Monthly Archives: May 2014

What do I know of Beethoven

ImageOur friend Hanna hosted our family for dinner and piano playing the other evening. Not just our family, but also Andrew and Yuri who were visiting us from New York. Hanna is the white-haired professor with saucy red glasses who led us through our visa trials with humor and grace, and we wanted her to meet our old friends from home.

Both Andrew and Yuri had attended conservatory to train in their instruments (French horn, flute) but each later turned to piano as an outlet better suited to home life and occasional practice. They work in fields beyond music and play piano when they can. Hanna is learning piano in her retirement. Continue reading

The boys in the other boat

stadium

The main Olympic stadium in the west of Berlin. The partial roof was added in recent years as part of renovations. In this image you can see the cauldron; Berlin held the first Olympic torch relay. (Click on any photo to enlarge).

A few months ago my family and I toured the 1936 Olympic Stadium, restored in recent years to its original condition. Jesse Owens earned his glory here, perhaps the most famous athlete to emerge from those Olympics.

The stadium is quintessential Nazi architecture, they say; it’s an imposing structure of concrete and marble, built to impress the world. The stadium lies in far western Berlin, just north of the Grunewald Forest. Many of the sports events of 1936 took place in this location, but not all. Continue reading

Making a life here

ImageEvery now and then our family uncovers little signs that each of us are finding our place in Berlin. We’re surprising others as well as ourselves.

This first one happened in the fall. Our tenth grader, S, was leaving school after a long day steeped in German. She was tired and minding her own business when a group of American tourists came across her and asked: “Can you tell us where the nearest subway station is?” Continue reading