Sunday, January 17, 2010


The official World Cultural Capital celebration opening took place a few days ago in Essen at the Zeche Zollverein and here am I, stuck in Utah. Luckily, there's no lack of information about the event, and from what I can see it was a blow out Essen will be talking about for years to come. Americans often have a romantic picture of Germany, in which a layer of crisp new snow lies on all the pretty cottages. The truth is, as I've mentioned in previous blog posts, snow is fairly rare in the Ruhrgebiet. So an opening night celebration in an open air arena at the heart of the Zollverein campus mustn't have seemed like a particularly risky enterprise. But on the night of the ninth of January, the snow was flying. Far from ruining the event, it seems to have heightened the drama.

Grönemeyer was there, the Minister President, Helge Schneider, Dietmar Bär and Klaus J. Behrendt (the Tatort Kommissare from Köln,) the former Minister President... it seems only I couldn't make it. I'll include some pictures I borrowed from Spiegel below, but the most exciting images I saw were included in WDR's video presentation, which you can view here: 200.000 feiern Ruhr 2010. I thought in the new, digital world, everything would be free, but it turns out WDR doesn't allow me to embed their videos in my blog. Mist! So, click on the link, watch the video, enjoy the pictures. I need to get busy booking my flight for a visit at the end of this semester.

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