Julia Cameron, the bestselling author of ‘The Artist Way’ defines an ‘Artist Date’ as a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests us: a way to spend quality time with our inner creative self while leaving phones, laptops and our social agendas unattended. We’re extending this concept to include the whole family.
Begin the day with breakfast at 6 a.m. or later in grandma-inspired surroundings (eg., the
furniture, the cutlery and the service) at Kissel in Steinwenden on Moorstrasse 35. Menus are in German, therefore order by color, or keep it simple by choosing “das grosse Frühstück,” or big breakfast, priced at 8.70€ and then ask for copies of “The fine art of German bread.” On your way home, cut flowers between Ramstein and Spesbach, opposite of the produce store Donauer (Spesbacher Strasse 61g). Peonies are priced at 1€ a piece, which you can pay into a machine. Consider walking to the nearby parsley fields and take a peek at the tomatoes in the greenhouse. On the way back, pick up a jar of “Latwerge,” a thick plum jam, at Donauer’s, a favorite with the locals. Think: a still-life of jam and peonies for your kitchen table.
Next Stop: Stefan Rohrer’s sculpture in front of the Pfalzgalerie Museum Kaiserslautern at Museumsplatz. Visit the museum or walk 20 mins to the nearby Galerie Wack on Morlauterer Strasse 80, if you are ready to go minimalistic or constructivist. The art is not always easily accessible, but it is exciting on its own terms. Shows run for two months, and don’t hesitate to ask the gallery owner, Sigrid Wack, for guidance – she’s an exceptional professional. For more information, visit http://www.galerie.de/galerie-wack.
Time for lunch: After a walk through the Japanese Gardens, stop in at The Alcatraz Hotel — a fully functioning prison before 2007. Staff is friendly and will show you a cell room priced at 40€ per night. While the hotel’s website shows cell-guests working on laptops, we were told that the walls are too thick to allow for a Wi-Fi connection. In any case, treat yourself to a meal of authentic Japanese cuisine at AYAME on Morlauterer Strasse 1, a wonderful little restaurant tucked away under the prison cells, sparsely furnished and decorated with only six to eight tables. For more information, visit http://www.ayame-restaurant.de.
Vist the shops: Mango Monkeys, Purple Rice & Popquins: If you care about the environment and love to indulge in conscious, colorful shopping, visit Weltladen in Kaiserslautern’s Old City, one of the 800 Worldshops in Germany where interest in fair trade products continues to grow. Worldshops’ aim is to make trade as direct and fair as possible. The shop is a delight for the senses. The stone-washed roomy canvas bags with a dark purple leather strap are sumptuous. Aleppo Soap, Purple Rice and products with delicious names such as Grand Chocolat Bengali Curry with Pineapple and Pink Pepper all in artful wrappings. When on Steinstrasse, have “kaffee und kuchen,” or coffee and cake, at Kaffeerösterei, the hippest cafe in town. Inquire about their philosophy on sourcing and roasting some of the best coffees available on this planet. If you and your teenager are ready to dive into the German way of experiencing second-hand, spirituality, esoteric and the hippie-culture (eg., incense, tarot-cards, oils and jewelry), explore Ethnico and Dhyan on Richard Wagner near Cafe/Restaurant Benderhof — a favorite with the student crowd.