Admittedly, I’m slightly late to the party here. If you haven’t tuned in for Deutschland 83 yet, so are you. But there is a quick solution: watch it. Usually I approach anything remotely related to the German language under the guise of it being educational. (And who is to argue that making Spezi at home isn’t good for you?) And Deutschland 83 certainly is: filmed in Germany in German with German actors. But it’s also just unapologetically entertaining. Continue reading →
Another year. Another group of books. Last year I tried to take a small break from German language books in order to give myself a mental break. This year the list is klein aber fein — or so I’m telling myself. I’m a little disappointed that my reading list isn’t longer. 2015 reading list count: 3 books.
But, as a non-native German speaker reading almost exclusively German language books, I learned something important. Don’t get stuck. I started 2015 off with Heinrich Böll’s Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum. For me and my skill level, the book is a little too, for lack of a better term, literary. I struggled to get through each page. I got so discouraged that I didn’t want to read. I simply didn’t pick up the book. Or any book, for that matter. (Instead I seemingly pulled the old school trick and saw the movie instead.)
Sometimes it’s better to put a book down, put it aside, and pick up another book instead. Keep your motivation up and your courage.
Sometimes finding inspiration is the hardest part of doing something creative. Take photography, for example. You have a camera, perhaps the fancy digital SLR with all the bells and whistles. But no high tech machine is going to make you compose and organize the parts of a good, high quality photo. That is still a very human task and one that is also a matter of personal taste. In the recently released third edition of Learning To See Creatively, Bryan Peterson strives to educate readers in composing good photos. Continue reading →
Although Munich is regarded as being a large city with a small town feel, it is easy to get wrapped up in the go-go-go of modern city living. You could easily stay in one of the city’s centrally located luxury hotels or more moderately priced hotels or hostels. But why would you? Instead, tucked away on an unassuming residential street in the Nymphenburg district of the Bavarian capital city is Hotel Laimer Hof.
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but that’s exactly what I did with The River Cottage Curing and Smoking Handbook by Steven Lamb. When I first got a copy of the book in my hands my first thoughts were: textbook. The book is not only hardbound but a rugged, solid hard binding that is going to hold up over years and years of use. It goes without saying that if you are interested in curing and smoking, you will be utilizing this book for quite a long time to come. Continue reading →
When I heard about the concept of Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park‘s new cookbook The Perfect Egg I was extremely intrigued. The book is a “fresh take” on egg recipes for “morning, noon, and night,” to quote the book cover’s byline. As someone who frequently returns home from work, tired and with little or no dinner ideas, I saw incredible potential in such a cookbook. While there might not be much else in the refrigerator some nights, there always seems to be eggs. As it turns out, my hopes for the book and the actual contents of the book are a little different. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Continue reading →
After reading Swiss author Christian Kracht‘s debut novel Faserland I was hooked. While not overly simplistic by any means, Kracht writes novels that are challenging for a German language learner but aren’t overly complex either. I’m a loyal reader, a loyal fan, generally speaking. If I like the book an author has written — or a the film an actor or filmmaker has made, or the music a musician has made, and so on — I’ll typically go explore more of their work. That’s how I found myself with Kracht’s second novel, 1979. Continue reading →
The last couple of times I’ve traveled to Manhattan I’ve ditched the awkward rides on the subway in favor of walking. In theory it sounds crazy but the island really isn’t all that large depending where you’re going. It’s great exercise (which means you can feel a lot less guilty enjoying food on your travels) and it’s a much better way to see the city. But when I started planning the trip to San Francisco I wasn’t quite as sure about walking the famously hilly terrain of the city. Would it just end up being too much? Would I end up with sore, tired feet and a grumpy attitude? Public transit for the places I was interested in seeing didn’t seem like much of a sure thing. I started considering taxi cabs, something I’d ordinarily never consider. That’s when my friend, who we were in San Francisco to see, recommended Uber. Continue reading →
One of the things I always miss from German vacations and travels is Apfelschorle, the apple juice spritzer. I miss it so much that I’ve posted before about my recipe for making it at home. The homemade stuff is pretty good, I have to admit. But I happened to notice IZZE in my local grocery store the other day. IZZE offers, among other beverages, fruit juice mixed with sparkling water: Schorle! Of course, I had to get a 4-pack in order to do a proper not-so-scientific taste-test.
When we traveled to Manhattan last month we did have one goal that had to be accomplished. It could not be missed. Visiting Harney & Sons SoHo Shop & Tasting Room. I fell for Harney teas after having their Paris blend with my delicious French toast at Cantine Parisienne, which sadly now is closed. I quickly placed an order and haven’t been disappointed yet. When we visited the restaurant last month, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t have Harney & Sons‘ tea but some other French brand. Continue reading →