Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ah, Berlin

Where the cars are small, the tube-meat is large, and the girls are voracious.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Chicago-Style Hot Dog auf Deutsch

No sport peppers, alas, but you'd be hard pressed to notice them anyway under all that mustard, ketchup, and tartar sauce. And it's comforting to know that these are hot (heisse) hot dogs; the cold hot dogs are one booth over.

Mach fix mit den fixins'!

Chest-Grabbingly Hearty

It's the least kosher, least halal, least healthy thing you could possibly eat.

C'mon, you know what it is.

It's my breakfast.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Target: Online Music

I don't remember the last time I listened to music on the radio, and I'm talking way before I came to Germany. Maybe you're lucky enough to live in a town with reliable college stations (Boston Radio Rocks!). More likely, you've either given up on music radio, or you're hopelessly addicted to the Clear Channel playlist.
I listen to net radio practically every day, but those days may be numbered. A new royalty payment scheme that takes effect July 15 could put net radio out of business. Happily, there's legislation pending that would (fairly) cap these payments, and you can exercise your micro-mandate as well as your fingers by clicking here. I've been generally skeptical (nigh sardonic) regarding web-based initiatives, but my new hero, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, presents a good case for, um, actually doing something.

More info here.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Stil hier?

When I lived here in 1995, this is what most of Weimar looked like: decrepit, grayish-brown buildings, not much different than the rest of eastern Germany.

Few had been renovated, and some still showed damage from WWII. East Germany still felt like a different country. Take a closer look, though (or just click on the picture below), and you can start to see the decorative elements embedded in the crud.

Weimar was named European Cultural Capital for 1999 while I was still here, and money started coming in. Now many (if not most) buildings look like this, which is the building to the left of the one above:

Hitler's favorite town is still in the shadow of Buchenwald, but at least it's all prettied up now.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wieners Are Small

Frankfurters aren't much bigger. But the undisputed Wurst World Champ is the Thuringian Bratwurst. Sightings of this encased-meat beast in its full glory are rare in southern Germany, but for most other Germans, this is what a Bratwurst looks like. Note that my colleague here, Prof. Fontsie von Schweinfresser, has already taken a bite out of this one (click pics to embiggen). Size matters: they're almost always cooked over an open fire, so the bigger ones tend to be juicier. Eating one of these causes one to wonder why all food isn't made from ground pork and veal. Eating two can lead to eating a third, which is best avoided.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Fucking, Austria

Proving once again that Austrian unintentional humor is every bit as funny as German unintentional humor:

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

From Alsace to Malice

I was on my way to France for dinner recently (not as awful as it sounds), and came across this architectural curiosity. It marks the entrance to the "German Wine Route", the magical border crossing where Alsatian wine becomes Rheinpfalz wine. The warm, welcoming design of the gateway is garnished, if you're traveling eastward into the Daddyland, by that friendly-looking eagle on the top of the reich, er, right column. And say, what's that wreathed insignia it's clutching in its claw? Looks like someone tried to erase it or something. Like, with a machine gun.