Tuesday, February 19, 2013

No Place Like German Homes

We spent a quiet last weekend in the Max Plank Guest Haus. For the first time in my life, I may have overdosed on watching televised skiing (God bless you EuroSport Germany). Here's a shameless plug for (and image of) up and coming American skier Noah Hoffman, who happens to write a great blog if you like skiing and European-dessert porn. His images of cream-filled concoctions are truly inspiring. I should tell you that it is very difficult to capture American skiers on the screen because the global feed blatantly discriminates against them.

On Friday we went to our first MPI happy hour, also Eric and Jessica's going away party. This being Germany (and a graphics lab with a large flat screen TV) a dance party courtesy of Dance Central for XBOX Kinect broke out. Someone actually brought big pretzels! Ha. And after a few beers loosened everyone's guard, we ordered pizza from Joey's Tubingen. Better for Joey to stay here than try to sell his pizza in the Bronx. Below are the two beers I had at the party, both of which are fantastic.

CREW India Pale Ale 
The one on the left brings us to no small matter. German beer consumption is declining, spurring one blogger to identify a "German beer malaise," and there is currently a debate here about whether the beer law (that's right, folks, the famous 1516 Reinheitsgebot) stifles innovation. For reasons I don't understand -- perhaps my brewing friends can chime in -- making an American-style IPA is hard under the law, so brewers have to get creative. But Crew seems to have pulled it off.

Man I will miss the Guest Haus's subsidized cafeteria, where all was known and the amazing creme-of-the-day desserts were 80 cents.

But even if Jeanine will, I won't miss the German his and her comforters and horrible German pillows

Today (just hours before our first joint German class), we moved to our (semi)permanent apartment down the hill. We got enormously lucky, considering this is a boom town and most leases in Germany run for two years -- thanks again Eric and Jessica. We're only about an 8-minute walk to Old Town, but our street and apartment are quiet.** Come see us: we have two floors-ish (a loft), two bathrooms (you can almost fully stand up in one of the two showers), and the requisite horrible German pillows. But we have a fantastic view of a quintessential German street, iconic European windows, and a balcony just waiting for spring so we can hang flowers from it.

** Quiet except for the fact that we hear church bells ring every 15 minutes. Look, I love their central-casting-ness, but the show seems to last from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.; where can we lobby to make that 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. so that we can sleep like professors on leave without harming the overall chime quota? 




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