Have walked by this statue countless times, normally at night, and never paid much attention to who it was.
Sure enough it’s Goethe. Who?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. You know him, right?
I associate him with Weimar. I’ve written about him elsewhere, and I’m sure I could riff on him here if I put my mind to it.
But here in Munich? There is a Goethe Platz, but this statue is nowhere near that. And Goethe Straße cuts right through the Bahnhofviertel (train station quarter)…so there are things here named after the guy, but why his statue looking over this little park right off of Sonnenstraße?
Wonder what the old guy would have thought were he actually looking down upon the park on this unseasonably warm day in Munich.
There were a few people sleeping rough in the middle of the day. That was less than inspiring.
One or two suits were taking a break from their nearby office jobs.
And the most curious thing on display at the feet of Uncle Johann? There was a barber offering free shaves to the homeless. No, I’m not making this up.
I watched him saunter up to a park bench full of ne’er-do-wells and he politely introduced himself as a professional of the hair cutting arts. The disdain that they’d first greeted him with quickly disappeared.
Without hearing their exact words, one ragamuffin spoke for the whole bench. ‘Let me get this straight,’ his body language communicated. ‘You want to give each of us a shave? Free of charge? Just out of the kindness of your heart?’
That was it.
No tricks. No bait and switch.
What only a short time before had been a motley crew was oddly transformed. I imagined Goethe smiling wryly as I walked away from his dapper collection of well trimmed bums.
Ah, THOSE kind of bums!