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Love and Munich(SZ)

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From Süddeutsche Zeitung:


By Jenny Buchholz, René Hofmann and David Pfeifer



The heart of the city



More than 440,000 people living alone: Munich is a single metropolis that offers many romantic places. But it is not easy to find great happiness here either.


Love no age, no sex and no place. It can meet people anywhere, anytime. Unexpectedly. On the other hand, finding them can be difficult. And this Munich is a very special place for that.


Anyone new to this city initially feels as if a filter has been put over their eyes. Right in the middle, where the heart of this metropolis beats, everything is so wonderfully beautiful. The pastel-colored houses have stucco and every alley is swept. The people are also dressed up. Well-groomed teeth, colored hairline, in winter they like to wear camel-colored wool coats, in summer leather sandals. 

And then there is the Isar, this wonderful river with its crazy beautiful shores, where people lie as wonderfully relaxed as they like to turn their backs on haste.    

Beyond the office towers and the tightness in the underground and suburban trains, this city is still wonderfully relaxed. There is hardly any agitation in their sunny places, but there is plenty of cozy sitting in the beer garden and well-behaved waiting at the traffic lights on the wide streets, even when there is no car in sight. Everyone knows where he wants to go and everyone knows where he belongs.  

Rike (56) and Abi (60)

Abi came to the emergency aid in Bogenhausen to change the plaster on her foot, where I worked as a nurse. So that the patients relaxed, I always said: "Close your eyes and think about the Maldives." He replied: "That doesn't work, I have to think about you." Eleven months later we got married in the Ludwigskirche. The architecture of Schwabing is also deeply embedded in our relationship 29 years later. The Italian flair, the colorful autumn, Hohenzollernplatz and Barerstraße, where we used to live - we are still happy to be there today.

But that is exactly what makes it difficult for many, not just newcomers, but all singles: that everything has its place. For the seekers there has been Berlin since the wall came down. There, everyone is always on the lookout, so you don't really stand out in the crowds of people who cross the square day and night, their eyes wide and joyful and questioning. But if you search in Munich, you will find above all: people who have already arrived.

It sounds like a grand promise: More than 440,000 people live alone in this city. "Single metropolis" - that sounds like size and cosmopolitanism, a choice without horizon, search, fun, and - of course - sex. But if you really want to know, you will quickly notice: Finding a connection can be tedious in this city, and starting a family. And even the divergence here has its own pitfalls.

Anyone who knows the city in summer knows that it can develop a great, euphoric pull: being outside, being close to the village in the neighborhoods, the will to be in a good mood. An evening spent at Gärtnerplatz, at Monopteros, in the courtyard garden quickly turns into night. 

The magic of the unexperienced can then carry the flirting people into the morning, to a dip in the Eisbach or a coffee in the "Schmalznudel", which is actually called "Café Frischhut".

And then the Oktoberfest season! The sky is often outrageously blue, as the beer rustles and gurgles not only across the Oktoberfest, it seems that the mood for the party is flooding the whole city. There are days full of cotton candy, in which happiness sometimes also helps the brazen.

Sophie and Tim (both 22)

Tim is a friend of my brother, we have known each other for a long time. But we only kissed at the Oktoberfest in the beer tent, where everything is a bit more uninhibited. That was four years ago. We are both Munich Kindl, so there is no other city for us. I am studying in Nuremberg, as soon as I have finished we want to move in together in Munich. The "Munich feeling" can only be found here. We love the Isar, the Oktoberfest, Tim likes the Glockenbachviertel, I like the train attendant Thiel.

It becomes more difficult from autumn when the outside is no longer available. Then everything moves inside, the mediators patrol in front of the clubs, who have to teach the smokers and flirting people to whisper. "If you are alone now, it will stay long": It is as if Rainer Maria Rilke wrote these verses for this time. From 1887 to 1890 he was deeply in love with Munich - the intellectual Lou-Andreas Salomé.

