Monday, September 26, 2011
Past weekend I was amazed by a lovely farmer's market in the city of Karlsruhe (seat of the Federal Constitutional Court as well as the Federal Court of Justice; the cityscape is said to resemble, even to have inspired that one of Washington D.C.). It is surrounded by a region appreciable warmer than Northern Germany. The range of regional produce on sale at this market at the onset of fall was just enviable. Giant artichokes, wild herbs, exotic mushrooms, freshly picked figues - most of these I could never have on hand at home.
The city is close to the beautiful Palatinate wine region (Alsace and the Black Forest aren't far away either) where at this time of the year they offer their regional delicacy in every winery or restaurant - Federweißer and German onion pie. I cannot think of a better way to start with fall ;)
Wochenmarkt Gutenbergplatz, Karlsruhe. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7:30 am.
Eateries with a beautiful view:
Altstadtkeller, Kunigundenstr. 2, Neustadt an der Weinstraße.
Burgschänke Rittersberg, Am Hambacher Schloss 19, Neustadt an der Weinstraße.
A little flashback: I have given up getting handmade Asian noodles any time soon but in Germany's only Japantown at least I had this very delectable bowl of noodle soup. The noodles weren't made from scratch but the soup contained a deep broth made of fresh produce. Very likely there are other decent Japanese eateries around so waiting longer than half an hour in the line wouldn't be worth it. A little waiting definitely is.
A stone throw away there is a great Korean, Japanese grocery store with a big selection of import noodles and reasonably priced dinnerware.
Naniwa Noodles & Soups, Oststr. 55, Düsseldorf. Closed on Tuesdays.
Dae Yang, Immermannstr. 21, Düsseldorf.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
After a serene weekend in and around Düsseldorf where I visited some fresh and old local art sites the new presention of a private collection held by Arthur de Ganay made up a suitable end.
Düsseldorf is the capital of North-Rhine Westphalia and along with the city of Weimar and Leipzig, home of the most prominent art school in Germany. The list of landscape painters that belong to the Düsseldorf school of painting (comparable to the Hudson River School and the Barbizon School) is endless. The list of artists from all parts of the country who have passed the art academy in the 20th century makes up a who is who of almost every influential German artist of modern times. And last but not least the academy has been the site of the photography school of Bernd and Hilla Becher, that has been introduced in U.S. through the genius Ileana Sonnabend, whose gallery is still recognized as one of the most remarkable ones in New York.
The current presention of the collection features a dozen of exemplary works of Becher students (Elger Esser, Candida Höfer, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth) along with works of Hiroshi Sugimoto and Arwed Messmer in an intimate, truely "Berlin-style" location - an old factory site where you get the feeling of overviewing the cityscape and where the television tower is mirrored in the picture frames... The pictures are mostly large format and colorful; partly landscape and partly architecture. They convey absolute, almost surreal silence and invite the viewer to contemplate long about time and past, spaces and dimensions. After all, the viewer might be puzzled about the people and human stories that have been omitted. An exquisite personal collection that you can feel is sorted with affinity and endurance.
Sammlung Arthur de Ganay, Köpenicker Str. 10 A, Kreuzberg. Guided tour every first Saturday after registration.
Btw another highly recommendable art collection in a spectacular private home:
Sammlung Hoffmann, Sophienstr. 21, Mitte. Guided tour every saturday after registration.