Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Monthly Instagram #1 - Fuck Your Rules

This image from my friend Julie's Instagram feed inspired an idea for a new series of posts. I started searching under hashtags like #münchen and found some amazing stuff! Each month I'll post one that spoke to me in some way or another.

I like to think this was scrawled by an expat who just had enough. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I Just Meant To Buy A Little Paper...

Early one morning last month, I got out of the house early and made my way over to Maxvorstadt to pick up some paper at Carta Pura.

I was hoofin' it to make sure I'd dutifully get my 10,000 steps for the day. You can imagine my unadulterated joy when I realized I happened to pick the very Saturday that the Maxvorstadt Hofflohmarkt was going on!

This is the second time I've had insanely good hofflohmarkt karma. Here are some pics of the märkte as well as my leisurely sojurn down Schellingstrasse on that fine morning.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Wertstoffhof

Let's talk trash. I'm on a ruthless decluttering jag. That means lots of trips to the Wertstoffhof. A quick Google Translate tells me that Wertstoffhof means 'Recycling Center'.

Well, you can just add 'recycling' to the list of things the Germans have gotten down to an orderly, methodical, science.

Oddly, I love these little trips. I feel like a good citizen for disposing of my 'problematic substances' (old electronics, paint, etc.) in a responsible way, and I'm infused with a sense of security and geborgenheit that I live in such a structured, thoughtful, well managed society.

Seriously, there are containers for everything: wood, plastic, electronics, old household machines, styrofoam. Guys in orange vests authoritatively direct the operations, which run smoothly. Basically you pull up in your car, run up to the appropriate container and toss it in. The industrious sound of mega-compactors adds a kind of soundtrack to the scene.

You're in and out in a matter of minutes.

But don't take pictures (why? are they worried other countries are going to steal top secret recycling plans?) I got yelled at by one of the guys when he saw me running around with my iphone. Lucky for you my husband is really good at taking stealth pictures. Shh.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Manouche Restaurant

I'm freelancing at the moment at an agency housed in The HUB. That means I'm spending my days in Sendling, and discovering its many charms.

One of these is Manouche. A tiny, hip Lebanese restaurant on Valleystraße. Apparently it's the younger sister of the first restaurant Beirut Beirut, which is just on the other side of Implerstrasse. Many say it's better. I haven't tried it out yet because I can't tear myself away from the 'Cocktel' I order at least twice weekly.

The 'Cocktel' is made of a flat bread  folded in half and filled with a mild salty cheese, mint leaves, olive oil, various spices, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and sesame seeds. It's just divine.

Plus I love the aesthetics of the place. Check out their super cool website.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Seifenkisten Rennen at the Auer Dult

'Hier ist der Welt noch in Ordnung' is a German phrase I've come to know and love. The literal translation is 'Here the world is still in order'. My husband usually says it whenever we drive through a charming little village in the Bavarian countryside. I think it to myself a lot living in Munich.

The things the make the world "in Ordnung"(to my mind, anyway) include a spirit of community, simple pleasures that don't involved the distractions of modern life and a keeping of the old traditions.

The annual Seifenkistenrennen (soapbox race)  that takes place during the Mai Dult at Mariahilfsplatz is one such occasion. It's a soapbox race that includes kids, parents, neighborhood old folks, as well as business establishments and local authorities. The participants all race with their own, hand built soap boxes. There are age divisions and an MC.

As I watch everyone cheer and clap for their friends and neighbors as they race down the hill, while I eat handmade potato chips from a paper cone and sip coke through a straw, I feel like I'm in a Munich version of the Andy Griffith Show.

These quaint pleasures within a large city are what makes Munich so special to me. In Ordnung indeed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wandern Mit Dem MVV #24 - Die Wolfratshauser Aussichtsrunde

I have a little book called 'Wandern mit dem MVV'. It's pocket size and the concept is simple. It's a series of numbered scenic walks you can take in the surrounding areas of Munich starting at an S-Bahn station.

I've had the idea to go on all 40 walks listed in the book for awhile, the plan being this will become an occasional but regular series on this her blog. The inaugural walk took place in March of this year.

I went with a friend and we decided to do #24 which is about a 12km circle around Wolfratshausen.

The walk starts at the Icking S-Bahn station. It took us around 3 hours, with a pause in the middle for a Brezn and and some Obatzda.

The walk was pretty great. There were stunning vistas high above the Isar, as well as paths that led off the road practically through peoples back yards. The one above sported an impressive collection of bird feeders.

We also learned that the term 'findling' refers to a large rock. At least we assume it does. The guide instructed us to turn left at the 'findling' and ultimately the rock above was the only thing there that it could've been. No idea if these are naturally occurring or not.

Wolfratshausen is full of old country charm, and apparently used to be a big center of commerce along the Isar.

Here's the spot where they assemble those big rafts that go down the Isar carrying oompah bands and merrymakers.


Money Shot: The Ickinger Wehr.

As you can see the walk was gorgeous, and this was in early March. I imagine it must be spectacular when spring is in full throttle. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


When you live in the Au, Schwabing can sometimes seem like it's in another galaxy. I don't get up there much, so I'm always at a loss when thinking of where to meet someone when I find myself north of Prinzregentenstrasse equator.

Fortunately a friend suggested Seerose. It's a little Trattoria at the end of Feilitzschtrasse practically bordering the English garden.

Hip, hidden and 'indie' this place is not. It's owned by the same people that own Theresa, Freebird, Kaisergarten and similar establishments around town. But the food is decent, the decor is charming and the prices are reasonable. For these reasons it's gained a place on my roster, and pops into mind whenever I'm headed northward.