"Thank God for film archivist Dennis Nyback. If not for his encyclopedic knowledge of rare films and his tenacity for acquiring them, we would never have the privilege to view some astounding works of cinema." Kim Morgan


Dennis Nyback takes his films around the world. Find out how to book a show, what programs are available, how to arrange for custom programming, and just about anything you would like to know about Dennis Nyback.

Elbphitharmonie Kulturcafe

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Hamburg, Germany  April 4, 2011

I got up early enough to have breakfast with Volker and Esther before she went off to her job. I said goodbye to Volker a while later and walked to the S-Bahn and got off three stops later at the train station. Having no stated time to arrive in Kiel I went looking for a Starbucks and free Wifi. The Starbucks up the street from the train station in Hamburg was very interesting. It was in its own self contained building in the middle of a plaza. The building seemed to be about a hundred years old. There was very little seating on the ground floor but lots of tables outside. A third of the ground floor was taken up by a raised area with three computers with what looked like some sort of travel agency team manning them. The main indoor seating was upstairs. It was a big open room where old time dances could have been occurred. I guessed it was more probably for fraternal club meetings. Or maybe it had been the reading room of a library. There was an upright piano in the corner. I had started with a medium cup of Pike Place Roast coffee and then had a “Wild Blueberry” muffin with my refill. I am not sure what sort of wild that meant. I spent a lazy couple of hours getting caught up on things.  Soft sunlight glanced off the brown wood table I had claimed for my space.

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I walked outside outside and circumnavigated the building. I had originally approached it from the rear. It was a nice day.  In the front was the table area. It was contained by a low stone wall that extended from the outer walls of the porch of the building. At the front of the tables, and still connected to the building by the low walls, was a fountain. It had a tower in the middle at least fifteen feet high topped by a statue of a lion. It was flanked at a lower level by statues of both a man and woman, both posing with what looked like Harbor Seals. Below the man was a plaque that read:

Gestfifit Von Den

Burgern Hamburg

1914-1926

There was also a plaque below the woman:

Demandenken en

Burgermeister

John Georg

Monckeberg

Atop the pillars in the front at the eaves level it said Elbphitharmonie Kulturcafe. A few feet below that, hanging between the pillars, was a sign that said Starbucks.

I later found out that before it became a Starbucks it had been a Burger King.  When it was a Burger King the words Elbphitharmonie Kulturcafe had been replaced with Burger King.  All things considered Starbucks was a step in a better and more tasteful direction.

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It being a lazy day I ambled to the station and found a train to Kiel leaving immediately.  I hurried and got on board.  I left my bags on a rack at the front and took my seat.  When we hadn’t left in several minutes I realized I had missed that train to Kiel.  Sure enough, I was on the train to Lubbock.  Luckily it didn’t leave until after I got off.  I then found it was twenty minutes until the Kiel train.  I bought the Trib and a bottle of Becks beers.  It seems the height of indulgence to open a beer on a train and relax during an afternoon ride.  George Will recently wrote an editorial claiming the movement for more trains in America was a Liberal plot to “diminish Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.”  Oh?  I’d like to see George crack open a cold one in his car and wave it as a salute to Liberty at the police passing by.

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When I arrived at Kiel the sky had darkened and rain was pouring down.  I went into the Sophie Mall to get out of the downpour.  When I exited from the back a few minutes later I walked into blue skies that  had replaced the storm clouds.  I walked to Karsten’s house. There I found Martina in the kitchen.  That was nice.  It is more usual to enter the house and find it empty.  Karsten soon got back from his errand of buying bike locking gear at a hardware store.

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I went to the store and bought beer.  I got  Dithmarscher Maibock from a display rack.  Martina told me that it was beer only produced in the spring.  It had first been produced in the middle ages when Monks had to fast for forty days for Lent.  It was created as a liquid that would substitute for food, a sort of Dark Ages nutritional supplement.  It was tasty and I could see how it could soften difficult  times.

