As usual there is a nip in the air in late September, Munich, but enough of the summer left to have them outside, supping their coffees, nattering and “La Dolce Vita” creeps above the Alps. One begins to understand Gustav von Aschenbach* and his “youthfully ardent thirst for distant scenes” for this is a city that prompts you to quell that thirst even if it encourages you to take the hop, skip and a jump over the Alps or a simple drive into the nearby countryside to do so but there is no need to and it is good to be back and I might not be drinking alcohol these days but I know that if I decide to start again, it will be good beer. The cafes are idyllic, independent places and while Starbucks is out there somewhere it is just not necessary and I am sitting in the ‘Black Bean’ in Amalienstraße There is an inclusive normality in just hanging around and chilling out here and with that the type of ambience that facilitates the “moechtegerne” artist cum daydreamer is almost tangible.
The nice little story doing the rounds here is the one about the Bavarian Minister President, Günther Beckstein, saying that you are still able to drive after drinking two litres of beer and while he was later to qualify his statement somewhat ….. well, this is a man who believes that computer games are the work of the devil and who would like to see dope smokers flogged in public. Fortunately, the “live and let live” attitude of Munich and the politics of the Bavarian state remain a trifle incongruous to say the least. Moreover, we are in a state where the law sets limits on the politicians and “La Dolce Vita” appears to be the order of the day on the Isar.
The picture was taken in Munich’s, Türkenstraße today and shows the locals enjoying their “Altweibersommer”.
* The hero in Thomas Mann’s, ‘Death in Venice’