed suit and released dopplebock brews, which start at 7.5 percent alcohol. The Paulaner Strong Brew is called Salvator, and it’s strong malty flavor can sneak up on even the most experienced drinkers. But if you are celebrating with a group on locals – I think you will be in good hands.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Starting in two days, both S-bahn routes that serve the airport (S1&S8) will start serving out stacks and drinks. Like many of the regional trains, a trolley will go up and down the train offering warm and cold drinks, sandwiches, etc. The new service is focused on people leaving early for their flights, without enough time to grab breakfast. Although I think this is a great idea, it creates some interesting conflicts. For example, the trolley serves beer, yet officially it is illegal to drink beer in the train stations. That of course doesn’t seem to stop most people from drinking in and around the train stations. In fact, you regularly see people in the stations or on the trains in the morning having a beer. It shows just how much beer is built into the local culture. One of the major food groups, I guess.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

One Good Beer Deserves Another

So why is it that 10,000 Munich brewers walked out of work during a four hour warning strike? For more money, of course. The Gewerkschaft Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten (NGG) put down their tools recently, as they have been asking for a 6% pay raise, but had only been offered 1.7% I haven’t seen any updates to this story, but I think with the down economy it’s difficult to demand raises, especially with fewer tourists coming to Munich and drinking all that beer. Perhaps the locals are picking up the slack. Beer consumption in Germany averages more than 130 litres per year per person. With 7 original breweries in Munich, producing more than 22M hectoliters, I think we’re safe for a little while.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Is that smart, or what?

Well now I’m not quite sure. The car that has become synonymous with industrial design and quite frankly urban coolness – especially in the big cities where parking is at a premium – has had a bit of a sorted and unsuccessful past. I love the cars, and have always wanted to rent one (which Sixt rental agency specializes in) just to have the driving experience of a smart car. Apparently the technology originates from Sindelfingen Germany, while the design and model come from Irvine, California. With headquarters today in Germany, Switzerland and France, the Smart car has revolutionized car design, and along with the BMW Mini make compact cool. Yet the original concept from Swatch watch has struggled to turn a profit and has been dropped by both General Motors and Volkswagen. Finally, Swatch-Mercedes ART (SMART) GmbH was liquidated and its operations absorbed by Mercedes-Benz. It wasn’t known until later that the company posted 4 billion euros in losses between 2003 to 2006, despite serving more than 25 countries. Today, the Smart car seems on the surface that it can’t lose, expanding in North America and other markets not prone to small cars, yet it is still to be seen whether this compact car can turn a SUV size profit.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Swing Kids

So I don’t have any deep story to tell about Munich here. In the end, I just liked the energy from the kids in the photo – both in full swing while in perfect Unison with the supporting post. Most of all, I like the big grin. Note that in the US, such a play structure would never survive in the lawsuit happy culture. But in Munich, anything goes. I guess this is my opportunity to put in a plug for the Munich parks. Most people think of the tremendous English Gardens here, but Munich is actually surrounded with parks and forest land. Worth mentioning is the fact that Munich is flanked by the East and West Park, both very modern versions with endless grass, open play areas, and great beer gardens. Also worth mentioning is Luitpold park, where I’m told has the best sledding of the Munich parks.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The First Traces of Spring

Today was as about as bizarre weather as you would find anywhere. At points the snow was flying in sideways, and at others the Sun shined like a bright spring day. And finally, the two occurred at the same time. So as a preview of things to come, I thought you would like this glimpse of Spring. And without question, Spring in Munich is going to be a busy time – especially if it ever warms up. One of my recommendations is to visit the botanical gardens just as everything starts to bloom. You can easily walk from the gardens into Nymphenburg Palace. If you are looking for a little more interactive Spring activities, try the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which drinks its way down Leopoldstrasse and ends at Odeonsplatz this Sunday. It turns out, there are no shortage of drinking opportunities during the Spring in Munich. The Strong Beer festival takes place in mid-March. The festival started out when the Paulaner monks made very strong beer (described as “holy father oil”) to tide them over during Lenten fasts. In addition, the Spring Festival, which is described as a mini-Octoberfest without the tourists, takes place April 16-May 2 at the famous Theresienweise. Finally, if looking for cleaner more sober activities, check out the big market called Auer Dult, which takes place at Mariahilfplatz, which takes place April 25-May 3.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Can Do - Condensed Living

Over the past decade Munich has accumulated some of the highest property costs in Germany. The German Institute of town planners recently reported that the average cost of a house in Munich is €379,800. This compares with an average price of €249,300 in Berlin and €235,100 in Hamburg. So what started out in 2001 as student project at TUM (90,000 students, but only 10,000 rooms) the Technical University of Munich, may have a lot more relevance in today’s economy. The m-ch or micro-compact homes at the edge of the English Garden are built as a 2.65m (that’s right – less than 9 feet) cube and are all solar and wind powered, and constructed of timber and aluminum. Leveraging a wealth of automotive research and European as well as Japanese prefabrication methods, they have been described as a space saving wonder. All units feature all the necessary living elements: kitchen, sleeping, washing and even entertainment zones with a spot of high technology including broadband, and plasma screen. The units were so popular that the students who signed up for the first semester, requested to stay the rest of the year in the units. They are still used today, and mark a stark and fun contrast next to the open fields of the English Garden.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tropical Snow Storm

