Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Springtime in Munich

Springtime in Munich makes me wish I had a better camera. And also that I was a better photographer. It's so difficult to capture how glorious it is here this time of year.

It's like living in a time-elapsed nature film, where you watch the entire city wake up from a winter sleep. Each days the trees get a little more green, pink or yellow. Münchners run around shirtless and half-naked, revealing the deep, pagan, nature-worshipping streak that resides in all Germans.

I love it.

There's a soundtrack in my head that switches between Diana Ross' languorous 'Love Hangover' and (unfortunately!) Springtime for Hitler in Germany from The Producers. I know about the latter! it's terrible, but it's such an upbeat tune and somehow my brain latched onto 'Springtime' and 'Germany' and well....

Family from New York visited recently. Fortunately the weather behaved and I was able to take them around on Call-A-Bikes through the Viktualienmarkt and into the English Garden where they were AGOG at all the people out, the abundant green space and civic public life.

Of course I think of it all the time, but it's a nice reminder when visitors come and really get to experience the best of your home town.

From now on I'm only going to allow U.S. visitors to visit between late April and early September!

Friday, April 17, 2015

La Bouche Restaurant in Glockenbach

Full Disclosure: I'm not a raving fan of French cuisine. Sure it's good, but I don't get why it's been elevated to the standing it has. Not that I'm at all qualified to make that pronouncement! It just seems over-engineered and fussy and in my experience doesn't yield a culinary experience that makes my eyes roll back into my head like, say, most Italian food.

To each her own.

Never the less, my uncle and cousin are visiting this week and my uncle, an unabashed Francophile had a hankering for French food. We were on foot walking towards Sendlinger Tor, I had already decided to take us to Goldmarie when my uncle pronounced his preference for French. I had to think fast.

I've walked passed La Bouche several times and have always found the decor spare but charming. I also dimly remembered hearing good things about it. It was 5 minutes away on foot and close to their hotel. Done and done.

We walked in sans reservations. Kein problem, we were welcomed and told to sit wherever we like. Much to the delight of my American family members jug after jug of leistungswasser was brought to the table (without asking!) along with a bottomless bowl of delicious baguette slices. So far so good.

My young cousin kept asking me how to say 'Can I have x' we struggled a bit going back and forth with 'Ich hätte gern', when the waitress came to our table, looked at him and said 'SO was hättest du gern'. Again, friendly and welcoming, which is surprising considering it's a french restaurant in Bavaria!

The food was good. My uncle was very pleased with his grille Loup de Mer, my husband had a delicious (if not a little bloody) Entrecote with sublime pomme frittes. My cousin, who is 16 enjoyed is Coq a Vin and my rabbit in a senf-karamel sauce served with Quinoa was fantastic.

There was a substantial wine list that we made good use of as well.

Despite my statement above about French food I'm sure this won't be my last trip to La Bouche!

P.S. I discovered on my way back from the restroom that there is an entire second room that runs parallel to the first dining room, so go look around the bend before you decide where you want to sit.

First photo from of

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Roly Poly

It’s officially spring, even if we’re still battling hurricanes and snow flurries. That means it’s time for us to replace our dilapidated BBQ cover. Rather than get some dreary, grey plastic number, I was hoping to find some grease cloth with an upbeat pattern and have one made.

Enter Roly Poly.

Alas, I have neither sewing machine, nor sewing talent, but I love gorgeous fabric and interesting patterns. I also know a great seamstress! So I was pulsing with inspiration and delight when I happened upon this fabric shop in Glockenbach. It’s full of interesting and out of the ordinary stoff, including imported fabrics from the U.S.

Look at these fabrics! LOOK AT THEM!

In the end my idea with the custom made BBQ cover proved to complicated, but I am in the process of re-imagining our bedroom. This process includes thinking about new bedding and I’ll be back poking around Roly Poly for inspiration, and I’m pretty sure yards and yards (or meters and meters) of cloth for a new duvet and pillow case set!

They've got a Facebook page too.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Café Pini in Glockenbach

I love meeting friends for brunch or breakfast, although with everyone's busy schedules these days I don't do it often enough. On my roster of nearby, charming and easy places to meet is Cafe Pini. The food is solid, if not expected (Baguettes with cold cuts, scrambled eggs, muesli), the atmosphere is charming, and the price is right.

Like all places in the city, it fills up quick on weekends so get there early or see if they take reservations.

Photo from

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Berge

It's April and I'm just about ready for spring. Every year I get psyched out that it's just around the corner, but alas, it's still probably about another two months off.

This year and last year the winters haven't been too bad. Truth be told as a native Angelena (someone from Los Angeles) I really like living in a place that has actual seasons. But long dreary winters without sun do get to me. Two years ago in January Munich got something like 4 hours of sunlight. Awful.

That's where the mountains come in.

I never thought of myself as an outdoorsy type (and I'm still not). But I've grown to love living so close to the Alps. In winter, you can get out, above the clouds and have your soul seared by the blinding white beauty of the sun and the snow, the piercing blue sky. It really takes the edge of returning to the gray, rainy, leafless city.

In summer the mountains are a Sound of Music style Alpine monument to the majesty of nature. I consider die Berge one of the major perks of living in southern Germany and Munich, but if someone had told me that fifteen years ago they would have just gotten a blank stare from me.

Friday, February 27, 2015

I'm Back.

Literally and metaphorically.

I didn't mean to take such a long hiatus, but you know how it is. There was a launch of my new website, trips to California and Mexico, and re-entry. But I'm here now. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oktoberfest : Einzug der Wiesnwirte

One of my favorite things about Oktoberfest is all the pageantry surrounding it.  On the starting day the festival begins with the Einzug der Wiesnwirte, it sort of means parade of the Octoberfest farmers, but that's not what it is. It's all of the tent breweries, bands, wait staff and horses in full regalia festively marching to the Oktoberfest grounds.

It was overcast this year, but still I was determined to go to the starting point at Sendlinger Tor and get some snaps. At this time of year I really wish I had street photography chops. It's one of the few occasions where people gladly let you take pictures of them. The city is full of interesting takes on tracht. From Bavarian hipsters, to kids wearing converse and lederhosen to tourists with their tats ironically sporting cheap-o dirndls, I love every bit of it.

I love the jolly 'behind the scenes' vibe. It was raining pretty hard, and the gals on this Hofbräu float were bargaining with passers by: An umbrella for 3 beer gift certificates.

A couple of years ago, there must have been some kind of detour going on, because the parade went right past our front door. We didn't know it, and as we walked out of the door that saturday morning on our way to Ikea (we had totally forgotten it was the first day of the Wiesn) there was all of the Oktoberfest pomp and circumstance in full glory, gaily marching past our building at full blast.

I'll go with my in-laws this weekend for our annual Familientreff. We decided to brave the crowds for a family Oktoberfest outing on the second to last day.