This new city of mine and I have a tempestuous relationship. As much as I want to like it here, the phrase “Munich, I love you but you’re bringing me down” has been more of a mantra than I care to admit.
I tend to like places, cities especially. I have the biggest rock-star crush on New York, we all know the District of Columbia and I are buds, I loved (albeit briefly) Boston and Chicago, and I’m on friendly terms with the Twin Cities. As far as European cities go, Prague and Paris make my heart happy, Amsterdam and Oslo are beautiful, and I would love to spend more time in Berlin, Barcelona, or Madrid. I’ve written before about my love for Münster, and visiting cities like Hamburg, Leipzig, and Dresden made me want to stay longer.
Munich, on the other hand? I wasn’t the biggest fan when I visited two years ago, but I came into this year determined to fall in love with this city, in all its southern, Bavarian, pretzel-eating, helles-drinking, dialect-speaking glory. This is something of which I have constantly been reminding myself as I grumble about rent prices, transportation prices, food prices, etc and try in vain to teleport, apparate, fly, anything towards anywhere in Germany but Bavaria.
However, in a now concentrated effort to like this new city, here are five things I like about Munich:
1) The Coffee Bean on Amalienstraße This place offers the trifecta of free water, bathrooms, and wi-fi that is so hard to find Germany. As a bonus, it’s right down the street from where two of my classes are held, and I have deemed that it is at this place that I shall become a regular customer.
2) The main building of the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität. This building was one of the places I was most excited to see upon arrival in Munich, and it’s where one of my lectures is held. If you recognize this building, it’s probably due to its affiliation with the White Rose resistance movement during WWII. I can’t help but think of Hans and Sophie Scholl and the rest of the movement every time I step into the building, and I am grateful for the chance to get to live in, study, and know modern Germany.
3) Bike Lanes I haven’t been biking nearly as much here as I would like, because it takes an hour to get from my house to the University and I try to avoid doing that trip in the dark. I do love the biking culture in Germany, and I am pretty much destined to be one of those little old Omas on a bike barking at the kids to get out of the bike lane.
4) My new four mile running route While my hatred of the suburbs is not likely to end anytime soon, the route I’ve been using for my four mile runs is pretty nice. I get to run alongside a nature reserve, under the S-Bahn station, up and over a hill towards the grocery store that is my turnaround point. I miss all of the things to look at whilst running in a city, but it is nice to not have to constantly hop over curbs, avoid clusters of leering homeless men, and stop at every.dang.stoplight during rush hour.
5) Condesa Yes, I am including Mexican food in my list of favorite things about my new German city. I like burritos, and these are cheap, and I’m counting anything positive about this city as a win. Level three spice, bitte.
Also, Ludwigstraße sometimes looks like this:
In other news, I voted today! You should too. End of PSA.