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December 1995

A 1995 Munich Alphabet

A trip down MunichFound's memory road in 1995

A is for Austria, which, at Deutschland's back door, Shares its language and mountains, but-both claim-not much more. This land of music and pastry had the Book Fair's spotlight Which shone on the rise of its political right. B is for BahnCard, which, bought at the station, Entitles the bearer to cheap transportation, And paying for tickets has gotten much easier Now that DB's joined forces with credit card Visa. (May, August) C Cover Contest: with talent and wit, Some 45 readers responded to it. "We'll offend the Bavarians," was publisher's fear, Printing winning submission: King Ludwig and beer. (June) D KZ Dachau, a monument ghast- ly to the darker side of Bavaria's past. 50 years have gone by since it ended, and yet "Never again," to some locals, means they'd rather forget. (April) E is for Eis. While there seems a profusion Of Eis vendors in Munich, let there be no confusion: Though Häagen-Dazs closing made some Amis weep, For Münchner, Eis must be Italian and cheap. (July) F is for Football-and those who don't know That DSF's showing this year's Super Bowl Are probably British, and prefer to see The antics of "soccer" team Bayern (FC). (Feb., Nov.) G is for Garbage: once, we didn't think, And threw our refuse in a pail 'neath the sink. But now, with recycling, we're drawing up plans For a kitchen that's big enough for five separate cans. (March) H is for Handy; it may raise a groan, But this was the year of the cellular phone In all shapes, sizes, colors-one company's line Was a fake one, in plastic, for 12.99. (November) I , Internet: all 'Net surfers can tell MUNICH FOUND can be found on the Web now as well. But print journalists, take heart; for the Web's info glut Makes you long to read something with covers that shut. (July, October) J is for Jogging-if you need some distraction While engaged in this notably uncomfortable action, MF suggests Westpark. You can always go on To circle town and block traffic in the May marathon. (April, May) K is for Kunstbau, a new art show venue Where underground art is the fare on the menu. What it shows, to be sure, is more staid than outré, But it's housed in a tunnel of the U2 subway. L , Ludwig II, turned 150 this year. And Bavarians still find him nifty. He went mad as a hatter, sold out to the Reich, and went bankrupt on castles-so what's not to like? (Feb., June, August) M , MTV, is in slightly bad odor Since it's only accessible with satellite decoder. (Aug.) N , Narrenfreiheit, once an informal rule That, no matter what jester said, king must keep cool. This "fool's freedom" today's shown through Fasching disguise, Or the license for women to cut off men's ties. (Feb.) O is for Opera: opera haters, take heart, For you too can enjoy now this much-maligned art. If a theater evening seems unrelieved tedium, There are always Three Tenors in Olympic Stadium. (March, Nov.) P , Pinakothek. There's an Old and a New, and now plans have been made for a Modern one, too. But one's closed, one's unbuilt, and one's crowded-zum Glück We can still look at art bei Herren Lenbach and Stuck. Q is for Quiz Show, R. Redford's last movie, Which our critic described as more thoughtful than groovy; Yet the reason it flopped in the States may have been That its heartthrob director was never on-screen. (Feb.) R , R.E.M., the grunge band which in Munich didn't show, Due to the drummer's serious health blow. (March) S is for Shopping-and need you ask why? Just read our ad index-and buy, buy, buy, buy! (An American magazine, we're geared to consumers But can still treat this fact with some measure of humor.) T is for Teddy, though few English would say That our T-bear, or Pooh, was a deutsch émigré. (October) U is for Umwelt, of increasing concern Throughout the whole planet. Wherever you turn The forests are dying, the chimneys are smoking, And politicians are fudging: no matter for joking. V is for Voinovich-not Vlad the Impaler But a masterful Munich-based Soviet Erzähler. His satires of Russia as likely to worsen Led the then-KGB to name him an unperson. (Feb.) W , Walking Man, Borofsky's white giant Whose arrival in town proved the Stadtrat is pliant- No, it's just civic pride; Bayern has outdone Hessen: Ours is bigger than the one at the Frankfurter Messe. (March, October) X is for Xerox, for which, out of the way The Muscovite Koslov was seeking one day When he chanced on some papers and learned with a start That the Russians were sitting on millions in art. (Nov.) Y is Youth Library (that's "International") Going strong in Pasing, and housed in a castle, Finding ways to encourage young spirits to flower From high-level exhibits to English Story Hour. Z is for Zürs or the German Zugspitze: For skiers and tourists, two sure-fire hits. (Feb., October) And that's that We've made it. And thus one more year To conclude with best wishes for holiday cheer, Made poignant, in this Year of Grace '95 By our very good fortune in having survived. This year has been sobering, not to say shaking Was it French atom bombs that have set the earth quaking?): While the seacoasts were battered with merciless typhoons, Bombs left the Métro and Oklahoma City in ruins. One takes refuge in truisms, and utters again- But devoutly-Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men.

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