Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring in Bloom

It's amazing how much a city can change when the sun finally comes out. When I lived in Copenhagen, I thought there were hardly any people there. And then Spring came and the city was overflowing with tourists and residents alike. I guess they had been hibernating. 

When I came to Munich, I expected a similar transformation, but a little less dramatic. Unlike Copenhagen, people still go out to bars, play winter sports, and generally live their lives even in the wintery months. However, the last few days of sunshine and warm weather has brought even more people out of hiding and I'm so excited to see what the city has in store. 

No sun + low temps = no people

Last week when the temperatures dropped down again, I was struck by how empty the city became, literally overnight. As I walked down Ludwigstrasse, a street that is normally buzzing with energy, it felt like I was in the city all by myself. But then the sun came out the next day and everything was back to to normal

High temp - clouds = people!

What I've really enjoyed, in addition to the warm weather, is the buskers that have started appearing around the city. In New York, they're everywhere, including the trains, and the random street music is something that I start to miss even now and again. So imagine my surprise when I came across a band with a full sized piano in the middle of the street on my way to Marienplatz. 

And when I went to hang out in the English Garden, the rhythmic sounds of a drum circle beckoned me to find them. I tried to ignore them and stay focused on my book and beer, but their hold on me was too powerful. Before I knew it, I was packing up my belongings and going in search of their source. 

When I found the group of performers, and started dancing, I was reminded of an old Dave Chappelle skit were he discusses the power of electric guitars and drums on white and black people. I proved his theory right. 

After having my fill of good beats, I decided to look for the legendary surfers of the Eisbach. I saw them once during my first trip to Munich. But it was the smaller area where the beginners practice. I wanted to see where the pros go to show off. 

I noticed a few people walking with surf boards before, but I wasn't sure if they were going to the area or coming from it. I was feeling daring that day and decided to follow my instincts and go where they were going. And I was well rewarded for my courage. I came across the pro area and there were about seven people in slick wetsuits riding the waves on their short boards. Even though the day was warm, the water was rather chilly (I know this because one of the surfers flicked me when he was coming out of the river) and I had to admire their commitment. Here's their exact location if you want to check them out.

And the summer hasn't even begun. Hell, it's not even April yet and all these cool things are happening. I haven't even mentioned Starkbierfest, the festival celebrating strong beer. And I've started to see some advertisements for the Munich Film Festival and numerous musical events that will be coming to the city. I'm absolutely giddy about the new experiences Munich has to offer. Let's see what else I can find.

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