Monday, November 26, 2007


Gezundheit! Just back from a weekend in Munich. Beer, meat, dumplings, cabbage. MMMMMMmmmMMmMMmmmmmm. And levels of public drunkenness not partaken of by me for quite some time but they did keep coming over with them bloody steins and the oompah band was too much fun to even consider going back to the flat. Loads of great people getting really drunk in a very friendly way - brilliant.

And yet... Munich is definitely one of the calmest, most attractive and just plain agreeable cities I've ever been. Clean, modern and old in wonderful harmony and with just the right amount of space between buildings to make it a very human-scale place. Of course the trains work and are smooth and there seems to be a place for everything and everything in its place and it's all just really, really NICE.

And a bookshop like none I have ever seen. Five stories and more people browsing and buying books than any other bookshop I've been to, ever. Seriously, think Top Shop on the day of Kate Moss' new clothing line - that busy. Dozens of tills and HUNDREDS of people buying. Just dazzling and amazing, I had to scrape my jaw off the floor. (Hopefully some photos to come)

I reckon that if you sat down with a piece of paper and designed a proper city from scratch for the western disposition you'd pretty much come up with Munich. And they all speak english. Recommended.

Did I mention the beer?


  1. Your comments about Munich mirror my own experience in Cologne and Berlin. They hadn't quite finished Berlin but you could see where it was going. Clean, attractive public spaces fantastic public transport and such a creative feel to the urban scene.

    Denis Johnson made it into the LRB by the way. Thomas Jones' experience seems similar to Matthews.

  2. Glad you were seduced by Munich's charms. But, you haven't seen Hamburg; which has an interesting edge and much more understated, interesting flair. Luebeck is a jewel as well.

    Glad people were out in mass in the bookstores. People just really like to read and browse through the stores... the bookstores tend to be drop-in-stay-around sort of locations.