Monday, April 17, 2006

Munich, 1990

Summer nights in Munich the streets are full. The students from the performing arts college sit in small groups on the street corners, and Mozart vies with the Brandenburg Concerti in a battle of the quartets. There are a few street artists dotted along the road, and some jugglers and magicians, but music dominates.

A young man singing Simon and Garfunkel songs has gathered a large crowd, while a few blocks away an even larger group listens to what seems to be an original composition part folk, part Euro-punk. We join the stream of people, pushing the baby stroller. It is 10 at night and there are young families, old couples, students all strolling together through the streets. It seems all of Munich is out.

A middle aged man with a striped sweater vest stretched tightly over his stomach is singing Wagner at full volume. He has an enormous beer stein in one hand, but manages not to spill a drop as he gestures dramatically through the aria. The more he drinks, the more expansive and warm he becomes until he begins to pull people out of the crowd to give impromptu lessons in the fine art of opera. Above his head, the movie house sign flashes the titles of the latest pornography films.

You can feel the warmth and good humor of the crowd wash over you. Munich in the summer. Magic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A summer night in Munich sounds lovely. Never been to Germany. One day..