Talk about out of place, were the flamingos in the snow today at the Tierpark Hellabrunn Munich Zoo. Although you expected to see the flamingos in some tropical paradise, they didn’t seem phased by the cold, snowy weather in Munich. In fact, they were one of the liveliest animal groups at the zoo, as attendance seemed to be at a crawling pace. The Munich Zoo, which sits on the banks of the Isar river, has its roots all the way back to 1770 as the Bavarian dukes set up parks in Nympenburg with exotic animals. Despite several false starts, the parks were generally for the aristocrats and eventually failed with little public support. It wasn’t until 1911, at the grand opening of the Hellabrunn zoo, that Munich citizens finally adopted the zoo as their own. The zoo found international success as the first geo-based zoo in the world, clustering animals based upon which continent they lived. That mapping still applies today, although it was a bit difficult to see that as we got lost with the map. The zoo survived WWI and reopened under Heinz Heck, who was known for breeding animals in captivity; but the zoo came under fire when in the 30s it cross bred several species to bring animals back from extinction. WWII put an end to just about everything in Munich including the zoo, and it finally opened for the third and last time in 1945. Today, the zoo is still known worldwide as a center for breeding in captivity, and more than 1 million visitors come to the zoo every year. And on a warmer afternoon, it’s a wonderful place to wonder and explore.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Local Color

This post is about exceptions. Munich and graffiti don’t really seem to go together. You see the locals gasp as a train rolls by with a random tag. They gasp because it doesn’t happen all that often. Munich always seems a bit white washed. But there are a few areas you can find some great graffiti around town. Probably one of the biggest collections is in the Kultfrabric club warehouse area. You can also find a lot of graffiti at the abandoned Munich airport at Riem. And another good spot is tumblingerstrasse, where it crosses the train tracks. Finally, a few other places include the old (sometimes abandoned) structures of the Olympic park, and along the banks of the Isar (like this photo). Apparently, Munich has legalized graffiti at many of these places, taking graffiti from a protest art form to a commercial enterprise bringing their artists international attention. And the results are outstanding, giving artists a new-found freedom and creativity.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

University Living – At Its Finest

Nearly a year ago I introduced you to the student housing at the Olympic village. Nearly 40 years ago, the city built a multi-use, multi-format living space for more than 10,000 athletes. Today, that living space is used by more than 10,000 residents. At the time I shared the story, the student housing was being demolished for more suitable accommodations. You see, the student housing was only 2 floor bungalows, in the midst of 15 story apartment buildings. Each unit was customized by those living there, and you had an amazing mish mash of colors and social commentary on the walls. I have to imagine this was an amazing place to live. Each unit was the ground floor, a bed room upstairs and a terrace. All the alley ways between were only 6 feet across, and I have to imagine it was party central. I had forgotten about these units, Until I saw a few of them placed at Lenbachplatz as part of an exhibit and then saw them posted at the blog Olliinmunich. So party on, Munich!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dog Day Afternoon

I came across this (very fast) dog out on the lawn between the Old and the New Pinakotek museums. I’m not sure I would have given the mut much notice, if it wasn’t for the baseball bat swinging owner giving the dog a bit of exercise. He’s would hit the ball out, and the dog would race like crazy to collect the ball. I didn’t ask, but a baseball bat in Munich is about as foreign as a vegetarian at a bratwurst party. So I wondered, did some crazy Americans transport their pastime to Munich. And there happens to be a semi-pro baseball league throughout Germany. Best I can tell is it’s about the level of a decent University ball game in the states. The Munich team is the Ambassadors, and they play on what’s described as the most beautiful field in all of Bavaria on Säbener Strasse in the south end. Founded in 1992 after a Munich local spent a good time in the states and caught the baseball bug. The team has been met with mixed results through the years. The team seems to still be active, but now perhaps they spend their time hitting to the dogs

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Testing The Waters

Munich is expected to see snow the rest of the week, but on the weekend it was a bit of a tropical paradise, with temperatures rising up to nearly 50 degrees. Of course, all the skaters have gone home, but that doesn’t stop the curious from testing out the thickness (or thinness, depending on how you look at it) of the ice. This seemed like a consistent pattern out at Schoss Schleishiem, where kids would explore the ice and parents would hold on from solid ground. Long since past are the constant pleas from the Red Cross to stay off the frozen lakes. At this point, it’s all up to the individuals…and their parents of course.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Putting a Happy Face on the Situation

Continuing along yesterday’s theme of economics, it looks like the Viktualien Market’s Schranne hall (in the background of this photo) is nearly bankrupt. Despite a search for new investors or a new tenant, this has come up empty lately. The Schranne Hall is a mix of restaurants and cafes, retail, and concert hall. We have spent many evenings there for salsa dancing or an easy way to hear live music, and it’s a great multi-purpose hall in the heart of downtown. In march, the hall has already scheduled Salsa night, Austria Night, as well as live broadcasts of Bundesliga. But now its future is up in the air. The Schranne’s most prominent tenant is Hacker Pschorr Keller, a restaurant and beer hall.