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It being Asparagus season we had asparagus and fish stew.  Very nice.  In general I would say cooking in Europe is more seasonally oriented than in America.  Food from a box or a can doesn’t depend on the weather.  We talked after dinner and into the evening.  I then retired to bed and enjoyed a couple of chapters of Charles Dickens’ wonderful tome The Old Curiosity Shop  featuring  Little Nell.

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DADA DADA DADA

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Hamburg, Germany  April 3, 2011

It being Sunday things were relaxed in Volker and Esther’s house. When I awoke no one was astir. I recalled a nearby Starbucks that should be a short walk away. There I could spend time on line posting a blog report. Since it had been such a nice day yesterday I went out without a cap or top coat leaving a note saying I would return at 10:00. I didn’t have a key to get back in. I had walked a block when it started to rain. Not sure just what direction I should go I asked a passerby. He didn’t speak English. He did understand “coffee.” He pointed in the exact opposite direction I intuitively thought was right. I went the way he pointed. It began raining harder. I walked to a business street. That wasn’t hopeful. I remembered the Starbucks as being at the edge of a park. A young guy was waiting for the light to change. He was eating the end of a loaf of bread peeking out from a paper bag. I asked him if he spoke English. I should add here, almost any German who is asked if they speak English, assuming they can, will reply “Just a little” or “Not very much.” This young man replied “Sure.” He didn’t think there was Starbucks anywhere near but suggested an upscale area a few blocks away. I walked there. It kept raining. By the time I got to the upscale area I was really soaked. I asked a passerby for Starbucks. I was assured there was none nearby. About then I realized I was lost. It began raining even harder. I had made a note that Volker and Esther’s house was on Heinrich Strasse, remembering it by associating it with Tommy Henrich former big league ballplayer 1927-1940 with the New York Yankees. A guy passing by on a bicycle directed me to Heinrich Strasse. On the corner there was a pastry shop. A bunch of people were inside buying stuff. I went in and got coffee and a donut. The donut was still warm and as good as a Krispy Kreme. The coffee was passable. The main attraction of the place were unlimited paper napkins so I could dry my sopping head.

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Volker let me into the house. He told me there was no Starbucks anywhere in the area.  I wonder where the one in my mind was?  We had breakfast of bread, cheese and salami with cafe au lait. I turned down a brown egg. After breakfast we took a walk. It had stopped raining and turned into a nice day. Looming over most German cities is a TV tower. The height of the tower would be a point of pride for each municipality. The one in the former East Berlin is a doozy. The one in Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, is also a pip. It had restaurant at the top that revolved. That restaurant had gone out of business. We walked to the base of the Tower. There was a chain link fence around it, giving the whole thing a forlorn feeling. Signs were posted forbidding roller skating or skate boarding.

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Across the highway from the TV tower was a large park. It was a destination place for people. Inside were several contained parks including a Japanese garden. We stopped for ice cream. Esther and I got cones and Volker got a cup. Smart man he. I was giving my cone an ambitious lick and the ice cream went flying, landing in the dirt. I don’t think the guy who scooped it had mushed it properly down into the the cone. Since it was early in the season I am sure he will improve and avoid further tragedies.

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The park has a really impressive children’s area. Both Volker and Esther had played there as children and said it was unchanged. In the middle of it is a fiberglass mountain. It sort of resembles the Experience Music Project in Seattle, which is at the base of the Space Needle.  The park mountain  is hollow inside but I was assured no kids play inside as there is no ventilation and the stench from it being used as a public toilet is horrible. We walked back home through the business area of the neighborhood. A two block area was awash in Saturday night trash. It was a designated a “party area” and has been surrendered to loud bars and drunken revelry.

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Volker and Esther subscribe to a vegetables and cheese service. Every week a box arrives with an assortment of organic vegetables and interesting cheeses. There is vegetable service in Portland but it has no cheeses.  That is a German specific wrinkle, at l least for the time being.  For dinner they tossed a bunch of vegetables into a wok and made a curry. Over rice it was great. We lingered over dinner and had to take a taxi to Metropolis for my 7:00 show of The Effect of Dada. Another good crowd showed up which looked scattered inside the big auditorium. As usual, everyone loved the show.

