Saturday, after the usual twenty-seven crises
and forty-two errands,
we decided we had had enough.
And took the car,
drove through the city of Gutenberg
since the bridge across the river near us still isn’t functioning right,
resulting in three-hour traffic jams
(for a twelve-minute trip)
headed across the Roman-built Theodore Heuss bridge,
up the river,
The town described so brilliantly by Dostoyevsky
in The Gambler.
Not that we wanted to gamble.
Except on whether we would get a parking spot or not.
And actually, we did get a spot-
and ended up parked right in front of the White House-
a perfect copy of the US President’s Home,
built for a very homesick daughter of a Brewer from Milwaukee,
who married a German Champagne maker-
moved to Germany,
and then discovered she didn’t like Roulettenburg much.
So he built her a copy of the White House.
(White House Wiesbaden aka Villa Söhnlein)
Right at the Kurpark.
Now that takes guts.
So there we were, finally.
an afternoon off.
Meaning we finally had time to take a long leisurely walk through the Kurpark,
which can easily take several hours, if you:
view the large formal gardens
with swan boats,
and a huge chinese pagoda
for the chinese ducks-
and, yes, much as I hate to say it,
but not cooked, thank heavens-
take in a concert in the park’s famous outside bandshell,
with a small refreshment garden,
and everything from jazz,
to the kind of soppy romantic music
(check out Andre Rieu- an excellent musician, so why does he do this?- on YouTube)
that gives spa concerts their name.
And all of this beautifully kept up by the city,
in order to attract the gamblers,
and, of course,
since about the seventeen hundreds,
the spa guests,
who come to drink the waters-
steaming hot sulphur water
from a circa eighteenth century formal fountain,
with metal cups on chains hanging from the edges.
In our case, though, we wanted something more enervating
formal afternoon tea-
in my case, actually a fantastic salad-
I’ll have to try out some of the ingredients at home,
and formal Assam-Ceylon tea-
hi Pat, at Tea and Tales.
(Actually, my hubby made up for it with a four-layer chocolate-nougat-marzipan cake.
That’s how they do it over here.)
And then it was off to the Staatstheater-
the state of Hessia’s double A class house.
(A double A means they pay the highest civil servant wages to their musicians-
and then add a bit on top to get the best.
They can get by with it, since the House-
Large gold white and red velvet “Large House”
small neat and mostly beautiful wood “Small House”
and “studio”- underneath the others with only a few seats,
and often VERY modernistic and experimental-
has lots of donors,
and takes relatively high ticket-prices for the World Famous May Theatre Festival.
(As students, we had the unbelievable luck to see the Bolshoi Opera company
sing Khovanshchina, (Moussorgsky)
and Furst Igor (Borodin)
(both at student standing seat prices,
since the front seats of a couple of hundred per
were a bit out of our price range),
And now, after waiting a half a year,
we had gathered those most priceless of the priceless tickets-
two seats for a Saturday night performance of
get ready for it-
the JUST (Young State Theatre troupe)
The Addams Family.
What can I say?
It was wonderful,
a real kick.
The “kids” (teens and early twenties)
were very talented,
the choreography very good,
the live band terrific.
And all very well received.
(an over five-minute standing ovation.)
Hit of the evening,
were the two “oldies”-
as Fester and Alice Beinecke,
who hung from rising moons,
danced on tables,
and, in my opinion,
showed what the kids will be like in just a few years.
From John Adams
to Gomez Addams,
the Americans did pretty well for themselves
here in Rouletteburg Saturday.
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