Tags from Kassel

Customized Solutions’ Winter Hike

wandergruppe

Last week, the Customized Solutions – Systems and Projects Department revived its winter hike tradition. Our hike last year had taken us through the forest to Helsa-Eschenstruth’s Zur Lachshuhnklause inn, so this year we decided to change directions and head south, rather than southeast, within the Kassel area.

the smallest brewery in Hessen

the smallest brewery in Hessen

Together with our co-workers, we hiked to Fuldabrücker Landbrauerei, the smallest brewery in Hessen, while surrounded by gorgeous snowfall and equipped with just the right amount of provisions. Once we reached the brewery, in Dörnhagen, we were able to take pleasure in a merry recapitulation of last year while enjoying plenty of Nikolausbier and a hearty schnitzel. After that, we knew one thing for sure: We would definitely be continuing with the tradition next year! 🙂

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Of Bowling Balls and Mulled Wine

stammtisch

It didn’t take more than a few minutes before we got the ball rolling at our last gathering, in November. Allow me to explain: Once every month, the interns, graduates, bachelor's degree and master's degree students at SMA get together in order to spend a nice evening, get to know each other, and exchange experiences.

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Newcomer@North Hesse

Sektempfang-Newcomer

How do you get to know new people in North Hesse if you don't come from the region yourself but have moved there to begin a new job?

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From Rheas to Mouflon – Meissner Mountain Wildlife Park

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You hear the birds chirping, there's a rustling in the brush and suddenly something quietly and swiftly rushes past you. You take a few more steps – oh no – a large beast stands before you on the forest trail.

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Perfect Timing – Kasseler Musiktage 2012

Musiktage_Kassel

To be honest, up until the last minute I really didn't know which special form of percussive art awaited me this evening. The program read, „Cycle Percussion Berlin,“ with artists Mario Würzebesser, Julius Heise, Raphael Meinhart under the direction of Shengnan Hu.

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Eerily Beautiful– Museum for Sepulchral Culture

sepukralkultur

If you are in the middle of Kassel and suddenly find yourself surrounded my grave stones, you aren’t necessarily in a cemetery. You might just as well be at the Museum for Sepulchral Culture. It is, after all, located not far from City Hall right in the inner city of Kassel, and opened its doors in 1992.

Its exhibits are one of a kind in Germany: the museum deals with embalming, cemeteries and mourning in society. And it quickly becomes clear that dealing with the end of life doesn’t have to be a grotesque affair. From the Middle Ages to today, you can learn a lot about how the German-speaking world dealt with graves, coffins and how they approached death as a society.

henschelgarten

Henschelgarden at the Weinberg

That said, you do need to prepare yourself to view the various rites and customs exhibit, but a visit is really worth it.
The museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00am to 5:00pm (open until 8:00pm on Wednesdays).

By the way, those who have already made their way to the museum should look directly next door in the “Henschelgarten”. From this garden, you have a great view over the Weinberg and out over the southern part of the city.

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Small Talk in the Train or Seeing Kassel Through Different Eyes

kassel_torwache

Saturday morning. A warm, sunny day – perfect for going in to town, checking out the shops, enjoying the post-dOCUMENTA feel of the city and savoring a bagel with cinnamon and sugar at the “Coffee & Bagel Store”. That was my plan when I woke up on Saturday and I got started right away in making it a reality. Dressed lightly, with a flowing dress, shirt and sunglasses, I made my way to the nearest tram stop hearing towards downtown Kassel.

kassel_wilhelmshöher_allee

Look at the Wilhelmshöher Allee.

Dreamily and satisfied, I sat in the tram and was enjoying my day when suddenly, “wow, would ya look at that mansion. How amazing is that?” said a young woman, maybe early twenties, who was sitting across from me with her boyfriend or brother or male friend. By mansion, she meant the Red Cross building which we were just passing. I had to smile, but was just able to catch a glimpse of the “mansion” she was talking about. And yes, she was right that the building is exquisite, with its red facade, the two towers and impressive entry. With its grand park, it really could be mansion. The old mansion of an influential noble and his family. The girl's room in the left tower, the boy's room in the right tower. Finely dressed women in long Baroque dresses and intricately done hair strolling through the grounds, drinking tea…

kassel_ingschule

Engineer schoolof the kassel university.

