Southern Comfort

UWE LEIN/AP

STANDING TALL: The Munich headquarters of the German carmaker BMW AG

I keep reading about how down and out Germany is, but it sure doesn't feel that way in Munich. Not when I drive into town and see the forest of construction cranes around Uptown München — the city's tallest office building at 146 m — and the new soccer stadium being built for the 2006 World Cup, which will look like a futuristic inner tube with a transparent glowing cover. And not when I visit Petuel Park, a new residential district the size of six soccer fields, with gardens, a creek and sculptures where a highway used to be. And least...

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