Thursday, January 30, 2014

Spaces: The HUB

A little over two years ago, I wrote about my frustration with the lack of co-working options in Munich. That led to this and then to my attempting to form a group of my own to perhaps found one.

Luckily, I didn't have to do that. Last summer I met some fellow freelancers at the HUB. It was still in it's ramping-up phase but seemed promising. I liked the vibe.

When I first arrived, Caspar greeted me, unlike other spaces I visited where I walked in and saw no one, and spoke to no one. He was super friendly, almost insistent about giving me a short tour and clearly passionate about the fledgling space.

Earlier this year, one of the freelancers at the meet-up told me she was joining the HUB, starting with the 'Exploration Tarife'. I decided to join too.

It's only been two weeks, but so far I love it. I like the people I've met, the laid back atmosphere, and they're doing a lot of really exciting things with the renovation which will be complete in March.

Funnily enough, Caspar was a fellow speaker at today's IXDS Pre-Work Talk (which by the way, was incredibly fun, you should totally start going) and he was so herzlich and cool, that it made me even happier that I've not only joined a co-working space, but feel I'm becoming part of a community.

I briefly mentioned it in this post (see point #7 in this post) as being the best option for co-working in Munich, and I was right!

Perhaps I'll see you there one of these days...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

IXDS Pre-Work Talks

There's a new talk in town. I've written before about Creative Nites and Mornings. Now, there's one more design-y event you can add to your roster: IXDS Pre-Work Talks.

IXDS is a Berlin-based service design agency and their extending their operations to Munich.
They've been hosting these talks in their offices in Berlin for some time now, you check them out here (scroll down to 'Past Events').

The first ever Munich Pre-Work talks is on Thursday, January 30 starting at 8:30 a.m. at Glücksmaid (so much good stuff happens there!) The theme is 'Let's Get Physical' stressing the importance of the physical within design.

I'll be one of the speakers along with the IXDS founder and director and Caspar from the HUB (which I recently joined see point #7 here.)

You can sign up to attend at their Facebook event page.

I hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Foodie Freitag: Attentat Greichischer Salat

We found ourselves with an appointment in Giesing Tuesday night, so I leapt at the opportunity to do a little research on where we could grab a bite to eat.

Giesing is one of the few still barely affordable and 'up and coming' neighborhoods in the M.U.C.. I'm ashamed to say I know woefully little about it. So I was glad when Google maps pointed me to Attentat Greichischer Salat.

It was, as the pix in a Google image search suggested, a funky, lively bar restaurant frequented by a youngish crowd serving hipster (and I mean that in a good way) food.

Basically, if you've ever had a salad at Nauge und Sauge or Cooperativa, it's the same idea (I wonder if the restaurant was started by ex-staff?) A big 'salad' topped with sauteed meat and vegetables. This meal is always a winner with me. I had the 'Dennis' something or other salad (they all have clever names) which is a bunch of potatoes and sausage on a mountain of mixed greens, but it is listed as a salad on the menu, so I feel great about my healthy meal choice.

The good vibe, decent prices and friendly staff definitely make Attentat Greichischer Salat one of the new 'pins' on my yet to be explored Giesing map.

Attentat Greichischer Salat
Zugspitzstrasse 10
089 200 38 545

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Getting Married in Munich: Etwas Altes

When we got married, my husband and I realized that we would have to have two weddings. One here in Munich and one in California. Otherwise, one wedding would have been more mine or more my husband's based on people's ability to travel.

I'm happy to tell you things have really changed when it comes to getting married here. It was such a challenge to find a photographer that wasn't totally cheesy, or a dress that wasn't a poofy Cinderella nightmare.

There were virtually no German wedding blogs. There were just these awful, generic wedding portal sites.  Now there's Hochzeitswahn, Lieschen Heiratet, Verrückt nach Hochzeit and Fraulein K Sagt Ja (to name a few).  Each one of these blogs is bursting with original, personal content and incredible vendor listings.

My friend Nicola from Verrückt nach Hochzeit recently gave me a heads up about a wedding event taking place in town that is a genius idea. A wedding 'flea market' called 'Etwas Altes' (Something Old').

If you've already gotten married you can rent a table and sell the ten thousand Weck jars, or candle holders or bud vases or even your wedding gown. Certainly better then letting all that stuff sit around to get moldy in your Keller.

After our California wedding I made multiple trips to the local Goodwill to donate all the Ikea blankets, menu holders, flower vases, picture frames and TONS of other stuff we bought for the big day.