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The 8:00 show continued the Dada and Surrealism theme with a Buster Keaton short and feature. The short was One Week. The feature was The Navigator. I was asked to introduce the show. I talked about how the surrealists loved Buster and didn’t love Charlie Chaplin. I think the Surrealists appreciated in Buster Keaton’s art that he always played a man interacting in a world seemingly one step removed from himself. Buster had an existential aura around him as though he was not so much taking part in reality or nature, but battling against it, sort of one man against the universe.  In One Week he builds a pre-fab house of which the disparate parts have been jumbled. The result is a crazy house. In the Navigator he is placed on a big completely abandoned and adrift ship. Both show his ability to persevere inside an insane reality.

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We took the S-Bahn home.

Everybody Dance!

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April 2 Duselldorf, Germany

I was awakend by a bird that sounded more like an electronic alarm clock than a living thing.  It would go peep peep peep peep peep  peep – pause – peep peep.  It then would repeat it in a very regimented way.  Each peep itself was sharp and almost metalic sounding.  Last fall I read The Wind Up Bird Chronicle while I was in Europe.  Maybe what I was hearing was a wind up bird.  Bright sunlight had filled the room by the time I got up at 8:00.

The free breakfast  wasn’t bad at all, but all I had with the not very good, and not enough of it, coffee,  toast and a couple of croissants. I grabbed a banana to eat later on my way out.  Back in my room I turned on CNN and actually got some baseball news.  I left the hotel at 9:30. My intention was to walk to the train station  but was talked out of that idea by the desk clerk.  She told me it would be over a half hour walk but only three stops on the Metro.  It was already warm and it looked like it would be a hot day. At the Metro I found didn’t have the coins to buy a ticket and the machine didn’t take cash.  There are no attendants at Metro stops like in the subway in New York.  There are also no turnstyles.  You can ride a train without a ticket and the chance of getting caught is slim.  I took my chances.

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I got to the station an hour and half  before train time.  I walked out of the station looking for a Starbucks.  I gave up and went back inside and bought a Trib and asked the clerk if there was a Starbucks nearby.  She said in the station at the opposite end.  Sure enough, a real Starbucks with plenty of seating and free wifi.  I posted a report on my blog and announced it on facebook.  I walked to the platform five minutes before scheduled time and found a cryptic note on the board.  It was cryptic  only  because I don’t read German.  I was able to decipher, which was proved by an announcement, that the train was delayed 25 minutes.  I went back to the Starbucks and sent Volker in Hamburg  a message to adapt accordingly.   Back at the platform I found a place to sit.  There was an air of stoic resignation among the people waiting. It was present in their postures and in the tones of their voices.   Many lit up cigarettes.  The sunshine and warmth made it less bad.  A train arrived but it was the one scheduled and not the tardy one.  When the late train did arrive it had no signage saying it was the right one.  All of the long time loiterers got on and so did I.  The cars were of an old design with all chairs and no compartments.  An announcement said it was a replacement train.  I was amazed they could rustle one up in such short order.  It even had a bistro car.

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At Dortmund that train terminated and we all got off and boarded a more modern replacement train across the platform.  I went into an empty compartment but was soon joined by an older couple who were speaking a language I didn’t recognize.  I would guess it was a Slavic language.  They kept up a lively conversation for most of the trip. No conductothe old curiosity shopr arrived to check tickets or give out free beer vouchers.  I got deeper into The Old Curiosity Shop.

