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Found 16 results

  1. The Group of Six (G6) existed from 1975-1976, and included France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdon, and the United States. The Group of Seven (G7) first existed from 1976-1997, and added Canada. The Group of Eight (G8) existed from 1997-2014, and added (then kicked out) Russia. The Group of Seven (G7) has existed again since 2014.
  2. "How Germany Became the Country of Cars" by Sarah Staples on bbc.com It makes me wonder: Did Japan steal our automotive engineering, or did we steal Germany's?
  3. We return to Munich next week for my sixth trip in the last four years. Over time I've done my best to eat my way through and around the city and have fallen in love with it. When the dollar was on par with the Euro ten years ago we went to Tantris and more recently Schuhbeck's but this trip we'll have one serious meal at the single star, Terrine, which is much less expensive. Has anyone been? There is a "hot" Indonesian restaurant called "Jin"-has anyone been there? Boettner's is expensive upscale German: anyone been there? We will return to Geisel's Vinotek which I love and would be a regular customer of if it were here. Possibly Aquarello, too. Has anyone been to Angelo Della Pizza (considered Munich's best) to compare to here? We'll also spend a great deal of time literally nosing around the Viktuakienmarkt which is one of the great markets on earth (12-15 hundred + year old, generationally owned butcher shops lined up side by side on the same street). There is a stall that has what may be the best sour deli pickles I have ever had which you pick out of a deep brined barrel with prongs. I'd match these against Guss' and Schwartz in Montreal. (They have nothing in common with German "gherkins" available here. I'll also bring back a dozen or so tubes of good mustard along with 15 or 20 bags of Nic Nocs (paprika encrusted peanuts) which I am thoroughly addicted to. Salzburg: Carpe Diem? Garmische-Partenkirchen: we are staying at Reindl's and will have dinner there one night. We've been before and love the place. Any other suggestions? Bayern play three times during our seven days including Dortmund for the Bundesliga lead and Real Madrid in the semi finals of the Champions League. My wife knows I really wanted to go to Munich to see Bayern play.
  4. I go next weekend as part of a business trip (I "unretired...sort of"). With an afternoon to myself and staying near Freiburg this seems like it would be a fascinating place to visit. Franz Keller is the hotel/restaurant/winery that I am focusing on. Their "S" spatburgunder (pinot noir) seems to be one of the better ones in Germany especially from 2009. Does anyone reading this have any experience with this area? Colmar, France is across the Rhein, not too far away. But the seven villages of Vogtsburg, on literal volcanic soil seem to have all of the character, all of the history of anywhere I could hope to visit. Mark? Banco?
  5. This guy is from another world - I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone use the court - not side-to-side, but back-to-front - more effectively, and I'm certain I've never seen anything like Dustin Brown's jumping two-handed backhanded robo-kill shot.
  6. I am currently in love with this death metal band - The Ocean. This album in particular - Pelagial. They have released it both as a full instrumental piece as well as with lyrics. So those of you who hate the angry cookie monster voice have a way to still take a listen without having your ears bleed....too much. Enjoy! Pelagial!
