Among the normally slim pickings culled by our clipping service this month are two informative New York Times articles.
Munich's Schwabing District
The New York Times travel section seems to operate on the novel premise that travel writing should be more informative and less dramatic. Seldom does the Times reader have to suffer the "I inhaled the crisp, clean Alpine air" style so pervasive in travel magazines and Sunday travel sections. Recently, there have been several good articles on Germany.
One is a September 24, 1995, piece by J.S. Marcus entitled The Bohemian Side of Munich on the city's Schwabing district. A few excerpts:
"Schwabing, the district north of the city's old medieval center and a traditional stomping ground of students, artists and assorted hangers-on, has often been thought of as Munich's other half, artistic rather than bourgeois, cosmopolitan rather than Bavarian...These days, Schwabing has been rigorously gentrified, populated, as some would have it, by fashion editors and swinging aristocrats...Architecturally the side streets often have a pleasing turn-of-the-century look, with many houses boasting restored Jugendstil façades."
"Named after the Schwabing magazine, Jugend (Youth), Jugendstil was Central Europe's version of Art Nouveau..."
"Visitors expecting to find a contemporary Bohemia in Schwabing are invariably disappointed, but there is still a feeling of being outside Munich, beyond the rules and pleasures of Germany's, if not Europe's, glitziest city."
"It could be argued that the 20th century began in Schwabing. In the years just preceding World War I, Kandinsky painted Western arts first abstract painting there, Hitler was hanging out in coffee houses on Schellingstrasse, and Lenin, midway through his long exile, was writing his most influential political pamphlets in an apartment off Leopoldstrasse."
The author also reveals some of the districts sights and hangouts:
• Roxy, a café-bar at 48 Leopoldstrasse (tel. 89 349 393) is owned by glamorous German TV star Iris Berber and "attracts the kind of crowd generally referred to in Germany as Schicki-Micki (a contraction of Mickey Mouse chic)." A meal for two here is about $70 including wine.
• Drugstore, another chic café (12 Feilitzschtrasse, tel. 89 347 531, meal for two with wine about $55).
• Café Reitschule, chic and elegant (34 Königinstrasse in English Garden, tel. 89 333 402, meal for two with wine, $70).
• Café Puck (33 Türkenstrasse, tel. 89 280 2280, three-course meal for two about $57) features Italian food and is the authors favorite.
• Anglia Bookshop (3 Schellingstrasse), "one of Germany's best English-language bookstores."
• Some of Munich's finest examples of Jugendstil can be found just west of Roxy on Ainmillerstrasse where artists Paul Klee and Vassily Kandinsky lived and worked.
• Hohenzollernstrasse, one block north, is famous for its small, unusual fashion boutiques.
• The grand main building of the University of Munich is "one Munich's architectural treasures."
• Bavarian State Library, "one of Europe's largest libraries and home to perhaps the most imposing staircase in Munich."
Frankfurt Hotels & Restaurants
Following are excerpts from Nathaniel C. Nash's report on Frankfurt in the October 1, 1995 edition of the New York Times.
"A city service, (69) 212-30808, can assist in finding a room - important during the busy fair days."
"In the quieter, fashionable West End of the city is the Mozart Hotel, 17 Parkstrasse; (69) 55-0831, fax (69) 569-4559. its 35 spacious rooms, with heavy, old-German decor, bright maroon carpeting and plenty of pictures of the boy genius, cost $106 for a single and $153 for a double, with breakfast. (Prices given are for private bath rooms.)"
"Also in the West End, at 121 Kettenhofweg, near Frankfurt University, is the 21 room Hotel Silvana; (69) 97 4020, fax (69) 9740 2222. its clean, bright rooms have a modern, spare look. Singles cost $91 and doubles $120, with breakfast."
"Budget: The atmosphere is postwar German - dark furniture in bright rooms - at the 26 room Hotel Diana, also near the University, at 83 Westendstrasse; (69) 747-007, fax (69) 747-079. With breakfast, a single costs $66 a night, a double $115."
"For a traditional Gasthaus experience in an old but well kept building with a family feel, try the Hotel Beethoven, 46 Beethovenstrasse; (69) 746-091, fax (69) 7480466. Rates with breakfast are $72 a night for a single, $108 for double. The decor in the 37 modest rooms (some with shared bath) is old fashioned, plush but dark."
"Luxury: The Frankfurter Hof, a 19th century grand hotel in the center of town at 33 Bethmann-strasse, (69) 215-02, fax (69) 215-847, is one of the city's most elegant and dignified. Its 150 spacious rooms have high ceilings and regal looking furnishings: its French restaurant is renowned. Singles range from $228-$361, doubles from $336-$409."
"There are 588 glitzy-modern rooms across from the convention center at the Frankfurt Marriott Hotel, 2 Hamburger Allee; (69) 795-52222, fax (69) 795-52432. Singles cost $266, doubles $309, with breakfast."
"In c, Die Gans, 76 Schweizer Strasse, features candlelight dining, and heaters keep a canopied terrace warm even on the coldest nights. Fish and poultry are the specialties. A three-course meal - tagliatelle with German mushrooms called Pfifferlingen, followed by a saltimbocca of anglerfish (Seeteufel) with leeks and potatoes and exotic-fruit salad with passion fruit sorbet - will cost $139 for two with wine, but not tax and tip. For reservations, which are recommended, call (69) 61-5075."
"A lesser known but equally fine dining spot with lovely terrace for sunny lunches is Avocado Le Bistro at 27 Hochstrasse, near Hauptwache; (69) 29-2867. The menu, mainly French and Italian, includes marinated lachs (salmon) on cucumber salad and duck breast in cassis-and-berry sauce. A three-course meal with wine is about $153 for two."
"Frankfurt's native drink washes down heavy meat and mushroom dishes at its Apfelwein (apple wine, a cider-like alcoholic drink) restaurants, where everyone eats elbow to elbow outside at long wooden tables; in bad weather the indoor seating is usually limited."
"One of the best of the apple wine restaurants is the Speisekammer, at 41 Alt Heddernheim, about 10 minutes by cab ($14.50) from the center of town. The wine is served in blue and grey ceramic jugs called Bembel. The noise and the food are plentiful. For hearty eaters, a rump steak with roasted onions, pan-roasted potatoes, salad, bread pudding with fruit and vanilla sauce and apple wine would cost $77 for two. For reservations a must, especially on weekends call (69) 58-7711."
"Equally known is the typically German-rustic Solzer, 260 Bergerstrasse, (69) 45-2171, also a short cab ride from the center. For about $44 two can have hearty portions of grilled pork ribs with sauerkraut and potato salad, apple wine and a thick blueberry compote with vanilla sauce on top."
"The cafés and bars on the Fressgasse are a good choice for budget meals. Plögers Delicatessen, (69) 20-941, offers a variety of cold and warm salads and other prepared dishes. One can either eat standing or sit down and be served along the Fressgasse. The menu changes daily, and two can eat, with a glass of beer or wine, for $44."