Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas too all.  We started our way off at breakfast and then we walked over to the Jewish Museum in Berlin.  While we walked over there we took in the architecture.  We saw the where the Standard Hotel was obviously conceptualized from.  Could have been standing on Washington Street.  Also, we saw PS 234 which is a Kindergarten school right by the Jewish museum.  Pretty amazing how they were both duplicates of what we have in NYC.  Who built them first?

I rarely get the headphones although I know I should and today I did.  It is probably the best way to see the museum otherwise it is tough to really take it in. The recording is on an iphone which they supply for you and you can easily skip around which is a good thing.  The museum is a bit overwhelming.  In DC, there is the Holocaust museum, which I have been to, and is a completely different museum than the Jewish Museum in Berlin.  The Jewish Museum is literally a history museum of the Jews.  It is fantastic.  The curators start you off in the middle ages and end sometime 80's.  The basic values of Judaism has remained constant.  There were always people who only wanted to show up for the High Holiday services twice a year and that was it but there was always a desire to keep tradition.  Tradition could be from being educated to marrying other Jews and to celebrate the holidays in your own way.  My favorite part of the tape was when the museum describes the kosher laws.  The curator says that there are a hundred different laws to observe but there are a million reasons not to.  As much as I know about being Jewish, the scientists, the entrepreneurs and just the sheer amount of Jews who were the beginnings of discoveries and professions is mind boggling.  I didn't realize.  There is one guy after WWI was pushing for embracing any sexuality (homosexuality mostly) and letting people be who they wanted to be.  He was basically pushing for Prop 8 that just got voted down in California.  Way before his time. This is a museum that is not to be missed.  This picture is of some yarmulkes featured. 

Xmas mtk
After we went over to the Neu Gallerie.  A glass box structure is the first floor and the second floor is underground.  A very cool structure by Mies de Van der Rohe.  There was not a permanent exhibit today just two special exhibits.  Jeff Koons and Paul Klee.  Klee was the entire downstairs.  The largest Klee exhibit I have ever seen.  Also, a lot of later work that I had never seen.  He was such a prolific artist.  Unfortunately, everyone was a bit burnt after the Jewish Museum and to really take it all in, you needed to be there awhile.  So we breezed through and went over to the Xmas markets near the hotel.

The Xmas markets actually charge you a slight fee to go in which creates a very different vibe inside than just a random walk by stall.  It isRaclette
like a big party.  Lots to taste and eat and drink….and a little bit of shopping too.  There was a band of elderly men who played and sang classic German Xmas music which really added to the whole experience.  We had some brown bread that was shaped like a pizza with cheese and sausage over it, another bockwurst, a raclette which is smoked ham and intense Gruyere cheese melted together, and a phenomenal lentil soup with smoked pork chops cut up with potatoes and veggies.  It was much more fun making our way through out the market and tasting the local wares.  Here is Josh talking to the raclette booth and telling him where he is from and he has eaten raclette on the slopes in Aspen, Colorado. 

Good day.  Cold, cultural and tasty. 

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