Tag Archives: Klimt

Re(Wien)sited

Momma and I decided to spend a weekend in Vienna after considering many other European destinations. I would get a chance to revisit one of my favorite spots in the world and show my mom around, trying to get her to understand why I love Vienna so much. My mom and I arrived a little later than expected (only 40 minutes) due to a flight delay and yet our hotel had already given our room away. So at midnight they carted us over to the “nearest” hotel, which was actually a 20-minute cab ride away. We ended up in a part of town that I wasn’t familiar with, but Momma, always looking on the bright side, said what a wonderful opportunity it would be to get to know Vienna better. I am just bummed that I wasn’t able to see Diana, my ex-roommate, on the only day we would both be in town. ­čśŽ

Walking the Ring: Momma at Parliament

Needless to say, we didn’t get up to much on our first night in Vienna, but the next day we had big plans. We started out by walking the Ringstrasse, one of the first things I did when I arrived in Vienna over a year ago. Our first stop was the University to see the blank walls where Klimt’s famous paintings would have been. Nothing to report there. Then we continued along the ring to the Opera house stopping at all the famous buildings along the way. We even dropped by IKI for a quick hello. From there, we cut north to Stephansdom and may have done a little shopping along the way… By lunchtime we were hungry for some Wienerschnitzel and ate at the restaraurant near Ruprechtskirche. Best Wienerschnitzel I have ever had! It was so tender and delicious! After lunch I took Momma down to my old neighborhood. We revisited my dorm, grocery store, hang-out spots and my favorite ice cream parlor, Tichy. I’m not sure if I have mentioned this before, but Vienna has these ice cream balls that are to die for. The Eismarillenkn├Âdel, a mouthful in more ways than one, is a ball of vanilla ice cream with an apricot mousse center rolled in shortbread cookie crumbs… Yeah, i know. Other varieties include the Himbeereiskn├Âdel (replace the apricot with raspberry and the shortbread with chocolate cookie crumbs), the Schneeball (replace cookies with crumbed, hard white marshmallow) and one for which I cannot remember the name, but that’s because it was coffee-flavored. Ick. Here’s a picture of three ice cream balls at Tichy. I wish I could replace the coffee ball with a Schneeball. Oh well!

Ice Cream Balls at Tichy

The next day we made sure to be up early so we could get our museum on. We took my beloved U-bahn to the Museums Quartier. First stop: The Leopold Museum. The Leopold is one of those places that makes you realize why you’re an art history major, or at least that’s what it did for me. I had been looking at countless fragmentary, dusty white corpses in Roman museums for months, which is all well and good. I love me some ancient Roman art, really I do. But the artworks I have been studying are creations of the state with a predetermined message independent of the artist’s agenda. It’s ancient propaganda. It’s fascinating. But I hadn’t seen anything so infused with emotion or so personal for a while. Schiele makes you feel what he felt. And I cried. So maybe this is why I am an art history major, not why you are.

At the Leopold with a Poster of Schiele

Next stop on the museum schedule was the modern art museum across the platz, which looks like a big, black, blocky scar in the MQ. One of the best parts of this museum is its video collection. There were some Nan June Paik, Richard Serra and William Wegman pieces. All lovely, but the pride and joy of the MUMOK is Andy Warhol, who appears as a glittery ghost in a double life-size poster inside the museum. Ick. I have never loved Warhol, but I gave him a fair chance and watched quite a few of his videos. Sad, I still don’t like him.

Mom & Me chilling on a MQ bench with MUMOK in the background

After the museums, we wandered over to the Burggarten and paid Mozart our respects while mowing down on some K├Ąsekrainer. Boy, do I love Austrian food! Lucky us, the Genussfest in Stadtpark happened the same weekend we visited! Recalling old memories of eating topfen on olive bread with Andrea, we strolled the paths through the park tasting, tasting, tasting. What else would you do at a taste fest? The weather was lovely, the food was delicious. ­čÖé Since I was feeling a little nostalgic, I drug Momma to Hohermarkt for gelato. Even though I’ve had authentic gelato continuously for almost a year now, the gelateria am Hohermarkt still holds up.

Still running high on nostalgia, we ate dinner at┬á Centimeter. Momma ate Schnitzel and I ordered Holzf├Ąllerknockerl. (No, I’m not just making up words.) Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my Tupperware and I had to leave the left-over goods on my plate destined for the trash can. Never again! That used to last me five meals for goodness sakes!

Radlers at Centimeter

The next morning I finally gave Sissi her due and visited her museum. She has some gorgeous dishes and dresses, but a sad life. If you don’t know who she is, look her up. She is famous in Austria, but very few Americans have ever heard of her. Shame. As a goodbye, Mom and I ate lunch on the Graben. Mmmmmm W├╝rstel.

Mouth watering...

I will miss you Vienna, but rest assured; I’ll be back. Vienna is one of the best cities on the planet.

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Letzte Woche

My Last Week in Vienna:

After getting home from Salzburg we went straight to Centimeter to meet up with Billy. He got out of the hospital on Saturday and wasn’t able to come on our class trip. He had his appendix removed and he is doing much better now.

On Monday I finished up my project for Cultural studies class. Each of us were assigned a different district of Vienna. I explored Vienna’s 16th District, Ottakring. I decided to make a video using the photo burst function on my camera. So, this video is like a flip book of still shots or a really fast slide show. The song I chose was Matt Costa’s Vienna. To watch my video click here.