I was happy to donate it all, but we did spend quite a bit of money on all that stuff (just a couple of weeks before!) and I wouldn't have minded getting some of it back.

It would've also been nice not to have had to buy it new in the first place! So if you're about to be a bride, you might want to check it out before you make endless rounds to Ikea or buy these things at some overpriced vendor.

So, you see, the whole thing is win-win!

Etwas Altes takes place at the PACT event center near Donnersbergerbrücke on Sunday, October 5, 2014 from 10:00 - 18:00

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Year's Eve in Munich

I don't like New Year's Eve.

By the time the end of the year rolls around, I'm all partied out. I'm an introvert and, on occasion, I've been referred to as a grouch. On December 31st my attitude is pretty much: Nobody's gonna make me have fun.

I used to book my flight back to Munich from California on New Year's Eve just to avoid the entire rigamarole. My husband, who is always up for a party, was agog when I explained. 'This is one thing I will never do with you', he said solemnly.

I still say it was great. I would take the practically empty Lufthansa SFO-MUC direct flight at 9 p.m., get the 'Happy New Year' announcement on the flight PA somewhere over Nebraska, enjoy a complimentary glass of Sekt and go back to snoozing across the five empty seats in coach. Now that's a party.

I've gotten a little better over the years and am willing to venture out on Sylvester, and we've even hosted a couple of very fun parties. Our apartment is conveniently situated on the Isar right near the Boschbrücke that leads into the Deutsches Museum.  It's a perfect spot to partake in, and witness the madness that happens in the streets of München on New Year's Eve.

And it is madness. Somehow the normally reserved, law and order public goes completely NUTS firing off rockets and heavy-duty fire crackers all over the streets, with zero regard to the safety of themselves or others.

The first time I experienced it I was horrified. These kinds of fire crackers have long since been outlawed in California. People were casually setting huge rockets in empty champagne bottles and lighting them in the middle of a huddled crowd. Screeching fire-crackers blazed by, inches away from my head.

In most pictures of me outdoors on New Year's eve I'm wearing wrap around shades that serve as protective eye wear.

Of course (of course!) everyone is also totally loaded. A good friend and ex-New Yorker was lamenting this state of affairs on a walk along the Isar yesterday. 'They're selling those things right in the middle of Motorama, next to rows and rows of gin and vodka, the whole thing is nuts!'

And finally, there's the litter. By 12:04 a.m. on January first this pristine city, world-renowned for it's cleanliness and order is a trash-scape of empty and broken bottles, streamers, party cups, vomit and firecracker debris.

This year my husband cajoled me into going to some close friends for dinner. It was just us, their two young kids and a nephew visiting from Norway. We had a great dinner and then it was time to go down to the river to witness all the 'fun'.

Our friend Sonja decided it was too much and too dangerous for their four year old daughter, so I leapt at the chance to stay behind (to keep them both company of course). Their apartment is at Roecklplatz so we could see a lot from their fourth floor window, as well as the people on the street below, carelessly tossing off fireworks every which way.

We toasted our two proseccos and one johannisbeere schorle at midnight, watched a bit more and then all promptly fell asleep on their big comfortable sofa.

The guys showed up a couple of hours later, awake and exhilarated from the mayhem. We stayed and chatted a bit longer and then it was time to go home.

I dressed comfortably, with one nod to the occasion; a pair of heeled red ankle boots. The prospect of making the 25 minute trek home, tired and long since ready for bed in these uncomfortable shoes at 2:30 a.m. seemed unbearable.

Luckily, five minutes on our way we found an abandoned shopping cart. Without a second thought I hopped in and begged my husband to just push me the rest of the way home. We walked with a couple of friends, me in my coach surveying the disaster zone, warning my husband to watch out for this or that bottle or a pile of vomit and steeling myself against the bumpy bits across cobble stoned streets.

The whole thing was so ridiculous and absurd we found ourselves laughing most of the way home. We stopped to take a picture, our friend  insisted we look lovingly together at the camera. 'Romantik in Armageddon!' he exclaimed. That's also my kind of party.

My husband being the good citizen that he is (and a German) insisted we drop off the cart at the Tengelmann near our apartment (it had a Tengelmann sign on it). It's a block away so I agreed. He lifted the back of the cart up so the front gently dumped me out, and we made our way home through the smoky street.

At the intersection up ahead I could see the orange AMW garbage trucks start to busily clean up the streets. It was about 3:00 a.m.

 When I went out for a walk this afternoon, you'd never know it was the same city.