Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Things are hectic here in the days before Heiliger Abend and Weihnachten. I started this morning in the neighborhood with a haircut and then a search for an appropriate Christmas tree at Edeka. The Florastrasse square was manned with Jehovah's Witnesses handing out Wachtturm! (not many takers) and our standard accordion player. Our accordion player is the best in a city that's got a surfeit and I take some pride in that fact. I'm not sure why.

I spent some time at the Folkwang Museum today too and since they're under construction, they're suffering from a lack of visitors. Their response to the problem is a giant " O P E N " sign that made me mistake the museum for an American supermarket. It's a particularly awkward sign since they leave it up all the time, i.e. when they are, in fact, closed. The sign doesn't detract from an excellent exhibition of modern photography and some appropriately confounding videos.

I also went through the downtown and took some parting shots of the Weihnachtsmarkt. I read an interesting article this morning in Die Zeit about Weihnachtsmärkte in general and learned that they are all the rage in the UK. Apparently, cities there are contracting with German cities to provide them with a complete Weihnachtsmarkt package. In Birmingham, a seriously multicultural city, residents whose parents came from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc. are now really into the Gemütlichkeit. The trend sounds great to me, even though chewing on a smoked eel in the cold isn't really my style. I don't mind being in the minority.

I hope the readers of Forschungsjahr and Vitrine will have a happy and healthy holiday season and a great new year. We've got a full schedule here for the holidays and I may even get to taste Lebkuchen. I'll be back with a report in 2009.

1 comment:

Rebecca Habtour said...

happy holidays to you as well!