Friday, December 19, 2014

Düsseldorf trip, day 2

We wanted to fill our our second day in Düsseldorf with art. We started with a visit to the K20 Art Museum, which houses works by 20th century masters, including Picasso, members of the Munich Secession, the Blaue Reiter, and so on. Admission was a bit steep at 12 euros but we thoroughly enjoyed the art. 

Following the K20 visit, we had every intention of attending a really cool art market with djs. Unfortunately, we didn't note which district housed the address and the two places we visited were nowhere near where we needed to be. We ended up at the far edge of the local trains and then gave up.

We decided that it was time to head back to get the car, eat some lunch, then head home with a slight detour to Cologne. For lunch, we made a stop to Jade Vegatarische Küche, a vegan and vegetarian Chinese restaurant near the hotel. We enjoyed an inexpensive, filling, and vegan lunch.

After lunch we hopped into the car and made a quick journey to Cologne. I visited the city last year with my cousins and we enjoyed ourselves. However, we only saw about three of the seven Christmas markets. One market was especially curious; it was the gay and lesbian market. Though I'm not part of that community, I was extremely nosy and wanted to know what it would be like. Would there be naughty ornaments? Strangely shaped foods? Lots of sparkly things? I honestly had no idea what to expect so of course I had to find out.

C. and I wandered over after driving around the block several frustrating times while trying to enter the parking garage. The market was similar to most other Christmas markets but there were indeed shiny/sparkly decorations and some naughty chocolates and lebkuchen with very saucy things written on them. There was a booth of men's underoos and a booth with some mermen ornaments, which I thought were pretty cool; if I had a Christmas tree, I probably would have bought one.

The underwear booth! See the shiny decorations to the right?
We were delighted to learn that we were in time for a men's talent show hosted by drag queens. The show was fantastic and we thought that the guys were adorable. The whole show had such a local feeling to it; I wondered if the guys had been talked into competing by their friends. They had to showcase their talents. One guy made snowmen as a fundraiser and another guy did yoga. That totally cracked me up because it's not what I would think of as traditional talent show offerings. See where it felt like they were talked into competing by their friends? The winner lip synced and danced to Beyonce with one of the drag queens as his dance partner, which the crowd enthusiastically received. The whole thing was fantastic! C. and I decided that it was totally worth the trip.

As we headed home, we reflected on our trip and our impressions on Düsseldorf. Though we enjoyed ourselves and were glad that we checked out a new city, we weren't super impressed with Düsseldorf. It just felt kind of...soulless, perhaps. It had been bombed heavily during the war and it seemed to have a lot of ugly post-war buildings. The whole city is great for those who want to shop, but...well, it feels a bit like Mannheim in a very commercial sense (without Mannheim's great music scene). Most cities have some sort of pulse and we just couldn't connect with Düsseldorf's.

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