Munich in English - selected by independent Locals for Cosmopolitans, Newcomers and Residents - since 1989

back to overview

July 2004

Signing Off

MUNICH FOUND'S managing editor bids you a fond farewell

“Never can say goodbye …,” sang Gloria Gaynor soulfully in 1988 and right now I know just how she felt. After two years as managing editor of MUNICH FOUND I’m moving on this summer to work at another publication and, though as I write we are just beginning work on the July/August 2004 issue, I’m already feeling nostalgic. There have been many wonderful and entertaining moments in the last two years, some perhaps more entertaining with hindsight, but none to be missed. For the October 2002 issue of the magazine we decided to dress up the statue of Elise Aulinger at the Viktualienmarkt as a witch. Not so easy: the good burghers of Munich, it turns out, are very much attached to their statuary and watched our activities with ill-disguised suspicion. “Denkmalverschändelung” (desecration of a monument), shouted one incensed shopper and a few minutes later a police car cruised past, the officers watching us through narrowed eyes—I waited nervously for a court summons through October, though thankfully nothing arrived. On another occasion our attempts to take pictures of one of Munich’s better-known cultural institutions were hamstrung by the exorbitant fees demanded by the proprietors. This, by the way, is common practice around the city and the sums demanded bear no relationship to the (little) work involved for these establishments or the free publicity they receive as a result. As our deadline loomed frantic phone calls were made to the press office of the establishment, but they remained implacable. “Rules are rules,” we were reminded and fees could not be waived even for a small publication like ours. Friday afternoon, slumped over my computer, the situation looked hopeless—and then the phone rang. “I shouldn’t be telling you this,” said a nervous male voice, “it’s more than my job’s worth, but if you photograph the building from just beyond the entrance, there’s nothing the proprietors can do. Have a nice weekend.”

In fact, it is people’s willingness to help that has been one of the highlights of working at MUNICH FOUND. There are stuffy bureaucrats and condescending publicity agents the world over, but on the whole I have come across more help than hindrance in this job. “Would you be kind enough to read this text and check that the facts are correct?” I’ve asked countless academics, historians, legal experts and even doctors. Often they will never have heard of our publication and certainly not be accustomed to correcting texts in English, but they have been unfailingly polite and, on occasion, their corrections have saved us from considerable embarrassment.

Although I’ve enjoyed working on most of the texts that have passed through my hands in the last two years, some inevitably have become favorites. Our profile of Wolfgang Robinow (October 2002), the first American soldier to arrive at Marienplatz in 1945, still living in Munich and going strong 60 years later, was inspirational. Last month’s feature on fashion and accessory designers from around Munich showed just what a hotbed of talent this city really is. In the end what I will miss the most is the ambience of the MUNICH FOUND offices. The view from my desk must be one of the nicest in the city: beyond the red geraniums in my window box lies the Isar River and beyond that the buildings of the Deutsches Museum. The desk itself is littered with tea cups, bags of salt-and-vinegar crisps and packets of Maltesers from the Museum Lichtspiele Cinema across the street. And above all I’ve enjoyed working with my colleagues, every one a trooper in the battle to get our magazine onto the newsstands on time every month. Thank you. Now all that remains is for me to wish my successor, Jill Henne, the very best for her start in September.

tell a friend