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Hamburg is one of my favorite train stations.  It is laid out sort of like a football stadium.  The tracks are on the playing field and the concourses are accessable by  stairs and  escalators at each end.  I got off the train and walked toward the South escalator.  Looking up I saw Volker and Esther waving at me from the top.  The train was almost and hour late.  That didn’t leave time to go to their  flat and then to the theater.   The event would be the film Hellzapoppin at 6:00 and my Lindy Hop and Jitterbug show at 8:00.  Dancing was to follow.  Volker suggested we get coffee.  I suggested we drop all my appurtenances at the theater first.  It was a warm day.  The Metropolis Kino was built in 1957 and at the time was the largest theater in Hamburg.  It had 70mm and Todd A-O.  It is now on the wrong side of the tracks from the train station. The other side is all upscale shopping.  The Metroplis side has bars and sex shops and even small grocery stores.  Past the Metorpolis in a nicer area we found a cafe with sidewalk seating. The sign in the window said it was a Bistrotecque.   I ordered a chef’s salad.  Since I didn’t understand their order I was surprised that it was pie.  I was pretty sure there would no time for dinner later.

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A crowd of fifty or so came to see Hellzapoppin.  The program had been written about in a feature article in the newspaper.  There might have been more people but it was possibly the first really nice Saturday of the the year.   I should not have been surprised when it hit the screen and was dubbed into German.  That compromised most of the repartee between Olsen and Johnson but since that’s  not  exactly Shakespeare, and not much of a loss,  the film was still enjoyable.  All of the musical numbers were in English and all of the running around  and slapstick was universal.  The evening had been co-sponsored by one of the local Lindy Hop clubs.  A young woman introduced Hellzapoppin at length using words Harlem New York, Savoy Ballroom, Swing Music,  and Frankie Manning more than a  few times.

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I’d forgotten to take the slips of paper out of my reels that list the contents before giving the films to the projectionist.  That allowed me to visit the projection booth to get them.  To get there we had to go outside to an alley and then up a fire stairs.  I was told that was fire code to keep the film isolated from the rest of the theater.  That was done even though showing of flammable Nitrate film had stopped by 1957.  The crowd was closer to 100 for my show.  That is much better than my shows here last year. Even with that many the crowd was spread out in the big old place.  Everything ran smoothly and looked good on the huge curved screen.

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Metropolis Kino Lobby – Soon to Become a Dance Floor

At the end of the show I got a lot of compliments on it. I was introduced to both Volker and Esther’s moms, women of my age.  Most of the crowd then went into the lobby where a dance floor had been created in the uncarpeted area where tables had been  All were dressed for a special occasion.  A DJ provided vintage dance music and most everybody danced.  So did I. I danced with a whole bunch of women.  They knew the basic Lindy without being expert but all had personal style. I really had a ball.   The music was eclectic with most of the tempos being what the hep cats used to call “Business Man’s Bounce.”  That was just as well.  Dancing generates a lot of heat.  The woman tending bar told Volker that she had never seen so many smiling faces at the Metropolis.

