Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fighting The Christmas Blues With Lots Of Old Junk

When I was a kid, my dad had some sort of grad student position at this weird institute at the University of Arizona. Sometimes we went with him to work. I remember a lot of big gray machines with colorful wires, metal shelves filled with iron pyrate (i.e. Fool's Gold), an old tank from Vietnam and a vat of liquid nitrogen. If we begged him hard enough, he would put some object into the liquid nitrogen; a piece of plastic pipe or, one time, even a rose; and then show us how it had turned to ice.

My brother was crazy about going to my dad's work but, although I liked it too, I remember getting bored pretty quickly. Somehow I had the feeling it was more for boys. Plus, I started having nightmares that my hand got dipped into liquid nitrogen and then melted. Because of this, his job (and science in general) didn't really win any brownie points with me.

I think it was these memories that stopped me from going to the Deutsches Technikmuseum for so long. I'm always looking for ways to escape the mommydom drone of playgrounds and ice cream parlors and the museum is actually within walking distance (well, sort of...) from our apartment but, I don't know. A technical museum? The place had too much of a whiff of boys and dirty socks. If someone had told me it's actually Ye Olde Junk Shoppe, I would have gone a lot sooner.

We went today and found lots of old machines and phonographs and televisions and printing presses. Cool, decrepit vintage treasures that the girls-all three of us- really got into (the picture above this one shows Lilly a few seconds before she got chewed out by the security guard because she just couldn't resist those oh-so-shiny typewriter buttons....)

The building is also really amazing; the old part is all red brick with warm wooden floors and antique, hand-painted signs. From what I could gather, it used to be a gigantic stable for a large part of the city's horses. Apparently there is also a windmill and giant park, though we'll have to wait til spring to check that part out.

They also had a lot of dioramas. Dioramas. Why did they ever fall out of fashion? Even the name is cool. Speaking of which, I have this one for sale in my shop right now. Hope to find more later. Mia definitely agrees with me on this one. She told me she thinks all museums should have some of those little houses.

We ended the day with two greasy schnitzels at the museum's restaurant. Nothing like deep fried pork and crinkle fries on a foggy Christmas Eve Eve. Santa would be proud I think.

Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you survived the holiday stress and are going to take it nice and easy wherever you are. See you again Zwischen den Jahren (the German saying for the time between Christmas and New Year's, literally "Between the years.") :)


petoskystone said...

this fb page is for a documentary that utilizes dioramas to help solve murders: i like dioramas, also. & old, wooden floors honey in color. enjoy your holidays...

Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

Now that looks like a fun museum to visit! Are German security guards more frightening than their American counterparts, I wonder? I once got yelled at for taking a photograph in the Vatican museum; that was pretty scary. Love the diorama in your shop!

Merry Christmas and happiest of holidays to you and yours! I'm glad I found your blog this year--it's one of my favorites.

Schaufensterbabe said...

Thanks for the tip on the diorama page. I'll have to check that out. German security guards are definitely more scary (they put the "s" in stern) though this one also seemed a bit bored. She had already been planning with it for a bit before he remembered "Oh yeah, it's my job to scold her."

Merry Christmas and thanks! I really enjoy (and appreciate) both of your comments. :)


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