Some interesting developments around here which'll have to wait until around the end of the week to be revealed (mais, hélas, pas des nouvelles de France), but a couple of things in the meanwhile.
* * *
First bit of news is that yesterday, the New York Times actually published an (almost) accurate, well-informed article about Berlin. As the author notes, he did some growing up here, so he's not just another ignoramus flying in and hitting a few hot-spots and crowing about the hip! edgy! Berlin. He's somehow moved Tacheles to Prenzlauer Berg, but I wonder how the representation of Berlin in New York is going to square with that show at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, which I still haven't seen. I have a feeling they've done more than just move Tacheles up the hill, so to speak...
* * *
A bunch of you may have gotten invitations from me to join Shelfari, a new online community/social networking site devoted to reading. A whole bunch of you, in fact. I apparently sent out about a thousand invites to all my "friends" in my gmail address book. I'm happy to say I'm not the only one, since this poor guy got caught before I did and wrote a nicely humorous piece about it.
What's even worse is that at least 50 of these people have accepted "my" invitation, and Shelfari makes it almost impossible to figure out who they are. Very few of them are people I correspond with regularly -- or even remember. It doesn't help that I get an e-mail from Shelfari headed "Bill F has accepted your invitation," because that's how people are listed there. Bill F? The worst was Park S, which has me awake at night fearing that I've befriended the entire population of Park Slope, Brooklyn.
At any rate, if you got one of these, and if you decide to join, please read that article before you start inviting folks to join you. A very poorly designed website.
* * *
Speaking of books, though, I've added a widget to this page (it's way down there) that has the perhaps incomprehensible for some of you word Wunchzettel on it. This is my Amazon.de wish list, added just in time for my birthday on Friday and, of course, Christmas coming up. It's as much recommendations for books I haven't read as a wish-list, though. And yeah, a lot of cookbooks up there. Because, among other things, Christmas is a rather festive season in these parts, and I wind up doing a bunch of cooking for people. And, of course, myself.
* * *
Finally, speaking of food, not catering my next party (and not just because I'd want to do it myself) will be these folks. Honestly, y'all, learn the lesson of that famous American metal band Das Damen and research the foreign language you're using first.