Thursday, January 27, 2011

The (not so) Secret Thai Place aka Manam Thai Food & Sweets

Some time last year, My husband came home and almost breathlessly told me about this little Thai place that was teeny, had food just like he'd tasted in Thailand and was totally hiddendown a driveway off of Rosenheimerstrasse. It was so great that they had some meals on the menu that they would politely try to discourage Germans from ordering them 'Oh, That's for Thai People, perhaps you'd like something else?' They weren't kidding, an adventurous friend of ours insisted on what must have surely been a super-authentic Thai dish, and he got it - chicken neck bones and all!

My husband finally dragged me to this bonafide Siamese hole in the wall, and it did not disappoint (although I obeyed orders and did not order anything betters suited for non-Thai people.) The curry I ordered was excellent and cheap, different (and better) from anything I'd tasted in some of the Thai restaurants in town, and heads and shoulders above the wretched 'Asia Imbisses' that pepper the city although on par in size and price.

For several months, much to the horror of everyone in the neighborhood, the restaurant closed for 'remodeling'. What remodeling apparently meant was a move onto Rosenheimerstrasse proper. It's been open again for a few months and I'm not completely destroying it's status as a 'secret gem for insiders' Toytown has been abalaze about it for sometime now. It's an otherwise unforgettable stretch of the street, between Rosenheimerplatz and Motorama, and it's still teeny.
Pretty much anything you order will be delicious and cheap (€ 5-7 per dish) The only 'Sweet' I've had so far is the small, delicate dish of coconut cream on some some sort of sweetish paste; I usually don't like those kinds of things, but even that's good here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Green City and Benjy Barnhart

Last night I was introduced to two more things to love in Munich. The guest lecturer at my expat group was a fellow named Benjy Barnhart, an American who has lived in Munich for some time and works for, a local environmental group. The primary focus of the talk he gave was to tell us about all the things Green City does in Munich including organizing Munich's Blade Night, Guerilla Gardening and tackling a lot of new-urbanism issues, which they refer to as 'Green City Design'. Being a native of Los Angeles, I found it somewhat amusing as I've always considered Munich a poster-child green city: density, green space, world-class public transportation. But of course, there is always room for improvement! The organization does a lot of great things, and I'll probably become a member (it's just 25 Euro a year) or at least sign up for their newsletter.

The organization focuses a lot on mobility, and in Munich that means, of course, bikes. Towards the end of the talk, Benjy made a provocative segue into some of his personal work, stating that he finds bikes, and more specifically women on bikes sexy. He then proceeded to show us some of his personal paintings of women (and a few men) on bikes around Munich. I was immediately charmed, his work does such a fantastic job of capturing the feeling of Munich. I can't say if someone who isn't a Münchner would have such a full appreciation and be so moved by his work as a local, but I sure loved it. You can look at more of his work on his website here, many of paintings also capture some of the Green City activities that take place throughout the city.

He's got an exhibit, 'Cyclists', going on in the LV1871 Foyer, Maximiliansplatz 5, Munich U4/5 Karlsplatz/Stachus. From Nov. 24, 2010 – May 24, 2011. Mon.- Fri. 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

Friday, January 14, 2011

1260 Grad Werkstatt für Keramik

One of the great things about my old day job was where it was located, right at the edge of the best part of Haidhausen. I spent many a lunch break wandering through the neighborhood admiring all of the Altbaus that survived the war, and popping into many of the boutiques and ateliers that lined the side streets.

One of my favorite haunts was (and still is) 1260 Grad. A small Ceramic studio run by a woman named Petra Fischer. She makes gorgeous pottery and walking into her small boutique is, for me, freude pur. I loved to walk in to admire her artistry, so thoughtfully set up, 'Someday, someday', I would think. So when we got married, I knew immediately where we were registering. Even though that doesn't seem to be such a common practice in Germany, Petra knew what to do and worked with us to custom make a set of dishes in just the color combination we wanted.

She also makes lots of smaller goodies like soap dishes and chopstick stands. It's a great place to shop for gifts, or just to pop in for a look and to be inspired.