Saturday, July 7, 2007

Bonn Voyage

Thursday we took a forty-minute tram to Bonn (the onetime capital of West Germany), for a double dose of Seminar Algebraic Geometry, museums, and exploration. We saw many Beethoven landmarks without even trying, as well as two Starbucks on the same block – a little slice of home but, as in Seattle, not much help as geographic markers. Something we deliberately set out to find was the Kunstmuseum, part of Bonn's "Museumsmeile" (oddly named, given what little use Germans have for the mile measurement). At the Kunstmuseum we saw numerous paintings by our beloved Gerhard Richter (who, we read, now resides in Köln?!?), took in a Sadie Benning video, gaped at other-worldly magnifications of insect heads, and skeptically surveyed a John Baldessari commission (dude's spinning his wheels). Later we dined with some algebraic geometers – a few visiting, others researching at Bonn's Max Planck Institute for Mathematics – where we all talked at length on the aggravations of intercontinental air travel, jetsetters that we are. By 10pm we were comfortably settled back at home, and it wasn't even dark yet....

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