Sunday, August 1, 2010

globetrotting: jazz im museum

So you've only slept about two hours and need to kill 8 before getting on a bus to Belgium. The idea of spending your day in museums makes you wonder if you'll stay awake, but the alternate of just wandering the streets suggests you may pass out in exhaustion.

You've arrived on Sunday morning so nothing's open yet anyway, especially because the efficient and modern public transportation connected you from the airport to downtown in a matter of minutes. You decide to wander toward the museums and see what may be an option for you.

First you need a cappuchino and a cherry strudel.

Next you talk to a guy from Indonesia at the Tourist Info spot in the train station. Then you have some Belgians take your photo in front of the giant Euro (yes, the money symbol) in a downtown park. Now, off to find a museum. The closest one you come upon is the Jewish museum. It appears to be closed this morning, so you meander on, crossing the Main River. You've seen some stuff about the German Film Museum, totally up your alley, and there it is ahead. Coated in scaffolding. Lots of signs about the German. Can't really tell if it's open at all.

So you wander through some very nice residential areas of Frankfurt, just off the river. Germans are opening their windows and drinking their coffee. Many, many, many locals peddle by you -- bikes are EVERYWHERE. The city is slowly waking up. You're lost in the neighborhoods, and becoming very self-aware of the clop-clop-clop of your roller bag over the cobblestones.

Time to change course. You right yourself back toward the river and peeking out of the rows of townhomes and apartments, you spot an interesting building that could be a church, school or palace. You walk along the wrought iron gate and spot a stage set up in its sculpture garden and people milling about. Finding the main entrance facing the river, you realize there is some sort of event going on and it seems like everyone in Frankfurt is piling in. You walk to the end of the block and see a sandwich board advertising the 'Jazz im Museum--Summer in the City' series. Deciphering it, you realize there is a concert this morning.

'Jazz?' you timidly ask one of the women at the gate. 'English?'

She points you toward a German brochure, but you can see that the band is a nearly 20 piece group called Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra. There's nothing NOT awesome about that. 12 euro, and includes admission to what you figure out to be the sculpture museum. Sold.

I wait on a bench and the garden fills up. This is THE place to be in Frankfurt on Sunday morning.

The band is everything you'd hope they'd be and more. Apparently their frontman (possibly the bassist) is a riot because all the Germans are laughing. The woman next you guffaws and looks to me to laugh also, you fake laugh. Well.

You learn that Germans don't freak out during a 5 minute drum solo. It's everything you have not to yell 'wooohoooo!'

Not speaking German, when the band clears the stage and several audience members clear out, you figure the show is over and go look at the sculpture collection (taking advantage of having checked your bag there). You're looking at Rococo art and hear horns. Shoot! You dash back out and still catch the last half of the second set. You work your way close up after grabbing a pretzel and mineral water. Standing up front, you jam out, knowing you'll never attend 'Jazz im Museum' again and this has been an incredible way to burn time.

The woman curating this series and MCing the event gives you a huge smile for clearly enjoying yourself. It's probably also an acknowledgement that you're not a local.

1 comment:

  1. What a great example of living in the moment.


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