Even temporary homes are homes. We lived only three months in Cologne, but we all feel a little more like Rhinelanders after that time. Our land-lady even bought us a crystal cathedral that lights up, all giving us a sense that we will be missed. But at 9:55 on New Year’s Eve all was to change. Our plans were made: pack, find our place in the Kinderabteilung (Children’s compartment), and head to Munich.
Four hours later we arrived in Munich, and loaded a taxi. Our new home was waiting, and, now, the glass cathedral has a new place to glow and spin.
Continue reading “A New City, A New Year”
I wouldn’t consider myself necessarily a “snow person.” Then again I am not really a person for any particular weather. (Though 70 degree winter evenings in the desert were amazingly relaxing.) During college I only had a bicycle for transportation, so like the postal service of old, I would pedal diligently through rain, slush, snow, fog, locusts…anything nature decided to throw at me.
But this is my first Winter in Europe, and soon to be my first Christmas in France, growing to a list of “firsts” for all of us.
Continue reading “And the Snow Came Down”
My colleagues at WDR3 asked me to compare the cities of Cologne and Phoenix in terms of classical appreciation. It is not an easy task, but this report attempts to make the comparison fair and accurately. In short, Europeans are much more willing to pay for cultural activities through taxes, whereas American organizations hope the locals will pick up the tab.
Continue reading “What is Classical Music worth to us?”
The official start to Karneval is 11:11, on the morning of 11Nov, but the drinking began much earlier than that. Celebrants in costumes ranging from interesting (a giraffe) to ridiculous (smurfs, and fire hydrants) piled out of the subways and marched across the Roncalli Platz to find a brew–a morning elixir to make their dreams come true.
But this tangible inebriation came not without a price, and the Altmarkt (Old market) stood as a beer-soaked ruin.
Continue reading “Karneval’s Toll”
There’s a calm that comes from a river blown breeze. Like a chilled embrace of an unseen watcher, the breeze brings me past the crowds of gawkers and pilgrims, and sets me in the foyer of Cologne’s massive cathedral.
Continue reading “A House of God”
When many Americans talk about seeing Europe, the bulk of these people can be divided into two groups: the tour bus or backpacking crowds. Some folks spend their hard-earned dough on a blitz-offensive of Europe like the kind seen in “National Lampoon’s European Vacation,” rushing city to city in an attempt to “experience” Europe in an insanely tight time frame. Rome, Berlin, Paris, London, fly back home. Others try to backpack through Europe, and spend a lot of time in hostels. This is a fine option for younger folks, but not everyone.
But our troupe doesn’t fit into those categories. We are European veterans, having taken our time to see the on- and off-the-beaten-trail sites. And with a baby, and no car, the list of “Crazy things we have done in life” has just gotten longer.
Continue reading “Underway, the Kölner Way”