Been on the road for the past few days with Leslie.
We started off in Munich on July 1st where of course we got caught in the rain, but we had a fun time attending an opening/summer festival at the Haus Der Kunst where they were showing some awesome video installations. The really unique thing about this show was that the videos where being projected from below the waist on screens that only stood 4 feet tall. so you had to look down on the images. The most interesting use of this point of view was of an expanded 4 screen image of children playing/rioting in the street, so it was actually like you were looking down at them on the ground. Most of the scenes included some kind of image of trauma with blood or flowing liquid, but they were all very distant from the viewer. Surreal images of offices, street gangs, and after a street riot.
The next day we left for lovely Stutgartt in search of two lost army bases that Leslie’s father had served on. It was interesting to walk into the train stations and ask around who might know where the bases might have been located in the towns. Most of the younger people had no idea, only the older crowd, but we managed to get a taxi to drive us out to one of the sites where the old barracks have been converted to low cost housing, and the police station, and in the other town we were able to rent an automatic car and drive out to where the administrative offices where slowly being renovated or knocked down for a well known design school. The center of town was really sweet with a band playing in the center market area with lots of cafes looking on. We had one scary moment when after wandering around the winding streets we lost our way to the car and were a bit worried to find it in time before our meter had run out. Driving around the outskirts down narrow hilly roads
we felt like we were in the Berkeley Hills of California.
On the 4th we then headed down to Switzerland to visit Celine and her husband Steffano. We arrived on the only beautiful sunny day we have had so far. So they took us out on the lake in their boat, lent us some swimming suits and we had a cold dip with a lazy afternoon just lying out in the sun. Just grand, but we were warned that since we could see the Alps so close and clear that meant bad weather up ahead. But not to worry at the moment, we kept up the lazy sunday by walking through the village where their gallery is located up to a little outdoor cafe for some local wine and cheese, to then head out for fondue at a seasonal place on the lake, then to top off the European experience I suggested that we join Steffano to watch the final game of the European Cup. The last half was quite exciting when the underdog of Greece finally scored one goal over the favored Portugal to win the game. Their defense was incredible, Afterward it was rather quiet at first since most of
the French Swiss were for Portugal, I am sure they went crazy right away in Munich where the Greek coach is German, but everyone had such pent up emotions anyway with the ending of the games that it did not seem to really matter who had won, they just needed a reason to party and after a brief pause of accepting the final outcome the rest of the night was filled with honking horns and shouting revelers just enjoying the clear night.
But not for long, just before dawn a great storm broke and the next day was just as gray as they had been before. it was Leslie’s birthday so we were treated to a free tour of a local museum to a Swiss German writer/playwrite named Durrenmatt that her father had liked, as well as a coiffer. we ended the day at a chic fish restaurant on the lake which was brilliantly lit up throughout the evening by the lightning of the distant storm making its way out towards the Alps.
This morning we left at 7 in order to catch an early train back to Munich, but along the way we developed technical problems so we only arrived into Zurich with one minute to spare to try and first find the track for our train and then board it, I was running so hard and fast with my little roller bag flying that I ran over a few people breathing so hard the air was going down in gulps, we did not want to miss our connecting train because there would not be another one for 5 hours. We made it, but the ironic part was that as we were racing down the platform waiving to the conductor to wait for us, he just calmly waved back to us as if to just say hi and “no problem” we knew your train was late, ooh boy were we both winded as we made our way to the restaurant car for a much needed cup of tea and hot chocolate. So now we are winding our way through the mountains of Austria and the south of Germany back to Munich where Leslie returns back to New York tomorrow, and I head down
for 4 days in Rome, where I hope the sun is finally shining continuously. Then I meet Bill in Vienna for four days, and one last night in Munich where we are planning a final reception for the grown grass where I have offered to make Mojitos for everyone. Then back to NY on the 16th of July.
So I hope you enjoy, I hope to send one last picture of the grass at its fullest, and that the summer is treating you well;.
All my best,