Saturday, December 28, 2019

A December Stroll

For the past week the weather here in Ohio has been abnormally mild.  A couple days ago the temperature reached a spring like 68 degrees.  While I was in Columbus to visit family at Christmas, we took a stroll through Schiller Park in the city's historic German Village neighborhood.

German Village is an area directly to the south of downtown Columbus. It was settled by German immigrants in the mid-nineteenth century.  By the mid-twentieth century the neighborhood had fallen into decline, and the city planned to demolish the slum.  A group of citizens gathered to save the area's historic architecture, and formed the German Village Society.  More than 1600 buildings have been preserved, and it is the largest privately funded historic district in the country.  It is now one of the city's most picturesque (and expensive) neighborhoods and its unique shops and restaurants are one of the main tourist draws in Columbus. 

The area is filled with beautiful brick houses.

Schiller Park is named after Friedrich Schiller, the 18th century German poet, philosopher and playwright.  (You are likely to have heard one of his poems...  Beethoven used Schiller's "Ode to Joy" in the finale of his Ninth Symphony.)  The statue of the poet is a recasting of a sculpture that stands in Munich, Germany.

What brought us to Schiller Park on that December afternoon was to see a temporary art installation in the park.  A couple dozen sculptures by Polish artist Jerzy Jotka Kedziora are on display.  What makes his work so intriguing is that wires are strung between trees in the park, and the sculptures, seeming to defy gravity, are balanced on those wires.  They are an amazing work of engineering as well as art.

The exhibit will be in Schiller Park until March.

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