Just a Pretty Little Splash of Color
April 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
Our super neighborly neighbor, Peter, came over for a beer the other night. He has been living and working as a painter in Berlin for almost twenty years (he’s originally from upstate New York or something).
We talked about beer, and kids, and art, and process, and Germany. I told him it has been really hard to attempt conversing in German because of the formalities. We got to talking about the language, particularly, the unyielding language strata of high German versus Bavarian (which is almost a different language) versus Berliner-speak (which you’re really lame to try and pull off unless you are actually from Berlin).
It made me think about the flexibility of American English. No wonder it’s the lingua franca. There are no formal articles to worry about, nothing too precious, no bemoaning of the loss of thee or tis or hitherto. I mean, sure, people can sound pompous when speaking English, but is seems to have more to do with tone (affected accent) than with the language itself. Remember the dialogue in Clueless? They claimed all that SAT vocabulary for their own Valley girl purposes. And it worked.
Anyway, I finally got around to visiting Peter’s studio in Wedding. It’s a big, old, bombed-out warehouse space — no surprise there — and very Old-School artsy. You know how people always say, “I bet this is what Soho looked like in the ’70s.” Well, I bet this is what Soho looked like in the ’70s. Maybe minus the adorable wood-burning stove.