I also had my presentation for art history this week. We went to the Secession building just down the street from my dorm and I talked about Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze. Here is part of the panel entitled Hostile Forces:

Klimt's Beethoven Frieze at the Secession

Klimt's Beethoven Frieze at the Secession

After my presentation, we took the bus to Hundertwasser Haus for our final art history excursion. It was so amazing. I wish it wasn’t raining so hard, so we could have explored more. It’s just a normal apartment complex, but the architecture is wacky and colorful. Michelle said the architect, Hundertwasser, hated straight lines. Even the floor was uneven. After art history, I had my last night with Sasha as a nanny. Wooooooooo!

On Wednesday we had our final day of Cultural Studies class. Verena’s mom came to talk to us about her experiences growing up during WWII and during the Allied occupation of Vienna. She told a cute story about receiving chocolates from American GIs on her walk to school. That night we all met up for dinner at a traditional Austrian Keller before running to the opera house so we wouldn’t miss the show. This time, the opera was paid for by our program and we saw Die Zauberfl├Âte (The Magic Flute). We learned about this opera in German 103, but this version was very modern. The whole opera took place within a white gridded cube. Some of the grids were trap doors, pedestals, windows, etc. There were also some quite funny animals in the opera.

Since then I have been trying to pack and eat as much Asian food as I can before getting to Italy. I had Chinese with Andrea on Wednesday, Japanese with Sarah, Rebecca and Billy on Thursday, and all-you-can-eat Asian buffet with Diana on Friday.

Friday night we had our farewell dinner at a Heurige in Grinzing. We were short a few people (Joseph, Amanda, Kirstin, Sara, and Ina), but we were joined by 30 IKI students from North Carolina. It was wonderful to be able to say goodbye to all our teachers and to the office staff at IKI. It was also wonderful to enjoy some free traditional Austrian food. (I needed a change from Asian.) That night we gave Dr. O, our art history teacher, a scarf and a card and she just about cried. It was so cute.

At the Heurige with Dr. O

At the Heurige with Dr. O

Anyway, I should finish packing and say goodbye to Vienna. ­čśŽ I take the train tonight to Berlin.

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Between Danes and Czechs

The day I got back from Denmark, Doris gave me a call and invited me to a couch surfing event. So, a few minutes later Billy and I met Doris and some other couchsurfers on the steps of the Opera House for a game of Twister. Yep, that’s what I said. Twister.

The next day Andrea, Billy and I planned on heading out to Mayerling and Heiligenkreuz for a day trip out of the city. Unfortunately, the bus doesn’t run on a holiday, so we went to the Augarten instead. It is a beautiful park where they have huge anti-aircraft towers left over from WWII.

Augarten

Augarten

On Tuesday we had a class field trip to the movie theater to see The Third Man. It’s an Orson Welles film from 1949 that takes place in occupied Vienna after WWII. It was wonderful to see at this point in our trip because each scene takes place somewhere I’ve been in the city. “Oh look! They’re near our school! “Oh! There’s a great ice cream shop there!” “Oh! We had a picnic there once!” Then on Thursday our teacher Verena took us on a tour of the famous cemetery in the movie. Ethan and I recreated the final scene for a photo that will hopefully be posted soon! We also saw the graves of famous musicians like Beethoven and Schubert.

Later that day we went back to the Belvedere for art history class and finally saw some Klimt and Schiele! I can’t believe I’ve been in Vienna this long without visiting Vienna’s most famous artworks. One of my favorite paintings from today was Egon Schiele’s Embrace. It apparently “grossed out” Andrea, but I think it is quite beautiful. Judge for yourself.

Egon Schiele, Embrace, 1917.

Egon Schiele, Embrace, 1917.

Wednesday was my first day on the job as a nanny. I will be babysitting Sasha, an 8 year old half-American half-Russian girl, for the entire month of June. I guess it’s been a while since I’ve worked with kids. I am a little worried because even day one was a bit frustrating. She kept hanging up when her dad would call and homework that should have taken 15 minutes ended up taking 2 hours. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m being paid for this…

Now, it’s off to Prague. Unfortunately, Billy won’t be joining us. He may have an appendicitis and is on his way to the hospital now. He will be missed!

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Home Sweet Home

Well, I have great news. I have been assigned to a dorm in Vienna. So, now you can all check out where I will be living. I will be in a double room in a dorm for students called Sch├Ąffergasse just a few blocks from my school. Click here for a map of the location. I am very excited to be living here because it is very close to the Naschmarkt, Vienna’s colorful oldest outdoor market. I found this video on YouTube featuring photos from Naschmarkt (If my computer skills have failed me and the embedding doesn’t work, you can click on this link to see the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLTbrUEdeuE):

My dorm is also close to the Secession, the exhibition hall for Avant-Garde artists at the turn of the century, such as Gustav Klimt.

Gustav Klimt, The Kiss, 1907-1908.

Gustav Klimt, The Kiss, 1907-1908.

My dorm is also close to the popular 5th district nightlife around Schleifmuehlgasse and to the Opera House.┬á I’ll let you know if I end up seeing any shows at the Opera!

I recently received an email from my good friend Olivia. She just left this week to spend a few months in India. She has arrived safely and is experiencing a bit of culture shock, but is excited to be starting her journey in the (humid) city of Delhi!

Well, that is all for today. My tasks in the next few weeks are to nurse this cold I caught, write my paper, get my Italian study visa, and visit with my friends and family before I go. Hope to hear from you soon!

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