I spent the Martin Luther King Day weekend in Munich, Germany, at the DLD15 conference. It was my first time at DLD, a conference that serves as something of a staging pad for those on their way to Davos. The mix of people, although heavy on media, is interesting. I ended up in a great conversation with a founder of a global clean water initiative; gave an interview about Vox Media to an Austrian outlet, which is likely to have a major impact on our global mindshare; and advised a young German journalist on whether he should start a site in the spirit of Vox.com for his country (of course!). And, natch, I spoke on a panel that included Kate Lewis from Hearst and MailOnline publisher Martin Clarke. We were fiesty and fun.
That this panel was held at 9:05am on Monday morning, after I’d stayed up watching the Patriots dispatch the Colts — a game that wrapped just before 4am Munich time — and that I looked so fresh-faced, as evidenced in the photograph above — is a testament to the excellent meats and beers of this fine city. I’d last visited Munich on a summertime Eurorail trip through Eastern Europe in 1993; my friend Sesh and I had dipped into Munich after exploring the Czech Republic because we had a friend living in the city for the summer. My lasting memory is the group of us openly urinating in the street sometime on the other side of midnight.
This time around, no such luck, although I did get some good eating in. Sunday night, I snuck out of the kickoff dinner and met Felix and Michelle at Brenner. I approached the restaurant, above, across an open square, and was delighted but unsurprised when I found out that’s where we were dining. It’s a mediterranean menu in a big open mod-Bavarian space; I had an excellent steak. A group of journalists including John Gapper, Marcus Brauchli, and the entire senior Fusion team joined our table which led to a massively hilarious meal and the self-satisfied feeling that I was at last networking appropriately.
Two other straight-up Bavarian meals of note: Monday lunch with Kate at Zum Franziskaner (two giant, crackling pig ribs); and dinner with a different iteration of Felix’s crew at Zum Dürnbräu (a perfect viener schnitzel and table tastings of this craziness.)
Davos invite lost in mail, so it’s back to America today.