10 February 2007

Master of Light and Shadow

So there is a part of town that used to be a cloister in the middle ages. More recently, it was the estate of the family of Adolf Cluss, who is best known as the architect of several significant post-civil war buildings in Washington, DC. Now, the buildings on Klostergasse house a variety of shops - there is a musical instrument store right next to a sex shop which is right next to a dance school. In the next few weeks, these buildings will be torn down to make room for a big shopping mall. I don't have a problem with that, it's not like they are tearing down the Cloister or the Cluss house now - both are long gone and replaced by post-war architecture.

But there are two things I will miss. First and foremost is Sharkey's, Heilbronn's "American Bar". Sometimes I just need a good ol' American burger, which is surprisingly hard to find in Germany. No, I don't consider McBurger Donald's King to be an option. I'll miss Sharkey's partly because I can get interesting stuff - like a very unhealthy and gigantic chili cheese burger with a plate of onion rings (proper onion rings are even harder to find in Germany than a properly made bacon cheeseburger). Partly because Sharkey's isn't a giant culture monotonizing chain. Partly because it is just a 5 minute walk from home. Partly because their cole slaw is to die for (and they only gave you a few forkfuls, which makes it even more enticing!). Partly because Sharkey's was the only place in town that I know of that showed the USA's final game of the World Cup last summer. Every other place in town showed another game, because the much more popular Italian team was playing a game at the same time. I understand, there are more Italians and fans of the Italian soccer players here than there are fans of the USA's football team. Sharkey's probably could have had a full house showing the Italy game, but stuck to their "American Bar" name and showed the USA game. Even when it meant upsetting a couple of Australians who were watching the Monte Carlo car race that happened to be simultaneously in progress.

Anyway, enough about Sharkey's. The other thing I will miss after the renovation of Klostergasse is the old Foto-Mangold mural. It is a worn and weathered black & white circle-art that reads "Meister über Licht und Schatten" (Master of light and shadow). I don't know why I like it so much. But I know that every time I go out shooting pictures, I have problems with the light and the shadows. It would be nice to master it. Like Foto-Mangold. I guess I will have to keep working at it until some day, this will be me:


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