Thursday, September 29, 2016

Street Portraits At The Hispanic Festival

Faces on the dance floor. Everybody's smiling. I doubt I would. I can't dance to save my life. Just plain clumsy. 

It occurs to me that there is one kind of dance where no one ever smiles: tango. It's deadly serious and has an entirely different attitude..        

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


One of a group of Mexican dancers about to perform. It makes me think me think of the preparations of a bride.

I swore I wouldn't watch the debate. Well, I'm letting the audio run while I edit pictures and write this. Sigh. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

I Don't Have To Try To Speak German Any More

And my efforts were so pathetic. I had a couple of years of it in high school so I can make the sounds.  Been there a few times but not often or recently enough to retain much. And three genders and all those case endings and no simple way to make possessives. Enough. As I've mentioned, my best languages that I'm bad at are Spanish and French. The former is  more useful in the U.S.

So STL had its little Hispanic Festival over the weekend. I could read the signs without using Google Translate. And yes, we do deserve great taste.



Sunday, September 25, 2016

Gee But It's Great To Be Back Home

Back to the warmth and security of unsere Stadt auf dem Mississippi. St. Louisans are charming, friendly people.  Or most of us are.

Last Monday was 19 hours from first liftoff until last touchdown. Then work was, well, sort of a blow to the head. No time at all to edit or comment. Need to do what I can when I can.

And, hey, a great big thank you to our CDP colleague, Halcyon, and her husband for inviting us to their home for dinner while we were in Berlin. Meeting other City Daily members around the world has been one of the great pleasures of this work.               

Monday, September 19, 2016

Walking Around Berlin

I didn't think I'd get a post done today but I'm sitting at an airport between flights. These are a few things we saw walking around Berlin Sunday. From top to bottom:

There were regional elections in Berlin yesterday. A common type of poster had just a photo of the candidate, his or her name and the party. This one was modified.

A group had a demonstration in front of the Brandenburg Gate about saving elephants. Although my German is limited they seemed to claim that the animal will become extinct in 10 years without human intervention. I like the shoes on the man in the second pic.

A snack bar near the Tiergarten.

What not to do in the U Bahn subway.

Port-a-potty, German style.

Walking back into the fan at work tomorrow.      

Sunday, September 18, 2016

I Am A Jelly Doughnut

In 1963, at the height of the cold war, John F. Kennedy went to this city and made a famous speech. Ich bin ein Berliner he proclaimed -  I am a Berliner.

However, some people said that wasn't proper German. He should have said Ich bin Berliner, the equivalent of saying I am American. Ein Berliner is form of jelly doughnut popular in Germany. So, people said, Kennedy announced that he was a jelly doughnut.

Well, according to Wikipedia, this is wrong. The article tells us:

There is a misconception that Kennedy made a risible error by saying Ich bin ein Berliner. By using the indefinite article "ein," he supposedly changed the meaning of the sentence from "I am a citizen of Berlin" to "I am a Berliner" (a Berliner being a type of German pastry, similar to a jelly doughnut).
The indefinite article is omitted in German when speaking of an individual's profession or residence but is still used when speaking in a figurative sense. Since the President was not literally from Berlin but declaring his solidarity with its citizens, "Ich bin ein Berliner" was the only way to express what he wanted to say.
Furthermore, although the word "Berliner" is used for a jelly doughnut in the north, west and southwest of Germany, it is not used in Berlin itself or the surrounding region, where the usual word is "Pfannkuchen."
What a downer. The photo above is of a Berliner, which we had with coffee at the top of the Berlin Tower this morning. American doughnuts are better.

That's it for now. On Monday we will be 19 hours from departure from Berlin to arrival in St. Louis with two connections. I've got a terrible week at work ahead. Many more pictures to edit, which we will get to when time permits.

The Fat Angel

We had dinner Saturday night at a restaurant called Der Dicker Engel, The Fat Angel. It was recommended by someone back home. We would never have found it on our own. It's a good neighborhood place serving well-made, traditional German food. What sets it apart is the name and theme. Wacky.

The big thing in the top picture soars over the dining room. The Raphael putti are not leaning on the war waiting for a drink. They are painted onto a glass wall between the dining room and the bar. Everything was simple and good. The wine label translates as "nice dry red wine" and it was. A typical German meal involves pork and potatoes, and lots of it. That's how you get to be dicker.