16 December 2008

Vienna at Night

It was a very serendipitous evening, I must say. Further, I think I have like a spiritual connection to this city – I feel comfortable and content here. I remember a friend saying ages ago that Vienna was like an exotic crossroads between east and west, and so really it’s a very appropriate place for me to decompress and reacclimatize before heading back to the US – this is the biggest city I’ve been in in four months; today was my first subway ride in about six months. The cosmopolitaneity of this city is part of what makes it so incredibly charming; walking on the street, I heard Italian, English, Slovak, and Russian in addition to the German. How cute it is to hear ‘tchuss’ again! Vienna is also a great city for street food. In rapid succession, and after a few kilometers of walking, I had a bratwurst and a fresh! döner kebap, washed down by a half liter (1 US pint) of Ottakringer beer. The cutest thing was that the guy had a hand-held, electric machine for shaving the meat off of the rotating spit thing.

My somewhat-stylish self. I've said it before, I'll say it again:
I love winter clothing much more than summer clothing.
It's inherently more classy looking, methinks.

The Mariapocs icon in Stephansdom.
This is one of the great unexplored art historical mysteries,
something I've wanted to research and write about for ages.
It looked gorgeous in the candlelight.


The most notable thing is that I let myself be a tourist (therefore I unapologetically enjoyed taking lots of photos and didn’t even try to speak German), and as always, enjoyed walking. The weather has been so incredibly warm that it’s absolutely perfect for walking – high 40s, clear. I didn’t have a map with me (really just my camera and a bit of cash -- no bag), and let myself use my inner GPS, which really worked well. A happy surprise was happening upon the Secession building, which not only gave me a great feeling (DER ZEIT IHRE KUNST, DER KUNST IHRE FREIHEIT), but also was a good landmark to let me know where to hang a right and head up towards the Museumsquartier. As a result, I passed the Kunsthistoriches museum, and had a lovely walk-through of the Museumsquartier. On the Ludwig, there was a video projection against its lovely black façade – this place is consistently world-class, überhigh-quality contemporary. When I first glanced at the projection, I thought – “Sperm?!? That’s so early-to-mid-nineties, not edgy at all anymore!” but it turns out, it was small white mice – a fascinating installation by Peter Kogler – maybe I'll post a video later. It looked like, even after 9pm on a Monday night, Musemsquartier was the place to be. There were tons of people there, lots of music, and a crowded bar. However, on the other hand, this is unsurprising – the weather is warm and this is the season of cooked wine!

Sculpture outside the Secession Building.

Ohhhh the Secession building. IMHO, one of the highlights of 20th c. culture.

The back of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, taken along Getridemarkt.

Museumsquartier detail.

Museumsquartier detail.

Along Mariahilferstraße.

The shop windows were filled with gorgeous and suprisingly not-overly-expensive New Years Eve gowns.

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