During my visit in Nov-Dec, I noticed that someone had finished restoring Johannesstraße 163 and turned it into a mixed-use building: businesses on the ground floor, residences on the upper floors. The sheer massiveness and stateliness of this Renaissance palace caught my eye when I saw it for the first time in 1998. Living in Charleston, SC, has given me an interest in old buildings.

Even in its dilapidated condition, I knew that the building at Johannesstraße 163 had started life as a significant structure. Perhaps it housed royal departments of the Elector of Mainz, or offices of the church-diocese, or else was the architectural fruit of a successful business. The arched entrance suggests horse-drawn carriages entered into an interior courtyard.

Someone in modern times saw inherent significance and spent about a million dollars to bring the glory of it back. Like Charleston, the state (Thüringen) and city (Erfurt) government helped finance the renovation.



                                                                               Just before renovation, ca. 2010                                                                                                                                                                  Interior from right entrance


                                                            The glorious finished-product                                                                                                                                                                             The interior. Note the medieval masonry on the left wall.















September 30, 2022

Rolexes and Wealth

I remember the day my eighth-grade teacher arrived at school wearing his new wrist-watch. We saw this guy for the 180 days of the school-year and knew him pretty well--as well as anyone did. We noticed that, among his other mannerisms, he tended to look often at the watch during class. We thought he was keen to know the time on a regular basis. Now, I believe he was just admiring his new watch.

September 28, 2022

Family-life is not a Democracy

I ran into a problem yesterday when I returned to Germany. On my first evening, I wanted to slake my thirst for German beer, big-time! So I ordered a liter-serving right off the bat; but I knew I also wanted some wine and ordered a carafe of it, as well. Shamefully, I have to admit to not finishing either. I slaked my thirst, but had to leave some of it undrunk. I hate wasting anything, but I had work to do and wanted to operate on all my cylinders.

September 24, 2022

Violence in the Real

This article appeared last July in the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, by the newspaper's expert on hip-hop music, Florentin Schuhmacher. He regards gangsta-rap, and its sub-genre Drill, as a legitimate art-form. He can understand the reservations that law enforcement, parents, and teachers have toward music that glorifies gang-life, describes the rush of killing one's enemies, the pleasure of drugs—as a source of wealth—and demeaning women; but Schumacher also says the police cannot simply censor it. They must distinguish between art and criminal acts, shooings, and robberies.

Lloyd Bowers


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