A Three-Generation Short Story

Beverly Hills and Pfarrkirchen

My daughter lives in Beverly Hills, California and we share photographs of our respective abodes. I had sent her a recent picture of Spring on the Ringallee in Bavaria and she responded with a similar picture from Beverly Hills. “We have the same here — the Beverly Hills Bridal Path. There are pictures of horses on the path from years ago. Today, it’s one of our favorite dog-walking destinations. Ellie sees all of her dog-friends and each block along Santa Monica Boulevard has a slightly different topography. The one above has lots of small palms. Some have roses, fountains, cacti. The trail runs from one end of Beverly Hills to the other and each end has a large fountain anchoring it.”

Beverly Hills is three times bigger than Pfarrkirchen in population and is only eleven hours and fifteen minutes from Munich, Bavaria, by modern passenger jet, and according to the clock, nine-hours behind me as I write this story.

Beverly Hills was founded by developer Burton Green in 1907 and was incorporated in 1914. Some say actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks started a migration of movie stars exodus from Hollywood into Beverly Hills.

Pfarrkirchen was founded, according to the current mayor’s pamphlet, “… in the New Stone Age about 7000 years ago. In 1262 it was in the possession of the Wittelsbach family who granted market rights in 1317. Pfarrkirchen was raised to the status of a ‘town’ in 1862.”

Dead Tree

Two-hundred meters beyond the statue of an attractive lady, lies an old dead tree, in the moat that once surrounded the village of Pfarrkirchen. Many bugs and worms calling it home. The sign says it all: “How does a pretty forest look like? Many people think that lying around old wood looks like chaos and needs to be cleaned up. But making order is wrong here. About a third of all living plants, animals, and fungi need dead wood to live on. Dead wood is very important for life diversity in our forests.”

Strewn Rocks

Right below my corner office window, there are a bunch sizeable rocks strewn and mixed with colorful plants.

My daughter’s son, and my grandson, is currently studying landscape architecture at the University of California Berkeley. My question to my grandson, is Beverly Hills highlighting modern landscape architecture while Pfarrkirchen is highlighting ancient archaeological architecture?

My grandson’s answer:

“Well if dead tree trunks give a habitat to newly emerging organisms, there is some relationship between ancient and new. The Beverly Hills bridal path pays homage to its roots as a horse path yet strewn across the path are newly emerging plants such a cacti and succulents. In Pfarrkirchen it seems like there is a similar synergy at play between new and old. Are the ancient elements of a landscape meant to be included in the conversation of how?

A block east of our apartment is a Bauhaus styled house and a block west of our apartment is a commercial building under construction of a more modern style. Nearby, about 11 Kilometers from our apartment, lies the Water Castle of Schoenau. The construction of the Water Castle started around 1460, and was bought by Baron Riederer von Paar in 1670. The family continues to live in the Water Castle to this day.

Bauhaus Style House
Commercial building under construction
Water Castle “Schoenau”

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A snowbird from Bavaria

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Michael Frankel

Michael Frankel

A snowbird from Bavaria

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