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  • Gertrude Stein's verdict "There is no there there" is the quintessential putdown of a place, the worst one can come up with. It is even worse than the German word "Kaff" for a tedious dull place in the hinterlands

    In a bad mood, I apply Gertrude's verdict to my home town back in Germany. In a good mood, I shrug my shoulders about the ancient past.

    In New York, my adopted new hometown, I feel the pulse of the There Here and the Here Here; what happens is right here, in front of me. What happens right here is not life postponed, but lived.
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