Dresden

So…my first post about Germany is actually about Dresden!!  The past three weeks have just been a whirl, and I’m still reeling from the adjustment to life in Berlin.  However, this past weekend I made a trip to Dresden to get out of the city to experience a city that was a little more…typisch Deutsch ;).  However, Dresden has a fascinating history.  The town, which is adorned with Baroque and German Rococo architecture was obliterated in the war.  The historical area, or the Alt Stadt, was restored, but because Dresden belonged to the USSR, Soviet architecture also covers the city, especially in the Neu Stadt.  The Neu Stadt is also home to Dresden’s alternative scene, which features “Ostalgisch” (Nostalgia for the GDR or Soviet Germany) restaurants and bars (my favorite was a restaurant called Planwirtschaft, which means Planned Economy) as well as super chill basement party style clubs.  We also stumbled across a Cuban-German brunch buffet on Sunday morning.  A definite highlight, although I was puzzled for quite some time about why there was a Cuban cafe in Germany until I remembered the whole Communism thing…anyway, here are my favorite pics from the weekend!

New Synagogue

Frauenkirche Interior

Aldstadt

Altstadt

Cuban Brunch!

Aldstadt

Glockenspiels.  Gotta love it.

My last day in London…

…was spent sorting through everything I packed seeing if there was any way I could travel more lightly.  After parting with my hairdryer, 3 pairs of shoes, 10 books, and my stash of warm weather clothes my suitcase closes quite nicely.

It was actually SUNNY in London today, so my mom and I spent the afternoon enjoying the weather with a long walk through the giant Regent’s Park

We both wanted to go to Harrod’s one last time for tea and to scope out the sales.  Well, the crowds were overwhelming and the tea was too expensive so we decided against that, but as we were making our way towards the exit I spotted that there was a LADUREE in Harrod’s!

Ladurée famously sells one of my favorite confections in the world–macarons, which are two rounds of an almond meal based meringue glued together by an intensely flavored filling.  My mom loves them to, so we picked up a small box!

Seriously, they are the most delicious things in the world.

Unfortunately, I could not say the same for my dinner.  I’ve been craving pub food the whole time I’ve been in London, so we decided to go out to a pub for my last night.  I was thrilled to see Ox Cheek and Red Wine Pie with Kale Colcannon on the menu, so that was what I ordered.  Sadly, it did not live up to my expectations

First, I don’t see any kale in this colcannon.  Second, even though the pie looks MASSIVE, it turned out to be quite empty.  I scavenged roughly five pieces of meat and five mushrooms from a lake of over-salted gravy.  Oh well.  You can’t win them all.  Luckily there were some more macarons at the flat when we returned.

 

Also I’M FREAKING GOING TO BERLIN TOMORROW SO AT THE END OF THE DAY IT DOESN’T MATTER THAT I HAD CRAPPY PIE FOR DINNER!!  Berfreakinglin.  I’ve waited my whole life to study in Germany and since I visited Berlin a year ago I’ve been itching to return.  And now I get to live there STARTING TOMORROW!!!

I love you London, thanks for providing me for such a wonderful and fun vacation, but now it’s time for the next adventure.

New Year’s

Since coming to college, my New Year’s have been…

interesting.

Two years ago I was in Paris on a study abroad trip.  We planned to go to the Eiffel Tower to watch the fireworks, and it had been mentioned that we’d be getting there on a boat.  Long story short, the boat didn’t happen and I spent the night sober, freezing, and walking roughly 6 miles in high heels.  I was jostled by rowdy crowds, harassed by drunk losers, and almost hit with a firecracker.  Did I mention this happened the day we landed?

Last year I was home and spent New Year’s with my friends from high school, which was awesome, except that I decided to let that night be dictated by emotional drinking which led to my first debilitating hangover!  I spent the first day of 2011 bemoaning my existence with only my couch, blanket, and chocolate cake leftover from the party to console me. #winning

So, naturally, I kept my expectations low for this year.  Like, really low.

My inner homebody told me to stay in with my parents, but I sucked it up and let the attitude to roll with the punches guide my night.  As a result, I ended up at a private party at a pub in Bloomsbury that some guy I met the week before with Marnie invited me to.  It was really fun, I didn’t pay for my drinks, I met some actors, I bumped into an American, and I even let my new friends convince me to stay out two hours longer than I had planned.  Around 2, when the pub was closing, I had a nagging feeling I was done for the night even though the party was relocating to some hip penthouse in Camden with fabulous views of all of London.

“Oh my Gooooddd, come ON, how often are you in LONDON for NEW YEAR’S?”

Live a little!!!”

Those guilt tripping lines from the people I just met were quite tempting.  Rolling with the punches and throwing caution to the wind have given me experiences permanently seared into my memory and have led me to laughs, sobs, love, and some fucking amazing opportunities.  Heading out to Camden to party till the sun comes up could be really awesome.  Yet when I look at the year ahead, there will be plenty of opportunities to do away with pragmatism.  Besides, my inner homebody wanted to finish a few more chapters in my book.  It’s ok to say no.

And so I did.  Instead of walking towards the metro arm in arm with the cute guy in the fair isle cardigan, I walked myself home in the London rain, grabbed some ice cream, and read some more of my new favorite book before passing out.

A night of indulging both the party girl and the one who’d rather stay in?  Sounds like a perfect New Year’s to me.

Contemporary German Art at the Saatchi Gallery

 

Nothing like some contemporary German art to remind you that you’re going to Germany in four days, am I right?

After a morning spent reading (just finished In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson–it’s amazing; please check it out!), my mom and I went to the Saatchi Gallery near Sloane Square to check out their exhibition Gesamtkunstwerk: New Art from Germany.

The exhibit was organized into 15 galleries that displayed works from 24 visual artists living and working in Germany.  To my surprise, when I walked in to the gallery there was no curatorial direction, exposition, commentary, nada.  The point of the exhibition was literally “take a look at this German art”, which I really appreciated.  Instead of thinking about and analyzing possible grand themes of the exhibition, I focused on my experience with the art.  However, the influence of found objects and graffiti gave the exhibition a distinctly German feel.

I didn’t take too many photos, but here are some of my favorite works!

Andre Butzer's Anhembild 2411

 

Isa Genzken's Bouquet

Gert and Uwe Tobias's Untitled

Jutta Koether's Leibhaftige Malerei

Alexandra Bircken's Unit 4

Thomas Helbig's Vater

What I’ve Been Up To

Alright, enough of the French posts.  It’s time to show you what I’ve been doing since I’ve come back!

1. I visited Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral

2. I turned into a cratchety old witch 21

3. My family and I celebrated Christmas, complete with an olive tree pretending to be a Christmas tree, crackers, crowns, turkey, and plum pudding!

6. My dad turned 55

He’s becoming a bit senile…he thinks he’s turning into a pigeon

4. My mom, dad, and I explored the charming Chelsea neighborhood.

5. The whole family visited the Tower of London and got to experience 900 years of British history in one place!  Woohoo!

And on another note…I start classes in Berlin in a week!  Crazy!

Paris in Pictures: Day 2



Paris in Pictures: Day 1