“What, and that's supposed to be the university?”… Which jolted me out of my dream about the noble family at the Red Cross. The girl across from me was glued to the window watching the school of engineering building go past.

Onward Towards Downtown

Then, „what is that for a cute little thing?“ Me: a cute little thing? What does she mean by that? The girl, with her nose glued to the window pane again (she was starting to leave a mark), was marveling at the Torwache (those of you wondering where this „cute little thing“ is located, it's across from the Hessisches Landesmuseum at Brüder-Grimm-Platz). „She's right, in a way, that it's a cute little thing.“ So small, in fact, that I usually just pass by without even noticing it.

kassel_rathaus

The town hall of kassel.

The tram traveled on towards the next stop, which was City Hall, where things really got going. Her eyes weren't sure where to look first. But this time her boyfriend, or brother or male friend who had remained quiet until now, started getting excited, too. „Look how big! And the golden lion. Look how beautiful the flowers are!“ As if out of a clicheé, there were three Asians (no joke!!!) standing in front of City Hally having their picture taken at the exact moment we arrived. „Oh, let's take a picture, too“ was the last thing I heard from them before they stumbled out of the tram and were gone.

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“What do you mean you like living there?” – Kassel Nordstadt

hurricane

The Kasseler Nordstadt. This is a point over which new residents in Kassel, Kassel natives and Kassel natives with long family histories in the city easily start to disagree about. Some think it's a useless neighborhood while others think it's an area where you can live very well. We'll explore why I belong to the ladder school of thought in this article.

nordstadtpark

So much green in the park.

But first to the facts: in comparison to other areas Nord-Holland, as Nordstadt is officially named, is a socially underprivileged area. About one in four to one in five is unemployed. At the same time, a number of large factories have moved into the area, which have left traces especially in the northernmost sections of Nordstedt. A little further south is the largest school in Kassel, the Elisabeth-Knipping Vocational Training Center. In the southern part is also the Kassel University whose large expansion project will swallow even more space than the current campus already does.

Colorful Neighborhood
grafitti

Graffiti-art at theHall of Fame Liebigstraße

The mix is what makes this neighborhood attractive to me. You notice in the bars, of which there are many, that there is a variety of people here. You can really experience the multicultural flair during big events such as the spring festival at Kulturzentrum Schlachthof or during the late-summer Mind the Gap Festival in Nordstadtpark. There are many good Turkish bakeries, too. Students from all over the world come together to bring the university campus to life. There's a real sense of community in the streets and parks here in summer, the Nordstadtpark is used very often for grilling, especially by students. An active neighborhood in the truest sense of the word. 🙂

My Tips for Going Out

“Café Hurricane” has great food: cakes for a decent price and a nice outdoor area with good breakfasts. The Nordstadtpark and the Kulturzentrum Schlachthof are also directly across the way. It's nice to sit and talk late into the night here.

schlachthof

Art centre Schlachthof

“Café Nordpol”, located just around the corner from the university, has great breakfast. The baguettes are really worth a try.

Concerts and other cultural events routinely take place at the “Kulturzentrum Schlachthof”, as you might guess from the name. Many international and still-undiscovered artists perform here as well.

For those who like to watch soccer, check out the “Bei Ali” bar and döner shop. The owner is a St. Pauli fan and the Nordstadt locals come here to watch league games as well as to eat and drink.

Punk Rock and things in that direction can be heard later at night at “Mutter”. This cult bar/club opens pretty late and stands apart with its inexpensive drink prices and unusual decoration inside.

