art stores

foraging for art supplies

Made my first solo excursion into Frankfurt today, motivated by the search for a decent art supply store. I also wanted to test the train commute to the Goethe Institute, where I’ll probably be taking German classes three days a week soon.

Overall, I’m pleased with the outing, mishaps and all. Install and successfully configure the RMV transportation app to my iPhone? Check. Use it to find and purchase my tickets (just flash the QR code and go!) into Frankfurt? Check. Find the Goethe Institute, after wandering through a lively farmer’s market – complete with packed wine bar tent at 1 pm on a Friday? Check. Get on the connecting train to find Idee, the local crafting store? Uh, not quite.

I did get on the correct train, but failed to see (let alone understand) the “out of service” sign on the front. People got off, and I got on (clearly oblivious that I was the only one). The train pulled out and then started to slow down, stopped, and all the lights went off. Between stations. A cleaning man hopped on and picked up trash. Then another man appeared, speaking to me in German.

He did not sprechen English, but promptly got out his mobile phone, called his English-speaking wife and handed me the phone. By then, I had figured out my error. He motioned for me to follow him and sit there, right behind his driver’s compartment, and don’t move. I chatted with his wife while, train-in-service, we cruised through three more stations to my destination. This very nice man opened his compartment door to make sure I knew that this was my station, and off I went.

Idee Art & Craft, FrankfurtWhich brings me to Idee, a two-story space just around the corner from Frankfurt’s Zeil, a lively pedestrian shopping area.

Frankfurt's Zeil shopping area, near IdeeIdee is like a well-stocked, extremely neat, attractively merchandised Michael’s. They’re big into scrapbooking, artificial flowers, découpage, beading and other crafty things. Seem to have a decent painting section, too. Reminded me a bit of Pearl Art & Craft, but not as fine art-focused as say, Plaza Art Supply or book arts-oriented as Bookmakers and Talas. Idee will do in a pinch, but I’m looking forward to getting to Boesner, apparently the best fine art supply spot in Frankfurt, although more accessible by car.

Back home in Konigstein