  7. A Rail Bridge In Germany Dining For One Can Leave A Memory For all who travel on business dinner is a special meal: a reward for surviving another day. A month ago I found myself once again in Cologne, Germany at a table for one at the Hyatt. I’ve stayed there before: it’s a modern, glass, high courtyard hotel sited on the side of the Rhein river directly across from the magnificent 13th Century cathedral, one of the few structures in the city which survived the leveling devastation of World War II. From the side of the cathedral, spanning the half mile wide river runs a rail bridge. Every two minutes a coach carrying commuters to the suburbs or travelers elsewhere along with the odd freight train passes over the Rhein. Behind this, on the far side of the river from the hotel, the sun slowly sets at ten at night. This night, after dinner in the terrace restaurant feasting on a number of courses of spargel, the sweet white German asparagus that I have built business trips around to gorge myself on in season, I stolled outside onto the brick patio which ended at a far stone wall fronting the river. I had a glass of Argentinian Malbec, my third glass which I had saved from dinner, remembering the coming moment from last year which didn’t seem that long ago. A dirt trail paralled the Rhein; every moment or two a lone person jogged by, occasionally a couple would stoll by, even a dog and its owner or parent from time to time would pass by. Across the river I could almost hear, almost see the distant throng in the city square that I had been a part of two hours earlier. There was an orator, a television crew, even demonstrators. But it was all in German and I hadn’t recognized any of the photos that I saw on the various signs that were pumped up and down punctuating several spirited speeches that I failed to understand. Later, in the hotel bar, I was told that workers were protesting the loss of jobs to the former Eastern bloc countries; this was a weekly event, a major topic in Cologne and elsewhere in Germany which dominated much of daily conversation. A woman walked out onto the terrace carrying a glass of red wine. She stopped against the stone wall fronting the riverwalk several yards down from me. I watched as she set her glass on the top of the waist high wall and reached into her purse and pulled out a pack of Marlboro Lights. With her thumb and forefinger she pried a cigarette loose and put it to her lips. With her other hand she clicked a lighter and the flame touched the end of the cigarette, igniting it. I was fascinated by this. For me there was something “more” to this, something almost reminiscent of a time seventeen years ago when I had literally stood in the middle of the Golden Gate bridge and had one of what would later be many, “last cigarettes ever.” All were Marlboro Lights. Occasionally she sipped the glass of wine, occasionally she inhaled the cigarette. I found myself no longer watching the rail bridge or the cathedral, somehow transfixed by what I had become convinced was a seminal moment in her life. I moved over to her and asked her if she spoke English and she said “a little.” I wanted to know if there was something indeed special about this particular cigarette that she was taking her time, slowly inhaling with each pass to her lips. I even noted that each time she would look at it as she raised it to her mouth. “Forgive me but for some reason this looks like a very special moment for you.” Before I had even begun to attempt to explain she told me it was. “I am going to quit smoking tonight.” Tomorrow I am moving to Bremen and my boy friend does not smoke. I must quit.” I told her that I had once done the same thing myself in America. In fact, to be honest, I had done it a number of times in America. And Italy, and also several places in Germany, too! She laughed and said that this was her first time and she was going to do it. We talked for a bit and then she placed her glass of wine on the top of the wall. She told me that she wasn’t going to drink anymore and offered me the rest of it. It was a Malbec that was really good, she said. I thanked her, appreciative of her offer and smiled because I had just finished my own glass of Malbec. At some point I looked back towards the rail bridge and the Rhein and the magnificent towering cathedral on the far side. The sun had set and I could hear the distant rumble of a train passing slowly over the river. The demonstration was over, the plaza must have been emptying. I had been transfixed, even lost in the quiet beauty of this moment. I looked over at my German “friend” and discovered that she was gone. Behind me a couple was walking onto the terrace, laughing and holding hands. Her half filled glass was still there. As was her half empty pack of American cigarettes. The same brand that I once smoked. The same brand that I had once left behind on a bridge in San Francisco. It was time for me to leave, I was one night closer to coming home. But this time I had not just the memory of the river and the trains and the church. I remember the German girl who I was with when she had her last cigarette ever. I wonder if she ever had another. I know I didn't. Joe Heflin
  8. I used to live in Berlin; it's much more interesting culturally, though less beautiful than Munich. Also, it's just more poor and run down than Munich is. But, it's worth the trip and has tons of character. If you go, stick to Savigny Platz, Prezlauer Berg, and Mitte for eating out. Charlottenburg proper is boring. Mitte is a bit like eating out around DC's Chinatown, though, fewer local places, more chains and showy spots. Good ethnic/Turkish eats are around Kreutzberg. Pick up an (unfortunately named) Zitty magazine. Though it's in german, you can tell what the listings are for Art, Theater, Food, etc. There's some English sprinkled in. Also, if you can head to a flea market in P Berg, it's pretty interesting, esp. since lots of the stuff is DDR made. There are some good eats around the markets and the people watching is pretty great, as well. Even better, it's the only area that has whole blocks that hadn't been bombed and that are much more beautiful than the rest of the city. Lots of them are being refurbished to their original splendor. If you can, try to rent a bike. It's the best way to check out town, since the entire distance has bike paths. The park is really beautiful, too. If you're going around now, asparagus season starts, though lots of places that feature asparagus as the centerpiece for dinners are stodgier places in town. You'll also see asparagus being sold out of the backs of cars on the side of the road. Last, the theater and art fairs/galleries, particularly in Mitte and the east, make New York seem downright conservative in comparison. There's some wild stuff going on in that city; have fun. Feel free to touch base with me should you choose.
