Ode to Beautiful Jugendstil Darmstadt

Or at least what’s left of it. Much of it was unfortunately destroyed by Allied bombing in World War II, the worst of which was on September 11, 1944. But there are still traces of beauty that endure. Since I spent five of the most wonderful years of my life there, I want to share these pictures and brief comments:


This is the beautiful Schloß Marktplatz circa 1900 where they hold the yearly Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market). This area was spared the bombing and still looks exactly now as it did back then.


Just across the way from the Marktplatz is the main square of town, the Luisenplatz, where every strata of life mixes from the businesswoman changing trains to loitering beer-swilling punk rockers with green-spiked hair.






These last five images are of the Rosenhöhe (Rose Hill) upon whose benches I first fell in love. Smiles to you Angi Zimmer, wherever you are.


This wonderful place is Ground Zero for the Jugendstil movement (German variant of Art Nouveau). It was founded by Hesse-Darmstadt Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig in 1899 as an artist colony where the people of his duchy could contemplate all of the possibilities of life. It thankfully also survived the bombing.



These two pictures are of the Orangerie, the beautiful Baroque garden I used bike through everyday on my way to work. I used to pick really tart kumquats off of trees lining this path when the mood would strike.




And finally it’s nice to know there will be more than just nostalgia when I go back to visit Darmstadt. This is one of Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s final creations, Waldspirale (Wooded Spiral). I’ve never seen it in the flesh because it was finished in 2000, two years after I moved and a year after Hundertwasser died. And yes, this is a real residential apartment house with real people living in it. Hmmm, might I one day be one of them???

The Haribo World War: How it All Began

If only Green Gummi Bears would really exist as animate beings in the world, Hitler would have never made it nearly so far:

Marija Šerifović, Eurovision Champion 2007

Being a European historian and all I should really keep up with these things better. But honestly, I just can’t get into most Euro Pop music.

Anyway, this is a really good song by Serbia’s Marija Šerifović called “Molitva” (Eng: “Prayer”) that won the 2007 Eurovision contest. What a voice, huh?!:

Myron Echoes Love Home

Thinking of the Ohio homeland on this Thanksgiving Eve. Which brings to mind one of Ohio’s finest bands, Guided By Voices. Here’s Echos Myron from the wonderful Bee Thousand Album:

“Echos Myron”

Tower to the skies
An academy of lies
And what goes up
Surely must come down
And we felt the mighty blow-up
With the walls coming down
Or something like that

Most of us are quite pleased
With the same old song
And all of a sudden I’m relatively sane
With everything to lose and nothing to gain
Or something like that

Men of wisdom and men of compromise
Men of weak flesh in an armored disguise
All fall down

“If it’s right you can tell,” echos Myron like a siren
With endurance like a liberty bell
And he tells you of the dreamers
But he’s cracked up like the road
And he’d like to lift us up, but we’re a very heavy load

And we’re finally here and shit yeah it’s cool
And shouldn’t it be? – or something like that

All I Need

Here’s a wonderfully creative Radiohead video hitting on all the ambiguities of “need.” Most of the personal “need” in my life right now is very positive. I do, however, understand the pitfalls both personally and globally:

“All I Need”

I am the next act waiting in the wings
I am an animal trapped in your hot car
I am all the days that you choose to ignore

You are all I need
You are all I need
I am in the middle of your picture
Lying in the reeds

I am a moth who just wants to share your light
I’m just an insect trying to get out of the night
I only stick with you because there are no others

You are all I need
You are all I need
I am in the middle of your picture
Lying in the reeds

It’s all wrong
It’s all right
It’s all right
It’s all wrong
It’s all right
It’s all right
It’s all right

A Song for You

Leon Russell, Willie Nelson, and Ray Charles, but the song really gets goin’ when Ray hits the mic.

To the Grandma I Never Knew

This is for you Emma Jean Burnett Snively, for giving me my middle name:

Van Down By The River


Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Van Down By The River“, posted with vodpod


Here’s Lou Barlow shooting an arrow through the heart of Ratt’s “Round-n-Round”:

The Patron Saint of Travellers

“Although the Catholic Church suggests that almost nothing certain is known about the life and death of St. Christopher,[3] there are several legends attributed to him. These include the story in which Christopher carries a small, yet almost unbearably heavy, child across a river. The child is later revealed to be Jesus Christ. It is this popular story from which Christopher became the patron saint of travellers, and it is the source for the derivation of his name. The Greek word Christophoros translates into “Christ-bearer.” [4] though Offerus may simply be a back-formation of (Christ)ophorus.”

Read On…

Saint Christopher mit dem Christkind in Trier, Germany


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