Monday, August 29, 2011

They Finally Finished the Isar Au

Isar Au

And it's gorgeous. This is the vision I happened upon walking over to the GBV to meet a friend for dinner. It was so fitting with the week's heatwave; seeing this definitely brought on one of those 'Wow, I love living here' moments.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Best (Indie) Spots in Munich


I recently pitched Design*Sponge to write their Munich City guide, since I noticed they didn't have one. Much to my delight, Grace Bonney, the editor, accepted! I've put together a list of all of the places I think should go in. Each neighborhood should have a list of at least one cafe, restaurant and shop or cultural spot, and the focus should be on places that lean towards 'Indie'.

Here is my list so far:

Magazin (Home Furnishing)
Kustermann (Home Furnishing, historical, family owned Munich store)
Viktualienmarkt (highlight certain stands; soup place, sandwich/cheese place, fisch witte, middle-eastern place)
Böhmler in Tal (Modern, drool worthy furniture)
Obacht (Modern Bavaria Kitsch)
Manufaktur (gourmet items, furnishings)
Dallmayr (Munich institution)
Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung (Museum)
Cortina (Hotel and Bar)
Bar Centrale (Bar)
Shuhbecks Gewurzladen (?)
Shuhbecks Eis (?)
L&I (Restaurant)
Last Supper (Restaurant)

Thiersch 15 (Home Furnishing)
Haus der Kunst (Museum)
Nage und Sauge (Restaurant)
Le Barestovino (French Restaurant and Winebar)
La Stanza (Restaurant/Bar)
Gandl (Restaurant)
Roosevelt (Cocktail Bar)
River Surfing Spot
Frau Grüne Eis (new renovated Häusl bei Surfing spot)
NoMiya (Restaurant)
Lollo Rosso (Restaurant)
Negroni (Bar)
Zum Closter (Restaurant)
Bindwerk (Arts/Bookbindery/paper goods)
Wisengrund (Restaurant/Bar)
Wein Cantina (Wine Bar/Restaurant)
1260 Grad (Culture/Art/Ceramics/Home/Shop)
Café Fortuna (Café)
Maria Passagne (Bar)
Wölfl Konditorei (Traditional Cake Place)
Hofbräukeler Biergarten
Muffathalle Biergarten
Muffathalle (Ampere, concerts, clubs)

Isarvorstadt-Ludwigvorstadt (Sendling?)
Café Beethoven (Live Jazz, Brunch)
Café Mozart (Hipster Bar/Café)
Art Babel (new Puerto Giesing/Artists space)
Valentinstuberl (Bar)

Österia (Restaurant)
Volksbad (Cultural)
Le Fetteria (Restaurant)
Schyrenbad (Cultural/Relax)
New hipster bar/restaurant across from Schyrenbad (Charlie Something...)
Café Hüller (Café)
Schwarze Hahn (Grunge Bar)
Auer Dult (Seasonal)
Deutsches Museum (?)

Jesas (Artisianal Hipster Gelato)
Mid-Century furniture place on Baaderstr. (Furniture)
SamsnSon (Vintage furniture)
Vintage furniture place on Reichenbachstr.
Delikatessen (vintage and modern furniture)
Trachtenvogl (Café and Bar)
Vier Werkstatten (Crafts/Shopping)
Rice (Restaurant)
Hey Luigi (Restaurant)
Café am Hochhaus (nightclub)
Bar Josef (Joseph?)
Maria (Restaurant/Breakfast/Brunch)
Baader Café (Restaurant/Breakfast/Brunch/Bar/Café)
Götterspeise (Café, chocolate and confectionary shop)
Café Aroma (Café/Breakfast)
Bar Corso (Bar/Restaurant)
Hoover and Floyd (Café/Bar)
Café Pini (Café/Breakfast)
Bergwolf (Late night fries)
Gärtnerplatz (Cultural, hang out spot)
Kleinschmidtz (Restaurant/Wine)
Zappeforster (Restaurant/Cafe)

Max Vorstadt
Jasmin Café (Café/Bar)
Pinakothek der Modern (Museum)
Horst Brand (Architecture/Museum)
Lenbach Haus (Museum)
Bahil Bahia (Gelato)

Le Sud (?)
Furniture place on Hohenzollnerstr.
BMW Museum (Architecture/museum, Nord Schwabing)
Max Emanuel Biergarten (or is this Max Vorstadt)

Kongressbar (If visiting Oktoberfest leaves you needing a drink….)
Café Josepha
Das Neue Kubitscheck (Café)

Taxis Garten (Biergarten)
Rufini (Café/Wine)
Sarcletti (Gelato)

Englische Garten
Surfing Spot
Fr. Gruneis

Note it's very thin on Schwabing, Westend and Neuhausen, three neighborhoods I rarely visit! I am happily entertaining any and all suggestions. Special thanks to Emily, my fellow expat, Wahlmünchnerin and internet buddy who had the same idea and is helping me put this together...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Some of My Favorite Furniture Stores in Munich

Möbel in München

Whenever we need something for the apartment, it's hard to resist the impulse to reach for the IKEA catalog. It's easier to get a car and make one trip to the giant blue box where everything is under one roof, moderately well designed and cheap.

