My flatmate and I recently took a trip to Leipzig, which along with Berlin and Dresden is one of the three larger cities in eastern Germany.  It’s a beautiful town, with terrific, old churches such as the Thomaskirche, where JS Bach used to work.

Inside thomaskirche in Leipzig

Inside Thomaskirche in Leipzig

We happened to walk into the Thomaskirche during a musical rehearsal, with an orchestra up front and in the rear balcony, a choir in the rear balcony, a women’s choir in the front left, and a couple of solo vocalists up front.  It sounded beautiful; I am sure the concert will be a terrific success.

Not far from the church, we ate lunch at a restaurant called Auerbach’s Kellar, which is prominently mentioned in Faust by Goethe, due to Goethe’s having eaten at the restaurant himself when he was studying in Leipzig. Having been in operation since the 1400s, it is one of the oldest restaurants in Leipzig.

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In recent years, Leipzig has apparently been experiencing an economic boom.  Some here describe it as “Berlin 20 years ago.” Yet despite the boom, crumbling East Germany-era buildings remain throughout the town. This one struck me as particularly conspicuous because it’s huge, blocked off with fences, and only two blocks (or so) from Leipzig’s main train station. The owners appear to have done the only thing they could with the property, condemned as it appears to be — they turned it into a billboard:

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