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Portable Screenings

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April 1

I again got up at 8:00 which allowed me to say goodbye to Mani as he left for work. It had been a very pleasant four days thanks to his hospitality. I made coffee and had toast and then took a shower. Mani had been given some black soap by a girlfriend who got it in Syria. Very odd to use soap that produces black suds. I packed up and left the apartment. I left the key in the mailbox. It was already warm and wearing the over coat was something of a bother. I walked to Starbucks and took off bothcoats befor ordering coffee. I didn’t post a report. There was an email from John Wojowski in England. He said the one University gig wanted both Effect of Dada and Subversive Animation but that the time slot would only allow half of each program. What? Would they ask a musician to play half of a song? I replied I would like to show all of Effect and half of the cartoons and hoped that would be OK. I did say I could take a couple of things out of Dada if he had a splicer. There was an email from Düsseldorf telling me no one could meet me at the station and I should take a taxi to the museum.
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I packed up and left the Starbucks and walked in the sunshine for two blocks directly to the down escalator into the train station. At the press and book store I bought the Trib. Walking straight ahead I came to Gleis 6 and went up the stairs to find my train waiting for me. I walked the wrong way and came to the end without finding first class. I walked the other way and when I heard the whistle I had still not came to the Bistro car. I chanced walking one more car length on the platform and then climbed aboard. Walking through cars I finally smelled cooking, passed the dining tables, walked through the first first class car, and at the end of the second found an empty compartment with no reservations listed. As I entered the compartment the train began to move.
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Traveling without a wristwatch or a telephone I am sure is unusual. Knowing what time it is helps being on time for appointments. I’d been on the train for a while when I wondered what the time was. My ticket had been checked by both a Swiss conductor and later a German conductor, I had finished the Thursday crossword (hampered by my lack of knowledge of much of what has happened in my lifetime of not watching much TV or listening to modern music, Thursdays usually stump me) because the theme was baseball and music. One clue was the name of a pitcher on last season’s World Series Champion San Francisco Giants team and also the name of the singer of Help Me Rhonda. That of course would be Brian Wilson. Other names were Kenny Rogers (NY Yankees pitcher, Eddie Fisher (1966 Baltimore Orioles pitcher), and Dave Stewart (1989 Oakland Athletics pitcher). As we were were coming into the station of Freiburg I looked in the 1hr reiseplan and saw from the schedule that it was one in the afternoon. If I stayed on this train to the end of the line I would be Berlin at 7:37. Instead I will change at Mannheim in a little more than an hour. Instead of going to the Bistro car for a snack I will wait and get something in the Mannheim station between trains. The train I get there will take me directly to Düsseldorf.
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At Karlsruhe a man and woman came into the car. He was my age and his wife was younger. We got in to a conversation and talked about movies. The man was British but now lived in Germany. His wife didn’t say much so I’m not sure where she was from. They seemed to be very well traveled. He mentioned that they had recently been in Las Vegas and also mentioned being in Toronto and Florida. They said they made a mistake going to Las Vegas in August and the heat was just un-bearable. He said, with his wife making sympathetic sounds, that they had literally run from hotel to air conditioned car or vice versa and hardly spent a minute out doors. Just taking a walk was out of the question. They were just going to Mannheim where they would get a train to Frankfurt.
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At Mannheim my next train was just across the platform. I went down the stairs and to a station store where I got a Magnum ice cream bar. Back at the train I found two first class cars at the very front. Both were crowded. I left the heavy bag in the doorway area and went looking. I hung my coat near an empty pair of seats and put down the two small bags. I then notice that the both seats were reserved from Mannheim to Koln. Right then the rightful owners of the seats arrived. I found a curious seating area that was half of the engine. It was a quiet zone with just four rows of seats and oversize windows It also had no overhead racks for bags. I put the big bag in the overhead rack in the main cabin. I took an aisle seat next to a business man. There was a very cloying smell of perfume, I assumed coming from one of two women across the aisle. Too bad there were not artificial scent free cars in addition to the quiet zone cars. My chair was one behind the front row. In front of that was a glass wall and door that separated us from the engineer. Above him was a glass ceiling. With all of the glass and being right in the front I could get much better appreciation of just how fast these trains go. Out in the country I’d guess this one got up to 130 mph. In the car ends there is usually a place that lists the trains speed. I have the listed speed on German trains go over 200 kilometers per hour. I believe the TGV trains in France go even faster. That is why when I missed a connection two years ago in Lyon on the way to Limoges, both in the south of France, I was routed through Paris to get there and got their in time for my gig.

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The free snack was again Knusper Kugeln. The train pulled head first into Koln but backed out. After that instead of rushing into the future we were leaving it behind. At Koln an old woman with unnaturally red hair left the car and took most of the cloying perfume with her, still leaving memory of it to remind people where she had been.

At Düsseldorf I walked to the posted map in the big hall, exactly the same one I had looked at last fall, and then walked to the museum. It did seem a longer walk, but last fall I was not burdened with all my possessions. There I met Mathius, the second in the command at the museum, and Florian who had booked me. I gave Florian the two reels of films and then took a taxi to my hotel. It was a small place like so many that I have stayed at in various German towns. It did have candy in a bowl at the counter which had caramels in it. Yumm! I dumped my stuff in my room and then walked back to the Museum. The walk was along the Rhine river and took about fifteen minutes. It was nice just walking unencumbered on a warm day.

