I Love Germany So Much
I just went on a long trip to Germany, where I lived for a while at some point in the aughts, though I can’t remember when exactly. The scene in Berlin was wild back then.
This time I came back to give some readings for my favorite watch manufacturer Nomos (I own like four Nomoses at this point).
First, I hung out in Berlin for a while and ate some amazing food with mein friends. No Bananas is one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in a while, it’s Turkish, sort of, but really just insane. This is the tenderest octopus I’ve ever met.
The restaurant is in Kreuzberg, and I think I rented an apartment in that nabe in the aughts while also living at the American Academy mansion in Wannsee. It’s such a blur. (I almost wrote “blurb”).
The bar scene after dinner was still wild and enigmatic. Here’s a bar that seemed to only play Sade. I think if I had to flee the US after the 2024 election, Kreuzberg is high up on the list along with Dalkey near Dublin and maybe Montreal if they warm it up a bit.
Then I went to Glashutte near Dresden where Nomos is found along with other manufacturers such as A. Lange & Sohne. One of the highlights was assembling a watch movement. It’s super hard — look at the tiny screws you have to screw into the three-quarter plate with a little screwdriver! I mangled some of the screws and gave the plate some nasty scratches, but I think the key is not to be drunk while you’re doing this.
Oh, and I went to the German Watch Museum in Glashutte and discovered an amazing and extinct pocket watchmaker even I had never heard of called Julius Assman, a pioneer of the watch industry. Just look at the amazing work this Assman made.
And then it was time to leave and visit a dear friend in a city that has since become one of my favorites and to which I think all MFA graduates should flee to when they’re done learning how to write. And that city is…