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After the Lemon, You Are in Eden

baya_central_terasse

A warm summer evening and its sunset. A rooftop terrace, in the distance faint guitar music with melodic singing and in front of me is an “Elderflower Lemonade” – a home-made Elderflower spritzer. I feel like I’m on vacation.
But all this is right in Kassel at Baya Central, a bar on the top floor of a parking garage, across from Capitol on Garde-du-Corps-Straße. After passing levels lemon, strawberry and plum in the parking garage (not sure of exact order but you get the idea), you take the stairs straight to the top. “There’s nothing up here,” I thought but I was pleasantly surprised. Straight ahead, a small hotel with nicely set up double rooms and to the left is the entrance to Baya Central. The walls are gray and spartan, just like the decoration. But the details in this bar are what really make it unique: the huge lounge sofa, art books on small shelves everywhere (fitting to dOCUMENTA), and letters on the wall spelling ’EDEN.’ Or for a different atmosphere, you can step out on the roof terrace, decorated with many plants, comfortable sofas and chairs.

Delicious Refreshments

The menu has an international feel as everything is in English. The menu has an international feel as everything is in English. There are exotic drinks on the menu such as a vodka with ginger beer or rhubarb or home-made Elderflower spritzers. I highly recommend any of the drinks however, on the other hand the breakfast plate which is served all day, is a little disappointing. The prices are reasonable and the view definitely makes them worthwhile.

The nice part about this bar is that the DJ and singer provide live entertainment without preventing you from having a conversation. In fact, the quiet “background music” turns your stay at Baya Central into a mini vacation. The sun sets, it gets a bit cool and I make my way home. As I returned to the lemon level I thought to myself, “I enjoyed a little piece of Eden today, right here in Kassel.”

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Resounding Flash Mob at the ‘Kulturbahnhof’

Flashmob

Kassel Kulturbahnhof, June 10, 2012, 11:30 a.m., music in hand but acting inconspicuous.

This is how you could describe the events at the main train station (Kulturbahnhof) in Kassel. With just a simple website, (http://bit.ly/KmT3on) and a lot of planning from Mike Meinhardt, director of the Knowledge Management department, approximately 100 singers from 10 different choirs came together on Sunday to sing the “C-A-S-S-E-L” song to Documenta visitors in Kassel. Naturally, members of our very own SM A-Capella Choir were there as well.

How Was It Organized?

The idea of putting together a singing flash mob for Documenta came about over a beer following one of “Sound of Joy” choir’s rehearsals in Niestetal.As many of the singers are not on any social media website, the organization happened primarily by simply speaking to singers face-to-face or via email.

What Were the Biggest Challenges?

The 4-part choir work was written especially for this project. The text dealt specifically with Documenta and there were no copyright issues to fuss with. Before the event, we had a meeting and rehearsal with all participants (highly unusual for a flash mob) because performing a new 4-part choir work without rehearsing is next to impossible.
Summary: a flash mob for Kassel: Documenta 13 got off to a resounding start.
Those interested in seeing/hearing what this event was like can take a look at our video. Have fun!

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Adventure Abroad: Spanish Colleagues in Extended Exam

teamwork_test

Making your way through the SMA Production hall these days, you’ll hear an unusually high percentage of Spanish being spoken. That’s because of Iñigo and Belay. These newly minted electricians are currently doing an internship with us. I wanted to find out more about them, so I met up with the two and their translator/adviser, Juan-José Martinez Lopez.

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A Little Piece of France in the heart of Kassel

mistral kassel

’Quaint, cozy, French’ is how I would describe the Mistral restaurant in Kassel. Those looking for a good steak and a nice glass of wine will fit right in at this small bistro located in Kassel’s Wehlheiden. When entering the eatery, you’ll feel as though you’ve been whisked back to your last vacation in the south of France. Countless little souvenirs from the south of France bejewel the space as friendly waiters see to your needs. Whether it’s lamb, fish, pasta, beef or crêpes, many high-quality dishes can be found on the menu – which changes seasonally. Something for everyone In addition, there is an extensive wine list to choose from.

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