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Florian and I had dinner at a Lebanese place around the corner from the museum. It was on a walking street of restaurants. Florian told me that around the corner was the longest bar in the world. Wow, maybe I’ll drop in on the way home after the show. The food was good. I was given an option of rice or French fries. Gosh, that doesn’t sound Lebanese. Being one with the place I had rice. Florian had gotten the job at the film museum right out of college three years earlier. In the summer he would drive around towing a trailer holding a portable 35mm projector to small towns in Germany and show feature films that had not played in their local cinemas.

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Back at the museum it was an hour before showtime. I asked to see the museum. Florian turned on the lights and left me alone. It really is a nice museum. There are rooms full of costumes. There is a room dedicated to Lotte Reininger and puppet animation. There is room holding dozens of projectors of various types and a display of various formats that have been used from 8mm to 70mm, and with both 9.5 and 17.5, formats I have films of in my archive. There is also a room of pre-cinema with Zoetropes and even a Theatre Optique Praxinoscope. I watched an Astaire-Rogers dance on a Mutoscope. It was very nice just being alone with all this stuff.

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I was able to check emails in the museum office. I had neglected telling Volker when I would be arriving in Hamburg the next day. I went to the German Rail site and got the schedule. I told him I would arrive at 15:31 and look for him.

My show was the first of the new calendar. Maybe that is why only three people showed up, a man and two woman, individually. Mathius felt bad for me. I told him I had done hundreds of shows for crowds of one or two. I felt bad for them that the money from ticket sales would not cover what they paid me. I gave a nice introduction to the three customers plus Mathius and Florian. I also spoke at the reel change and at the end of the show. All three customers, Mathius, Florian and the projectionist all very much enjoyed the show.

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I got the films from the projectionist, the payment from the Mathius, and a goodbye from Florian, before walking to the hotel. It was Friday night. I forgot to check out the world’s longest bar. I did pass through many people enjoying the walk along the Rhein and the warm evening. I was passed by a family all on bicycles including small kids, none going very fast. I walked by a group gathered around a guy playing the guitar and singing. I managed not to get lost. In my room I got CNN on the telly. It was opening day for Baseball. I hoped for some sports news. The room had white walls and art prints on the walls. There was a nice print of Picasso’s Three Bathers from 1918. It is of three woman at the beach. One is wearing a purple swimsuit, another a red suit. A third is wearing a striped suit of blue and white and is dancing. It is the sort of print that might bring sweet dreams.

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With Albert Einstein’s Ghost

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March 31

I heard Mani in the kitchen so I decided to get out of bed and be sociable. He was just finishing breakfast which included drinking milk instead of coffee or tea. We made arrangements for dinner together again that evening at six. I got coffee started as he got ready to depart. After he was gone I had the excellent rye bread, the shape of and nearly as dense as a brick, with butter. There was all kinds of news in the Trib left over from yesterday. An item from the Tuesday Science in the Times was about tests that showed athletes are better at crossing busy streets than non athletes but not because of any physical difference in their mien, but because their eyes and brains react to things faster. Heck, any football coach could have told them that. All great running backs have to have speed and strength and agility but what separates the mediocre from the best is vision, specifically peripheral vision. When I was a sophomore in high school we had a senior quarterback, Randy Massie, who had over a half dozen very long broken field runs during the season. The coach, Newt Kier, said Randy had the widest peripheral vision of any his athletes tested. The report also found neither athlete nor non athlete did well crossing busy streets while talking on the phone. The tests were done using virtual streets so those who failed to cross safely were not actually run over.

