EDITOR’S NOTE: This Rob Long column appears in the June 14, 2004, issue of National Review.
Summer Travel Roundup
Special Yankee Go Home Edition ™
Places to Stay in Berlin:
Hotel Kugelhopf: Charming, stately, wonderful old grande dame of Berlin hotels, with gilded mirrors in the halls, sumptuous lobby, and a turn-of-the-century bar. The service is impeccable: the concierge is top-rate, and the slight-of-frame bellman with the wispy beard will delight you as he peppers you with questions about your political beliefs and asks you to repudiate Bush administration policy on Iraq and Global Warming. Full spa.
Hotel SuperFantastiche: Hip, chic, and cutting edge, this hotel is the ultimate place to see and be seen. The design is up-to-the-minute, with clean lines and colorful furniture arranged in a dynamic way. You’ll see why people are calling Berlin the “New Design City” and the “Opinion and Tastemakers City” as you sit in the hip hotel bar, eyes stinging from the cigarette smoke, trying to politely dispute the assertion of the people seated on your left, and right, that there’s very little difference between Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush. Lobby has a DJ.
Gasthaus Kaisersmarren: Classic Berlin guesthouse, with a wrought-iron staircase, tall windows, a ginger cat, and over-stuffed furniture. Rooms are small but make up for it in atmosphere. If you’re Jewish, you’ll really, really feel uncomfortable. An experience! MC and Visa only.
Things to Do in London:
At the Strand Theater: “Eat the F***ing Americans!” A darkly funny, bitterly satirical look at the lives of two “yobs”–youths without hope or prospects–who decide to take it out on American tourists. Furious about Bush administration policy, especially as regards the Kyoto Protocols, and deeply committed to turning back the tide of globalism, they set about hilariously–and darkly–to kill and then eat every American tourist they can. Profane, violent, and deeply provocative, this two-man play premiered in Edinburgh, and has been running continuously since then. Soon to be a major film. Student/rush tickets available.
At the Lord Hammersley Theater: “The Patriot Act.” A searing, furious return to the “angry young man” style of the early 1960s. In this devastating dissection of current Bush administration policy, two gay men–one of whom is a born-again Christian, the other of whom is a Scandinavian environmentalist–find themselves, on the day of their wedding, arrested and held without trial on shadowy charges of terrorism. A shocking indictment of American society and mores.
At the Cheddar Biscuit Theater: “No Sex, Please, We’re Too Fat!” An instant classic! British farce at its best! A country-house weekend, mistaken identities, frantic attempts at seduction, and two fat Americans who are unable to explain or defend current Bush administration policy. Side splitting! Ask your hotel concierge about after-theater dining options.
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