July 2010


Oh how I miss Weimar: I lived on Abraham-Lincoln-Straße!

It’s been just over a week since I left Weimar for the last time as a resident. I’m now registered in Berlin (although I have some more paperwork to complete) and have no immediate plans to return to the city of Goethe and Schiller.

I don’t think I am revealing any shocking secrets here, but in keeping with trying to maintain some semblance of privacy, while I posted pictures of my apartment I never said where it was—although when I posted pictures of the accidents it was probably pretty obvious to locals where I lived.

However for the non-locals and people who’d never visited, the really cool think about my apartment in Weimar was that it was on Abraham-Lincoln-Strasse!

When I wrote to the real estate agent, after viewing the apartment the first time, to express interest in renting the apartment, I specifically noted that it would be really cool, as an American, to live on Abraham Lincoln Street!

It’s one of two streets in Weimar named after US Presidents; the other is Washingtonstraße.

Beyond that what I miss about Weimar is the rhythm of seeing and recognizing locals. Here in Berlin I don’t recognize anybody yet—with the exception of the barista at the coffee shop I’m sitting at right now. This is my second trip here so that I can use the internet.

Note on my internet solution: I have it at home. Actually I have it everywhere I am. I went into a nearby T-Punkt shop where I learned I couldn’t get an iPhone 4 before the end of July and that for 20€ a month I could use my iPhone 3G as a modem for my computer, but that I was limited to 3GB a month, or so.

This means that I can surf the web from anywhere, but when it comes time to download large files, I’d rather not do it at home: a 50 MB update to my iPhone dictionary isn’t that big a deal, but if I download enough of these using my iPhone, the 3GB will be gone in no time.

Today at the coffee shop I downloaded 7 podcasts and 5 App updates. Plus I’m uploading lots of photographs to Flickr. This is bandwidth I’d rather not use over my iPhone when I can do it in a nice café with a cup of coffee and somebody else’s bandwidth.

Enough about that: let me talk about some of the people who I already miss seeing.

Not that I ever knew their names, per se, but these are people who I saw on a regular basis and recognized. The people in here might recognize themselves, and if you do, it’s not you. It’s somebody like you—a fictionalized version of you with my own assumptions about your character and nature put into you, which means it isn’t really you after all.

Take, for example, this cute guy who would occasionally take the same train with me from Weimar to Jena. He was seriously cute and sticks out in my mind for two reasons. First, he’s the only person who I’ve ever noticed that regularly uses the toilet on the train. Secondly, he’s cute—and in the morning would regularly wear a mid-weight jacket that provided him some bulk. I found this attractive and worth looking at. Until, one day, I saw him going the other direction, and he wasn’t wearing his jacket. Without his jacket he was a lot thinner and not as attractive. That’s not to say I lost interest, I just wasn’t as interested. That and he had a girlfriend. The cutest guys are always hopelessly straight.

Then there was the redheaded shop assistant who worked at a nearby store. He was there about a year, and then he vanished—but he didn’t move away. The last time I saw him was early one morning when I was on my way to work. He was buying bread at a bakery I passed. I looked in, saw him, and continued to be smitten. I suspect he had something for me, because when he came out of the bakery he had noticed me and was looking for me on the train platform. Unfortunately my transportation pulled in and I left without talking to him. For a city as small as Weimar, it’s frustrating that I didn’t run into him more often.

Naturally I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the double hoodie guy—who was really wrong for me – shorter than me, a smoker, but for some reason incredibly hot. I’d see him maybe once a month—usually in the afternoon at the Weimar train station. I guess he lived in Weimar, or nearby, and went to school in Jena. I think he followed me once, but it was particularly bad timing for me as I had guests coming over shortly after I got home and I didn’t want to be in a compromising situation with a skater-punk. Of course, I was probably imagining that.

Strange: I only remember men right now. There were women in my life: the four excellent baristas at the Café Laden (they know who they are) and my old neighbors from my old house (strange how one moves 3 blocks and one stops seeing the old neighbors).

I’m sure I will have more thoughts about Weimar in time.

Meanwhile it’s hot in Berlin and today there is a World Cup match between Germany and, uh, another team. It’s at 4 this afternoon and I thought I would seek out air-conditioned splendor at the movies, but there’s nothing worth seeing so I will probably stay home and hide out in the safety and security of my temporary apartment.

5 comments to Oh how I miss Weimar: I lived on Abraham-Lincoln-Straße!

  • I’m going to assume you speak German. Why do they use ß instead of the double s?
    Are you actively seeking a permanent apartment?

  • Reko

    I have a sense that Adamo, although he is “da MAN” will not be in a position to answer your question about German orthography. According to the recently reformed standand spelling rules for Germany and Austria, the [s] sound is represented as ß when immediately preceded by a long vowel or a diphthong, and as ss otherwise. The German letter s is generally used to represent the [z] sound, including cases where [z] and [s] alternate in different forms of the same word: Haus [s]/nach Hause [z]. There are a few exceptions, such as the use of s in words like Skat, which is pronounced with an [s] sound, plus all the words that begin with sp- or st- where the letter s represents as “sh” sound as in English shoe.

  • yesterday I drove by both of your old apartements. Unfortunately you didn’t look out the windows to say hello.

  • now that you say it, I did feel a cool breeze while passing by.