Monday, April 21, 2008

The Place to Be?

The timing of a recent NY Times article (Munich Redux, 13 April) was perfect, just in time to stir up a debate among my hosts about Munich's supposed coolness. The author knew he might be touching a nerve: "For plenty of Germans, especially up north, the contention that Munich is the place to be could verge on sacrilege." But does he know Germany better than the Germans? 

In my (also non-German) opinion, he seemed to be interested in Munich mostly for how it was not Berlin, where he currently lives. I guess we all must evaluate new things in relation to what we know. But with all of our diverse experiences, how do we come to a consensus about whether something is worthy or not? Hmm... I think I stumbled on a philosophical question for the ages and, although Plato would probably have something to say about this, I've been away from college too long to remember what. In any case, I think I would need a better definition of what "be" is to determine whether it is the place for it. 

But on to what we do know. Both the article and my hosts made some interesting observations, so I hereby submit a few of them to you for your personal consideration. I decided not to mark them "pro" and "con" since, really, it's all relative.

1. "Really, because it's so conservative, you can do what you want." 1. The average age of Munich residents never dips below 60.

2. Clean. Excellent public transport. Conveniently near the Alps. 2. Deck shoes are in (yes, the kind your dad used to wear in 1987).

3. Fur-clad ladies of leisure.

3. Middle Eastern sheiks come to Munich to do their shopping. Seriously.
4. High-tech economy + impressive art + concerts = fun for all.
4. Be sure to catch Neil Diamond, Kiss, Celine Dion, Billy Idol, and Judas Priest this summer.
5. Traditional meaty specialties around every corner; cutting-edge new restaurants with tables hanging from the ceiling nearby when you need a break from them. 5. Going out requires at minimum one item of Lacoste.


Bill Clinton said...

You hit the nail on the head, it depends on what the definition of "be" be!

jenicrob said...


Swiss Ms. said...

Clever girl!