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Having only the one day report to post I didn’t spend much time on it before grading it as ready and leaving. I went out with just the sport coat and did get lightly rained on. It wasn’t cold. The Starbucks was busier than usual, I suppose because it was earlier in the day or possibly the rain drove people in doors. I asked for a medium cup which offered in a paper cup because there were no clean medium cups. I demurred and was given a big cup not completely full. It was such a big cup holding it in one hand was a little clumsy. I can appreciate how they’d think it insane to ask for a refill with that.

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When I sat down a nice jazz version of of the 40’s song Candy (I call my sugar candy) was playing, led by a tenor sax. Frank Sinatra singing The Summer Wind then came on. That reminded me of hanging out at the Frontier Room in Bell town years ago. Summer Wind was one of the few songs on the Juke Box I’d put a quarter in for.

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Seated in front of me was a woman holding a baby and talking to her friend across the table. Neither of them used their phones. The baby turned to me and gazed intently and smiled. That is a wonderful thing about babies. There is so much immediacy with them. We really could learn from them about living in the moment. When it was time to go the baby really yowled when put in her stroller. The mother spoke to me and I told her I only spoke English but I sure understood the baby’s language.

After using up the allotted time I realized I hadn’t sent Düsseldorf an email telling them when I’d arrive. I also hadn’t remembered to stop by the RR station and get an itinerary for the trip. It was still raining, but just a little. I walked to the station and got the itinerary. I would be leaving at eleven the next morning. That would allow my normal morning and get me there at four in the afternoon. I then went to the cyber cafe and emailed the museum and they got right back to me and said someone would meet me at the station.

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I decided to look for the art museum. I had seen a sign for it on my walk to Starbucks and had a general idea of the direction to go. I hoped to find a street map to narrow it down. Just walking I found several huge and gaudy buildings that could house a museum. One said Gymnasium and another said Casino. A third was a hotel. I walked through the big clock in what must have been part of a city wall a long time ago. A nice thing about this part of the city is that all the sidewalks are set into the buildings and subsequently covered and out of the rain. I went into the big Munster Church. It was from the mid 15th century. It was not as mammoth as the cathedral in Koln but still of good size with a really nice honey comb ceiling design. It also had a lot of stained glass windows. I then went into a smaller church, that seemed even older, but in the foyer could only look through bars at the inside of the church. I suppose the foyer was kept open so people could light candles during off hours.

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I finally found a street map and saw the art museum was practically at the foot of the bridge near the sandstone statue of the man with his dog. I also saw a listing for the Einstein house. I went there. It was a small apartment up a flight of wood spiral stairs. There was a long hallway/foyer from the stair to the sitting room that looked down on the street. Going back in the apartment toward the staircase was a small room that was made up as a nursery followed by the the bedroom in the larger room at the back. Now a museum instead of a place people live the foyer is no longer used and museum entrance is through the bedroom. Albert and his wife Mileva lived in the apartment 1902 to 1909. Only one other person came into the apartment while I was there. After looking around for quite a while and taking some notes I asked the woman at the front desk where the cooking had been done. She said that there was no water in the flat and all cooking and bathing was done in shared common areas below. An apartment above, that they didn’t live in, was also part of the museum. In the bedroom there was now a small auditorium where I watched a video of Einstein’s life. The sitting room had many back lit plastic banners with a history of Einstein’s life. That room had half a dozen people in it. All of that I could probably read on wikepedia, so I left.

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When I finally got to the Kunst Museum it was five o’clock and it had just closed. I walked back to the flat. Mani soon came in and said that there was slot for my washing to be done. He took the clothes down. I offered to help but he refused. Maybe there was a rule against non resident laundry being done. Dinner started with a salad of greens, kohlrabi and roasted pumpkin seeds. Very tasty! The main dish was potatoes baked in cheese with onion and ham That also was very tasty. The red wine was Roare (check that spelling) and very good. Mani said it was a favorite of his and that he had visited the winery in Italy. After dinner there was Grappa, a sort of whiskey made with grapes. That is something I would normally shun, but this seemed a sort of festive occasion, not every days includes a visit to Einstein’s place as well as a six hundred year old church,  so I had a couple.

 

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