In the 1980s Falco sang the "Munich Girls", in the 1960s Uschi Obermaier was enthusiastic and the young Uschi Glas roamed through Schwabing in "To the Point, Sweetie". This casual basic melody has become quieter. Today, the searchers swipe through dating portals and learn that the number of DAX companies in the city also has an impact here. The density of engineers is depressing, and the self-confidence of many users is often not characterized by inner values, but by a very special, comparatively new Munich status.

Anyone looking for artists' souls on Tinder, LemonSwan, Lumbaro, LoveScout24 or KissNoFrog or just owning a suit that they also wear for weddings, funerals and job interviews will quickly feel lost.

Of course you can be lucky. Suppose you have met someone you can tolerate halfway, who not only shares the hobbies "mountains / winter climbing hall", so if you really have something to tell and sit on a winter-cold Tuesday evening in the restaurant until all the chairs are on Standing tables and still wanting to talk: where then? Munich is inexorable there.

These are precisely the moments when something can happen that cannot be brought to you with a then-just-to-you. Love has to endure so much in the beginning, all the misunderstandings, the misleading associations. Right now you would need the city, the pretext of the nightcap, being among people to slowly feel your way to the person standing in front of you.

In Munich, however, it is not that easy, here dates have to be planned. To the movies? Fine, but after that there is at most currywurst. In the restaurant? You can only do this by looking ahead, you won't get anything without a reservation. Because everyone starts here at the same time to balance their daily work hard with a play hard at the Italian, just like they all storm into the mountains on weekends, to be on the summit on time at twelve and back in the car by five at the latest , No wonder that sunshine jams so reliably in the same places at the same time.

Places where people bring time and leisure? Yes, there are also in Munich: the museums, the Gasteig, the program cinemas. There can also happen what often happens elsewhere - in Vienna, in London, in Melbourne - a spontaneous, interested conversation with strangers, a beginning that has a magic in it.

Esther (41) and Herbert (45)

I saw my wife for the first time at the Munich premiere of the movie “Come closer” by Vanessa Jopp. I took the film title very seriously because I was in the audience and fell in love with her when she presented the director with a bouquet of flowers as a cinema assistant. So I spoke to her - and a few months later she also fell in love with me. We love Munich's proximity to the Alps and nature. That is why one of our favorite places is the northern part of the English Garden, because the hustle and bustle of the city is so far away. 

The very special gastronomy of the Munich inn can also make this possible, although there is another special characteristic of this city that has to be taken into account: the choice of the district is crucial.

In Maxvorstadt, the audience is very different than in Sendling or on Harras. “Slightly streaked by fate, but with an urge to go higher,” is how the Monaco Franze described the clientele there. Of course, it's not quite right anymore, it was a long time ago since the turning point. But it is strange what a big difference the choice of neighborhood can still make in this city that is growing so quickly.

Munich is not only impressively clean, it is also socially tidy. If you are looking for freedom in a confined space, can afford it and like to find someone like you, you will be drawn to the Gärtnerplatzviertel.

Patrik (30) and Florian (40)

After our first cinema date, Flo brought me home. Back then I lived at Sendlinger Tor and we kissed for the first time in front of the ADAC in Sonnenstrasse - that was love, head over heels, even though I had decided that nothing would happen on the first date. That is why we still have to smile when we get past it. Our favorite places are the Friedensengel, the Gärtnerplatz and in winter the Christmas market in Haidhausen.  

Haidhausen may be a wonderful place. But that too can become hell. If you want to move there but want to remain childless, you are trapped: Kindergarten and crèche groups that wiggle over the sidewalks to the playgrounds constantly show you what is missing to achieve the desired happiness.

The real test for most relationships usually comes in this city anyway when two have really found each other. Because to open an affordable, spacious apartment? For a couple? For three? Or even more? This is a problem with the ever increasing rents, which also complicates the love affair in the other direction.

To separate - not only emotionally, but spatially - is not that easy. What. It is almost impossible. No, this shimmering, flickering, stimulating city - it doesn't really make it easy for those looking for it.
















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Quite the manifesto there Davey


Have you heard the Reverend Green?  He preaches love and happiness..







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