Frankfurt Tales of Winter and Spring.

I was born here, well, not exactly here, the back entry of the Alte Oper, Frankfurt’s old opera house, but a little up the street, to the right, at the Bürgerhospital in Frankfurt’s Westend, my playground was Holzhausenpark, the former park of the Holzhausen estate, now open for public, now meaning since 1913, just an eighth of the original extent, a tiny leftover, rather Parc Monceau than Central Park, the Holzhausens, like all patricians of the 1800s, the Astors, Vanderbilts and such, have lost their fortune, and their male heirs, all that remains is their moated Wasserschlösschen, a little water castle from 1729, replacing the old castle from the middle ages, I always wanted to own one alike, a pond surrounding one’s house always seemed so appealing to me as a child, jumping in after breakfast in summer, skating on it in winter, but when I look at it now, it has lost most of its appeal, if I were to pick housing today, I’d choose Neuschwanstein, so wonderfully aloof, but that’s another story, anyway, winter doesn’t do anything for Frankfurt, it’s just cold and grey, one has to flee to a gallery, luckily, the Städel has one of my favourite paintings on display, August Macke’s still life of his children’s toys, here at least, in the rooms with the collection’s French impressionists, you can find some spring, it’s not real, just a mirage, but still, it’s properly done, in oils so vivid you can forget about that winter called spring outside.

The hot days of winter.

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Winter is a tricky season. Outside it’s cold, inside it’s not. It’s a perfect dilemma. You’re never dressed appropiately if you don’t care to carry a suitcase with you at all times of the day which I don’t. I frightfully remember one evening, a frosty winter’s night in Frankfurt. I was visiting my oldest and best friend Miriam and I was taken out to dinner at a Greek restaurant, her neighbours, the consulate general of Australia and her husband joined us, and I had the best dorado of my entire life there, which actually means a lot as I was brought up by a fish enthusiast. I can’t recall what we had for starters but that was when I started to feel hot. Very hot. I was wearing a woolen turtle neck sweater with the thickest turtle neck possible. Yves Saint Laurent, ordered at Mr Porter at the time when Stefano Pilati was still in charge. I might have looked cool in it, but I didn’t feel cool. Just hot. And not in the good way. The wine wasn’t cooling me down either, although I was starting to be thankful that white wine is served cold. I was considering ordering ice cubes with it but Miriam wouldn’t have approved of that. Surely she wanted to come back to that place. The easiest thing would have been to just take it off, but I couldn’t as I was wearing a totally torn t-shirt underneath. Old as dirt. It was hopeless. At dessert I almost fainted, little drops of perspiration dropped from my nose which at least was in top shape, as I had used Moritz’s Clinique For Men Face Scrub in the shower. This was actually the place where this night ended – in the shower. Washing off the woolen fuzz of my fluffy forest greened throat.

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