The Big Ponder

Episode 10: The Diner





Apr 26, 2021


THE BIG PONDER Episode 10: The Diner


What happens when you uproot an American institution like the diner and place it somewhere entirely new — like Germany? Florenz Gilly and Leon Ginzel journey into the world of diners, visiting hometown restaurants in the U.S. and Germany to find out.

We hear from waitress Christina Teal who works at the Courtesy Diner in St. Louis, Missouri; Joly Wait, a waitress at the Lincoln Street Diner in Ithaca, New York; Christopher O’Brien, owner of the Lincoln Street Diner; Richard Gutman, an expert on the American diner who has written several books on the topic; Andreas Falkenhain, owner of the Cruise-In Diner in Berlin; Birgit Majewski, co-owner of Big’s Diner in Nauen, Germany; and several diner patrons, including Phil Catanzaro, one of the regulars at the Courtesy Diner.

Listen to this episode: Apple Music | Spotify | Download

Photo: © Leon Ginzel


In cooperation with radio stations and independent producers in the US and Germany, the Goethe-Institut has created the transatlantic podcast THE BIG PONDER. We invite listeners to reflect on abstract ideas and phenomena through hyper-local stories. Each topic will be explored from a transatlantic perspective: do the US and Germany share the same values? What divides us? What unites us?   

In addition to sharing our passion for great storytelling, THE BIG PONDER hopes to further strengthen the transatlantic network of journalists and podcasters through our close collaboration with radio stations and partners on both sides of the pond. We are especially thankful for the support from our friends at the Bertelsmann Foundation, RBB Kultur, and the RIAS Berlin Kommission. 

New episodes are released every other week on this website and your favorite podcast apps. For more information, visit


Goethe-Institut Washington

The Bertelsmann Foundation

RBB Kultur

RIAS Berlin Kommission

Wunderbar Together



implemented by