We did a little more exploring in the park surrounding The Playground Of Death today. It appeared to be some sort of community garden, but set up differently than what I'm used to. Instead of one large space, this one appears to be divided into separate sections that presumably are each tended by individuals and families.
I did a little googling and discovered that these are called allotment gardens (or kleingärten and schrebergärten, here) and the individual lots are leased from the land owner. I love the idea that people living in urban areas are still so connected to natural creation that they seek out a space to tend!
Look how pretty it is!
It seemed like a lot of people were growing flowers and other pretty flora and foliage rather than foods or practical produce. Just for the sake of growing and enjoying the pretty! I love it.
Wandering a little further, we found a veritable zoo of birds in cages.
I thought maybe they were being raised for food, but I don't believe anybody eats these types of birds.
I need to get past this Puritan obsession with productivity and get used to the idea of extraordinary effort solely on behalf of beauty.
Like these! How pretty are these chickens!? I want pants in that pattern.
At one point, we noticed we were being followed. Cue ominous music.
Cute mugger, huh? She was so funny, too. Every time we turned around and paid her any attention, she would look off to the side and start to turn around like oh crap, they spotted their tail.
At this point, I was assuming people must feed the ducks in the park. But, I couldn't make heads or tails of this sign.
I had to ask a friend on Facebook whether this said "please don't feed the ducks, they get fat and bully the fish" or "ducks love bread, go ahead and feed them!". Turns out neither.
It says only to feed them if they can eat it. But, they should not get too much, so they don't get fat. And there should not be bread swimming in the water or laying around.
How awesome is that!? I'm used to signs saying things like "NO SWIMMING" or "EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS". I love a paragraph long explanation with a funny illustration.
In conclusion, this park is so awesome that even the trash cans are happy.
And even more awesome than the park is the food! Everywhere we've gone, the food has been fresh and delicious and significantly more awesome than I would expect given its context. Mall food...? Awesome. With waiters, even! Home improvement store food...? Awesome. Wait, back up you say.
We walked next door to the OBI this evening, which appears to be akin to a Home Depot or Lowe's. There was a bakery inside! Where there would usually be a crapton of shopping carts in an American home improvement store - in the little area between the front doors and the interior doors - there was a bakery! With delicious breads and desserts! And in the parking lot where there would usually be a little truck/cart selling hot dogs in an American home improvement store was a truck selling rotisserie chicken and schnitzel. And the rotisserie chicken was soooo delicious. We think it was probably fresher than what you would typically get as rotisserie chicken in an American supermarket, and that probably explains the extra super delicious factor.
When I worked for the poultry processing plant in North Carolina, we would get two whole chickens as a Christmas gift from the company. These would typically have been killed and processed that day or no more than a few days prior. And the first one you cooked was so amazingly delicious.
All the driving we do in our food system here (example: we killed and cut up chickens in North Carolina that we would truck out to California to be marinated and processed by a further processor that would in turn truck the prepared chicken all over the country - including North Carolina - to be cooked and sold in a certain Chinese restaurant train) guarantees that your food will lose most of its freshness and a lot of its natural flavor. Without that lead time, food is just better. And in a small place, you don't have that lead time. Better!
Technorati tags: Germany, relocation, allotment gardens