  9. Google "underpriced wines."
  10. What I find incredible about this is that at 1:27, there is a very slight, almost imperceptible, mistake that nobody has probably even noticed before; yet, Spock gives a very slight, almost imperceptible, wince. Coincidence? I hate to piss on the party, but this music is not what Spock is playing. (But this is - it's by Ivan Ditmars.)
  11. Has anyone tried Monkey 47 Gin? And if so do you know of anyplace locally that sells it? Thanks!
  12. I know next to nothing about German wines. MacArthur sells Rieslings from two different German producers both named Schaeffer. Is this the one you mean?
  13. I'm being extremely un-Taoist by not posting more about wine, considering it's the literary equivalent of a fish trying to swim upstream, an axeman cutting wood against the grain, etc. - but I spent so many years filling up my noodle with such unspeakably arcane trivia that it seems like it would bore everyone to tears. Nevertheless, I did want to get a mention in for this shocker of a wine - this may get better in the years going ahead, but based on what's in my glass, there's absolutely no reason to wait and take the risk. This gorgeous example of a sweet(-ish) Riesling is most likely my last bottle of what probably cost me about $15 for a .375 ml (half-bottle) size, and it's drinking like the most beautiful, the most precious, the most perfectly polished specimen of amber you could ever hope to see. The fruit has long-since given up its primary nuances, and is showing its secondary nuances probably about as well as it ever will - next up will be the tertiary scents (perhaps a few more years down the road), but I'd hate to take the risk and give up this wonderfully honeyed example of a Riesling that has just entered maturity - twenty years old, and although it looks every day of that age, it drinks like a vibrant decathlete, showing absolutely no adverse signs of early adulthood, and it has perfectly balanced (and beautifully integrated) acidity to counterbalance the sweetness. I didn't even know I owned any more of this, but I did remember that it wasn't an expensive wine, so I nabbed it, and happened to catch it at the perfect stage of its formation. This wine is overachieving in every way imaginable - while not perfect, it's absolutely lovely, with no discernible flaws, and reminds me (for the umpteenth time) that I tend to almost always drink my Rieslings too young - you either need to catch these babies upon release, or gut it out for the long term, and in this case, waiting paid off in a big way. It has been a good, long while since I've enjoyed a Riesling this much, and I'm an idiot for consistently drinking my Dönnhoffs at such an awkward, adolescent stage in their lives. Oh, this is so delicious. What a beautiful wine, and what a beautiful label (remember, however, this is a 1995; not a 2001 - otherwise, it looks just about the same, happy, drinking monk and all). PS - Loosen is pronounced LOEW'S-inn. This post took me about five minutes to write. If anyone is interested in me writing about wines occasionally, I'll be happy to; I just don't want to bore myself with it, so I'd need to keep things at a primer level. As long as I know people are benefitting, I don't mind doing it.
  14. It pains me to say that the great German author, Günter Grass, 1999 Nobel Prize winner for Literature and author of "The Tin Drum," has passed away at age 87. "Renowned German Author Günter Grass Dies, Age 87" on dw.de (Deutsche Welle) "Günter Grass, Nobel-Winning German Novelist, Dies Age 87" on theguardian.com "Günter Grass, Who Confronted Germany's Past As Well As His Own, Dies At 87" on npr.org "Günter Grass, Nobel Prize Winner, Dies Age 87" on telegraph.co.uk "Günter Grass, German Novelist and Social Critic, Dies at 87" on nytimes.com Last year, we lost Gabriel Garcia Marquez; this year, we lost Günter Grass. Like Marquez's "100 Years of Solitude," Grass's "The TIn Drum" is one of the most important works of contemporary literature I've ever read. A giant has left us today. Please share your thoughts and feelings about this great German author - this has hit me pretty hard, and I'd love to see some discussion of his life's work. "The Tin Drum" (1959) is one of those literary works which you'll most likely find more rewarding to read before seeing the film (1979), although the film is excellent, having won a Palme D'Or and an Academy Award.
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