After learning about all the fairy tales in class to conjugate the past tense in German, I was wondering if I hadn’t shrunk myself. At the place where I am staying, the owner trains horses and is about 6′ tall. She fitted out the apartment to suit her height. The kitchen table is at my chest height. Standing up (because there are no chairs this high, not even bar stools), I can slurp soup directly from the bowl on the table top without having to lift it.
I also need a stool to get to the bottom shelf of the overhead kitchen cabinets. I wonder if I’m not going to face an avalanche of dishes stored over my head every time I reach for one. It’s a pretty funny scene after the third or fourth time around when I try to cut corners. I really feel like a dwarf.
Speaking of dwarves, we learned all about Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Little Red Riding Hood in my German class. Don’t forget that these stories all come from Germany. The Schwarzwald, or Black Forest, isn’t far from here either. I always thought that the stories had a dark and ominous tone to them. I never understood why little kids were always getting lost in the forest. But not to worry. Walt Disney borrowed them, sanitized them, and made them safe harbors for the Disney Empire.
We talk a lot about slow food but not slow living. I have spent a lot of time meandering through parks here, partly because you run into one in any direction before you know it. The city parks are incredibly accessible, well-maintained, and beautiful here. Because Dusseldorf is along the banks of the Rhine River, it is relatively flat. A lot of bikes travel at a reasonable pace and share the footpath with pedestrians. It reminds everyone to slow down. Maybe it’s time to think about slow living.
Here are some views of one of the beautiful parks in the heart of the city.
I’m blasting a series of shots of buildings, sights, and details here:
Below: Daniel Liebskind’s masterpiece of the Ko and Shadow-Arkaden, a mixed use office and retail complex. The exterior on the Nordliche Dussel (a small lake) side is mesmerizing. The rear wavy-gravy houses Apple and Tesla, and has a great plaza for people-watching. I even managed to break out pen and paper to do some sketching.
Now I know and agree why Düsseldorf is deemed one of the ten most livable cities in the world.
PS. For those of you in San Francisco, you can see “Young Goethe in Love”, a great movie classic, at the Goethe Institute Thursday, May 25! It’s not too late! Check it out!