Friday, February 4, 2011

Gruess Gott From Munich

In the center of PromenadePlatz , a long narrow park near the city center, a huge Michael Jackson Memorial has been in place since before I arrived in November. Over Christmas, there were live Christmas trees and numerous ornaments at the site, even wrapped presents,  in addition to the mass of tributes, letters, candles, flowers(!). Not sure why this site was picked for the display-I'm pretty sure it was Berlin where he hung his child Blankethead(?) out the Hotel window upside down by his ankles. There is a very expensive Hotel on this small Park called the Bayerischer Hof  where possibly he stayed when he was in town to play the Olympia Stadium?

I love the juxtaposition here. First time I've ever seen the two together like this. That said, I did watch "This Is It" and while I was never a big fan, I must say the guy was a genius at what he did. Not the most together personal life, and that whole unreal thing with the doctors which ultimately did him in, but his dancing and singing were without parallel in the known universe.  He obviously still has a very loyal following here in Munich.

It is truly remarkable that, in a city that is incredibly clean and without the usual clutter, junk, trash and overflowing trash cans you see in most American cities, this memorial has been allowed to stand for months in a public park. It is, of course, kept very tidy.  By the way, I didn't see any pictures of Bubbles, Lisa Marie Presley, or the other members of the Jackson 5.

The Trams are a great feature here-very quiet and they cover a fairly large area of the city. They have a very cool ticket system for all the mass transit that is based on the honor system. You buy a daily, weekly or monthly pass and carry it with you. There is no turnstile or ticket taker. You can hop on any Tram, Subway or Bus with your ticket without showing it to anyone. The MVG (Die Muenchner Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH) has plain clothes ticket checkers who ride the transit and will once in a great while turn up and ask for your ticket. If you are not carrying a valid one, they write you up on the spot and you get a fine of 40 Euros. A monthly pass costs about 50 Euros. In three months, I've been asked twice to show my ticket, and I've been riding the transit system a lot.

It wouldn't be Europe without these and even in Winter, you see quite a few. The bicycle riders don't let the snow stop them either. And the parks are always full of walkers and bikers no matter what the weather, especially on weekends.

This was taken just a few weekends ago at a large beer garden in the park. There is nothing that compares to Currywurst and beer outdoors on a warm day in January.

Another landmark that survived the war. 60% of Munich was destroyed by Allied bombing.
The River Isar.

Back to the open air green market in the center of the City-"Viktualienmarkt." The fruit and veggies appear to be coming from Spain and Africa . This stall even offered "wild" lettuce from Italy that unfortunatley was sold out by the time we got there. There are numerous stands that sell wine and cheese, stands that only sell bread, stands that sell fish etc.

 Taken from a cafe that overlooks the market. It's about five times larger than you can see here. It's open every day except Sunday all year around. I didn't see any protests being waged by local shop owners.
Apologies to my vegan friends but I couldn't resist. There is a row of meat shops that border the market, all competing for business and the best Weiswurst.

Just got a note from Google saying I have used up my 1GB of free space. I will be back soon with more after I purchase additional space-20GB for $5.00. Not a bad deal-

1 comment:

  1. I was in Munich once for about five minutes. Had spent the summer in Italy and Sardinia with no Italian language skills and only a 2 x 2 inch pocket dictionary (which I still have)- on my way back north (en route home to Ireland) I stopped in Munich where one of my sisters was living and made my way to what I thought was her address but which turned out to be a Poste Restante!!! So exhausted was I from three months struggling with and somewhat overcoming my dearth of Italian, I simply couldn't face the those alien German sign posts so I went directly back to the train station and took the first train to Amsterdam where, having lived in Holland before, I at least understood the signs. Glad to see you are having a great (but chilly I am sure) time.