Saturday, January 30, 2010


This is the place I called home for 5 1/2 years, and now again after a 10 month hiatus in Michigan. Michigan is my home too, it's the place where I come from, but it's Dresden that has grabbed me and isn't letting me go any time soon. I can't seem to break free of this place, and don't really want to anyway. So for the people who haven't been lucky enough to visit us here, or those who have and want to see it again, here's a bit of the Neustadt for you.

Here's a view out over part of the Neustadt from the tower of the Martin Luther Church.

That's one of my very favorite walls. It's on Böhmische Strasse by the playground.

Blast from the past! This was in 2004, when people were already protesting the possible construction of a parking garage on this site. Not to mention the cobblestones hadn't been removed yet and so Kamenzer Strasse was a miserable bumpy mess for anybody on a bike (or in a car). A while later, that little flat building was demolished, creating an empty lot where a bunch of people started to camp out, protesting whatever would be later built there. In 2008/2009, while we were gone, the new supermarket/preschool/parking garage/apartment house was finished on this site. We now live just around the corner from here, and I am so happy to have a supermarket there, this part of the neighborhood really lacked in shopping opportunities when I lived on Prießnitzstraße, so we had to haul heavy backpacks full of groceries and sacks of kitty litter from the Königsbrücker Str. Not fun.

Yet another of my favorite walls. This one is on Pulsnitzer Str. and this was when it was still fresh and new. Some jerks have grafittied it now. I think grafitti can be pleasing too, but why do it on a facade as nice as this? Why not pick a boring wall from any of the hundreds of others?

Pretty much at the heart of the Neustadt, and the heart of the BRN--the Bunte Republik Neustadt, a festival held at the end of each June here.

Parker Louis! This guy has a giant empire of pay parking lots in the Neustadt, and he is a much loathed figure, because he patrols his parking lots and photographs your car if you have not purchased a parking ticket. Then he fines you. But he has to be able to prove who was actually driving the car when it had been parked, otherwise he can't just force the car owner to pay a fine. He's been sued over this a number of times.

"Against exorbitant rent and complete refurbishment...noise and dirt for all"
You can figure out the yuppie part.
This neighborhood used to be occupied in large part by squatters and artists and punks around the time of reunification (1990), but has now become well-known as a "hip part of town" with lots of trendy bars, good restaurants and clubs, and interesting shops, driving rent prices up and a lot of the artists and punks out. The artists and punks strike back.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Look at all those flowers!

I just took the last of these flowers to the compost pile today...these were all flowers I got for my birthday a couple weeks ago. I don't even want to talk about how old I am, but from the flowers you can see it was a big one. Thanks to everyone for the beautiful flowers! I think the only time I got more flowers than for this birthday was when Wilhelm was born!

In other news, I have been busy. Inspired by way too expensive mobile lamps at the store, I decided to make this cheap-o 5 Euro lamp into something cool. I decided on planets, and bought a bunch of styrofoam balls last week, painted them up, jabbed in some wire and added some beads, and voila! The kids have a neat planet lamp!

I was also knitting for a while, but for some reason, I have sort of lost my desire to do this. This was the first hat I made for Friedrich. I also made one for Wilhelm with the same colors, but with earflaps, but it turned out a bit small, and I can't find the picture of it. It will be okay though when it is not so cold outside, but for now he needs a seriously insulated hat because it is cold here!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Holy ice, Batman!

Being away for almost a year, I forgot how dangerous city life in the winter can be. I think this year is extreme, though. We got loads of snow that stuck, it built up on roofs, thawed a bit and refroze, creating giant, scary icicles.

Thanks to the sz-online for that picture. These giant icicles are not in Dresden, but I have certainly seen many like that on my street and in my neighborhood. The really fun part is that it has been above freezing for the last couple of days, loosening and ultimately freeing these giant icicles, ice chunks, and snowpiles from 5 stories above the sidewalk so that they come crashing down. Here's what happens:

Thanks again to the sz-online for that photo. This is right in my neighborhood. I have seen several places where these giant chunks are lying on the sidewalk, but fortunately have not been under any falling chunks because I have taken to walking on the street, and will continue to do so until all ice is gone. I've seen ice crashing down right across the street, out my window, while on the way to the bakery today, and amazingly and fortunately, no people have been injured so far. That is amazing. Many cars have suffered though. Luckily we have a parking spot between 2 houses with little or no ice and snow, so no "roof avalanches" should come crashing down on our car.
Yesterday evening I went out with a friend, and as we were saying goodbye outside before heading home, we heard a sound sort of like scary sliding ice above our heads, we jumped and looked up and saw someone rolling down their shutters. We had a good laugh and then we heard the sound again, resulting in another jump and look up, again to realize that it was just the shutters. It seems like someone was having a fun time playing "Jump, foreigner, jump!"

Friday, January 08, 2010

I almost forgot...

2010 is off to a darn good start...guess who will be playing in Dresden in June??? AC/DC!!!
Guess who has tickets? We do!!!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

We saw this on our new year's day tour of the destruction in Dresden-Neustadt.

It seems like good advice.
It seems there was little destruction this new year. In earlier days, we always saw broken windows and damage to cars, this year not even the parking ticket machines were destroyed. This morning we just saw some used fireworks and broken bottles on the streets, but nothing too wild. Not even my former landlord was outside one of the slum houses in his empire repairing damage to his house by disgruntled tenants or feverishly cleaning his sidewalk. Boring new year.

But that is probably fine. Here is a little 2009 of mine in review:

-a baby on the way
-quit my job
-another transatlantic move
-waiting and waiting and waiting to find the right place to live
-got 2 bunnies before we even had a place to live
-we found it! It's great, with a garden all our own and space for a bunny paradise!
-Friedrich arrived, and both of us remained completely unscathed, as opposed to Wilhelm's birth
-Wilhelm started Kindergarten!
-a trip to Gran Canaria to top it all off

There's certainly more, but that's the most important stuff, or so it seems to me at the moment.
That probably doesn't sound bad, but it was a terribly stressful year. This year has got to be better.