I have been accepted as guest in a community house for students.One hundred people live here, most of them are here since ages and have never moved out. And indeed, sometimes I felt like in a cruise boat where if I wanted I could have spend months in without needing to go out. This place is almost like a city in the city, where you get a daily backer delivery, where the fridges are always refilled with beers, and a massive bank of films and music is available through the intranet network. Everything is organised. For that they have some in house politics, ruled by “democraticaly” elected ministers. So you have the plant minister, the kitchen minister, the toilet-paper minister, the cooking-herbs minister...I know it sounds silly but it is very serious for them. I see that as a very typical German place. Somehow.
There are two lion statues standing at the entrance of the Public Treasury building. The first time I passed this site, I was quite surprised to see more that one persons passing by them, rubbing there nose as if they would be little doggies. Even bikers hold on to give them a little stroke. For some reasons rubbing their noses is meant to give you good luck. Looking at how the material got polished, I can imagine how people are sensitive to myths or just superstitious. So am I... now each time I pass there, I do the same.
Bang in the center of the city, the quite bucolic English garden is also an internationally renown spot for surfers. The maybe four meter large river that crosses it creates just under a bridge, one single and endless wave. What means that all year long, even when it’s snowing, you can see guys in wetsuit queuing to ride it. It’s so surreal.
Just by walking through the column range you can sense what power means. A feeling that increases once you step in : everything is constructed so solid and out of proportions. But if you go on the back side of the building, this general impression will be disturbed. Looking up, you will notice that the stone columns are reinforced by bamboos fixed by Chinese vases. The hole facade looks like it is doing some exercise...It’s looks so funny. (actually, whilst invited for an exhibition Ai Wei Wei did judge that the building seems to fall apart and that it needs a bit of reinforcement...) I love it.
It is a big room furnished with dark and massive-wood chairs, a good number of billiard tables, and walls full of random objects and portraits. Everything is nice about it. And especially the deep atmosphere created by this mix wood and the green light reflected by the billiard carpet. If you go there early in the morning you get a large coffee served on a Formica plate with a biscuit. Before 11a.m., it seems to be just a quiet Tearoom where only grannies meat for a Bretzel. But the first players arrive, and by the end of the afternoon it full. It’s quite a joy full place and you can always get a chance to play a round.