Friday, August 14, 2009

La Poissonnerie - Michaele, Conrad and Benedikt

La Poissonnerie - a gift for Schwaebisch Gmuend Oberbürgermeister
Richard Arnold


Michaele, Conrad and Benedikt (drinking champagne)

Six years ago I met an incredible man from Schwaebisch Gmuend: Dr. Helmut Gruber-Ballehr. He was the Banana Factory's 'Artist in Residence'. He is brilliant. He is a true linguist, a story teller ... and he's fascinating. Not only smart ... but very clever and humorous ... and he ignited a passion in me to travel to the 'Fatherland' of my family - Germany. So ... I was selected to be the next 'Artist in Residence' in Bethlehem's beautiful Sister-City of Schwaebisch Gmuend. I was invited to stay for 6 weeks. I shipped my exhibition entitled 'the pleasures of life' and the paintings were installed in a beautiful restaurant 'The Stadt Villa'.

Schwaebisch Gmuend is picturesque - to say the least. There are 'half-timbered buildings featuring the upper floors projecting over the lower floors. There are courtyards and market places and fountains and flowers. There are cobblestones and cafes and walkers and bicycle riders. It hustles and bustles ... and there's culture - and lots of it. Schwaebisch Gmuend is a town of festivals featuring: Stadt Fest, European Kirchenmusik, Gmuend Herbst, Mardi Gras with 'Guggamusic' and many more. And there are concerts and plays and music and ballet ... there are wonderful restaurants and outdoor cafes ... there are galleries and museums ... and everybody attends. Everybody. There's not a lot of tv watching in Europe ... and it is the ONE thing that I did not miss at all and I haven't seen a tv show in three months ... and that's fine by me.

So ... this is the beautiful home where Michaele, Conrad and Benedikt live. It's a one minute stroll from the central marketplace. Adjacent to their home is a pretty courtyard and a lovely fountain featuring a sculpture by the German artist Max Seiz.

Sculpture by Max Seiz and fountain. A beautiful gift to the city from
Michaele and Conrad
This is their garden - intimate and lush - with trickling water and pond ...
Michaele and Conrad are artists. Jewelry artists. I do believe that theirs is the most beautiful jewelry that I have ever seen. Their pieces are inventive and perfect. They create pieces inspired by nature ... and they are displayed in beautifully creative windows that Michaele designs and changes each month. You absolutely can NOT pass by without gazing at the treasures lying within.

So ... Michaele ALSO is a great chef. She has taken advantage of participating in cooking 'workshops' in many places in Europe. I'd love to do that someday - to be under the instruction of a great chef, to create mouthwatering dishes, to sip great wine and enjoy people of like-minds. Ok ... for tonight Michaele prepares a plethora of tastes. We start off with a cold cucumber, melon, garlic and chili pepper puree served in a martini glass and topped with a toasted petite baguette spread with tapenade !!!

And then yet another guest of honor. I say this because everyone in the home of Michaele, Conrad and Benedikt is a guest of honor. They prepare with great care for a simple girl from Bethlehem as they would for the new Oberbürgermeister Richard Arnold ... and speaking of the very great new Oberbürgermeister, here is he sitting RIGHT next to me at dinner. How Wunderbar is that !!!! He's very nice, smart, handsome, funny, interesting ... and speaks several languages ... and the very sweet thing about him is that he translated everything that he said in German to me in English. He relates to the 'common' man as well as the 'elite' man. And, if I do say so myself, he is the most incredible Mayor for Schwaebisch Gmuend. I wish we had someone just like him for my hometown.

Oberbürgermeister Richard Arnold et moi !
Ali - Gundi's husband - enjoying a beer in a 'Schlegel' bier glass
Michael's next presentation ... incroyable !!! Oops, I mean 'Wunderbar' !!!

I do so much enjoy this way of eating ... not a huge heavy meal, but several bursts of flavors - a plethora of tastes and textures and smells. And, not to mention healthy !!
Align CenterMe, OB Richard Arnold and our friend Gundi

So toward the end of this marvelous dinner party, I present a small gift to Oberbürgermeister Richard Arnold. It's a painting of the Poissonnerie in Antibes. He was very gracious and mentioned that he would like to place it in the Rathaus ... of course I, by accident, called it the Ratskeller - In Germany, a Ratskeller is a restaurant or tavern in the basement of a city hall specializing in beer tastings. Oops. Of course, being a great and kind man, our new Oberbürgermeister Richard Arnold just laughed and said, yes, you can call the Rathaus the Ratskeller ... that's fine by me.

Like I said ... he's perfect. Prost !!


OLYMPUS AMERICA

1 Comments:

Blogger Jimmy said...

I liked "Sculpture by Max Seiz and fountain".Thats so beautiful..Is that natural..??
And ya..Can I also have champagne plz..?? :-D

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