Daily Archives: July 23, 2018

Euro18: energie

Well, after three weeks abroad, my energy is flagging and my stamina is waning.

Sunday was another big walking day, with more than 13K steps.

And the temperature Monday is just bloody hot. (The next two days are going to be worse.)

After skipping my Salzburg trip on Monday, and doing only two museum visits of shorter duration, I gave up. By 5 p.m. I was napping!

The morning on Monday was spent catching up on emails and writing four pages of a preliminary draft about the results of the curriculum work here in Vienna.  I should have museumed in the morning, then written in the afternoon!

But, truth be told, I am ready to go home.  My mind is starting to disengage, and my spirit is focused on wrapping up.


Euro18: Sunday in Vienna

I took a slower pace on Sunday and found myself watching people even more than usual.

Without being too creepy (and of course any time one writes that phrase, it’s because something creepy is taking place), here are some local color shots from Sunday–

A whole group of Japanese kids and mothers, the children all dressed this way, approached Cafe Schwarzenberg not long after I sat down for lunch. Only one small group actually sat down (the rest going across the street to McDonald’s), and that group was a mother with twin sons. The boys put me to shame, switching easily between German with the waiter, Japanese at the table, and then English after their food arrived when this kid turned to me and asked in faultless English “Would you please take our photo?”. This must be a school group from Japan? What you are not seeing clearly in the photo is the socks that match the dress shorts, and the black patent leather shoes.

I noticed a woman in traditional garb last week. On Sunday I almost missed this one cross the Ringstrasse at Schwarzenbergplatz. She had just thrown down a cigarette.

My lunch: the Steirischer Backhendelsalat is a hit with me.  Yummy yummy good.  And of course Esterhazytorte is my favorite Viennese pastry.  I love the presentation of coffee — in a little pot, with a pitcher of milk, and always a small glass of water!

On the tram to the cemetery, these two sat down in front of me. I surmised quickly that they are twins. They talked softly all the way to the same stop where I alighted, and they carried with them some greenery. The last I saw of them, they were buying flowers outside the cemetery gate. One wonders whose grave(s) they were planning to adorn. A parent? A sibling? Their former husbands?

Notice they are both in plaid, both wearing pearl earrings (although different styles), and both with the same hair rinse.

On the tram, we passed Tropico Markt, which sells”Orientalische” things like Bollywood films and cosmetics and various sauces.

Later, at gelato, this older man was by himself, enjoying his espresso and ice cream, fairly oblivious to the noise and confusion that reigns at Zanoni. At the next table, another solo man. And I was solo too. We were a trio of solo gelato for a few moments. One wonders if this Sunday excursion is a regular one for the man in the blue shirt and light grey twills?

The organ at the Jesuitenkirche, where I heard an outstanding recital of music by Jehan Alain, played by a 28-year-old organist of the church:


Siebensternbräu is a local institution. Alban Berg used to go there for a beer with a friend. J.P. and Sylvie and I enjoyed a beer and dinner on Sunday.

Euro18: Zentral Friedhof

Sunday, July 22.

Holy Eucharist at Christ Church, Vienna. Salad and dessert at Cafe Schwarzenberg.  Visit to Central Cemetery.  Walk in the city center.  Organ recital at the Jesuitenkirche.  Dinner at a bräu in Spittelberg.

Vienna is drizzly tonight.

I had visited the pantheon of composer graves at Zentral Friedhof in 2008, but today I journeyed there again, by tram, to pay respects.

Here are the minor people I found today:

Willi Boskovsky, conductor and violinist.
Lotte Lehmann, the singer.
Gyorgy Ligeti, the composer.
Zemlinsky, the composer.
Adler, the psychiatrist.
I just really liked this stone!

For the biggies, I sang a bit of their music at each of their gravesites, hoping to leave in the air a little of them for others to hear, and hoping that somehow my brief song-offering would be an appropriate “vielen dank” for each of them.

  • Beethoven: the opening motive of the Eroica Sympony
  • Schubert: “Ave Maria”
  • Brahms: “Mainacht” and “Wie bist du, meine Königen”
  • Strauss: the opening melody of the first waltz from Tales of the Vienna Woods
  • Wolf: “Verborgenheit”
  • von Suppe: part of the Poet and Peasant overture
  • Gluck: “Che faro senza Euridice”

And I must say that singing a bit of Beethoven at his grave sent me into a brief fit of weepiness.

Johann Strauss the Younger.
Strauss and Brahms used to have coffee together. Very different aesthetics. But they are also buried side by side.
Johannes Brahms.
Franz Schubert.
Franz von Suppe.
Arnold Schönberg.
Hugo Wolf.
Christoph Gluck.