But then your entire living space is filled with the same Ikea junk that fills every other apartment in Europe. Nein, Danke.

The list below are places I shop (or aspire to one day shop at) when I want to get furniture that is inspired and interesting, rather than just cheap and easy. My taste leans towards the modern and ecclectic, and this list reflects that. Feel free to add some of your favorites in the comments. One of the reasons I started this blog is to document all my knowledge of Munich in one central, public space for both myself and others to reference.

Magazin - Nice selection of modern furniture, lighting and accessories in the Funf Höfe

Delikatessen - Mixture of vintage and modern lighting and tables. Another store with no website, come on people!

Thiersch 15 - Beautiful selection of modern furniture in Lehel. Lots of German design.

Sit & Sleep - Interesting alternative to BoConcept and not as pricey as Ligne Roset

Abovo - Small but nice collection of modern lighting, seating and sofas and home accessories. I don't know if it's true, but I've heard an American woman owns this store.

Sams & Son - All vintage stuff, now mostly suitcases and items like old apothecary cases, wood type and the like. They used to have more general furniture items, but still a good place to pop into from time to time. I just found out they also have a Facebook Page (but they haven't posted anything since June)

Muji - A chain, but still good for storage and dishware and a convenient alternative to Ikea.

Kokon Lifestyle Haus - Good for linens and garden ware, with an emphasis on ethnic and Asian decor.

Böhmler in Tal - One day. One day. Really expensive, but really beautiful mostly modern furniture for every part of the home. Warning, their website has music on it, which sort of detracts from their otherwise classy brand.

Manufaktum - Mix of home, garden and cooking ware. Some interesting vintage-inspired pieces.

Kustermann - Not a furniture store per se, but lots of dishware, some garden furniture, cookware and bathroom items. A private, family owned Munich institution. Warning: You can easily spend five hours browsing all the goodies here when all you meant to buy was a light bulb.

Vier Werkstatten
- Lighting and small dishware and home items made by local artisans. Shockingly, they don't have a website.

Fermob - After Daft Punk, this outdoor and garden furniture is one of the best things to come out of France in a long time.

Photos from Thiersch 15, Böhmler in Tal and

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

10 Things to Do at The Auer Dult

Auer Dult

We're lucky to live practically around the corner from Mariahilfplatz, where three times a year the Auer Dult takes place. The Auer Dult is a nine-day folk festival dating back to the fourteenth century. In it's present form it's a great place to stuff your face, buy some housewares and enjoy some carnival fun. Here's a list of things you won't regret doing if you go:

1. Eat a
Steckrl Fisch at the Fischer Vroni Zelt - There is nothing quite like a hot Mackerel right off the coals along with a giant pretzel all washed down by an ice cold beer or Weisswineschorle. Lecker!

2. Watch the Seifenkisten Rennen - A good old fashioned soap box race that is a very neighborhood-y affair with participants from the local schools, grunge bars and police and fire departments.

3. Buy a frying pan - This is what is so strange and charming about the Auer dult, it is one part carnival, one part folk festival and one part housewares section at the hardware store.

4. Eat a Ofenfrisches Rahmschmankerl - A flat, rye-tasting roll topped with a buttery sour cream sauce, bacon chunks and green onion, fresh out of the oven. Need I say more?

5. Enjoy a good old-timey, authentic Bavarian oompa band - I notice the musicians at the Auer Dult seem a little less polished and have a funkier vibe than the ones at Oktoberfest, and seem to play what I can only gather are more traditional tunes (none of the 'Anton aus Tirol' or 'Viva Kolonia' stuff you hear ad nauseum during the Wiesn)

6. Learn how to make piles and piles of vegetable shavings with just one single kitchen utensil - It's hard not to be seduced by the miraculous looking mounds of cabbage, carrots and onions...but then I remember that it's only on the rarest of occasions that I'm asked to make coleslaw for a small army.

7. Enjoy the dying art of carnival barking - Whether you need a juicer, a microfiber towel, cleaning solution for your pots and pans or a potion to get rid of the rough patches of skin on your feet, these guys will explain why their products are going to change your life. Grab a snack and join the rest of the entranced crowd to listen and learn, these guys are professionals.

8. Ride the old fashioned mini Riesenrad - There are a lot of newer carnival type rides like bumper cars and swirling wheels that look not only unsafe, but sure to induce immediate vomiting, which is why I find is small vintage Ferris wheel to be so sweet and inviting.


9. Eat a Baumstriezel - Also known as a chimney cake. The dough is wrapped around a wooden cylinder and cooked in a spit, then rolled in cinnamon and sugar which is caramelized by the heat of the cake, making a hot sweet crisp crust. It's madness, sweet, hot, cakey, delicious madness.

10. Buy some 'Diabetiker Socken' - Clearly the owners of this stand understand contextual marketing. I have no idea what these are, but I'm sure that by the time I'm done hitting all the food stands I'll need a pair.

Fatty Goodness

More pix and commentary in the Wahlmünchnerin Auer Dult Flickr set.

Seifenkisten Rennen picture from
Gerold Frormann