Tag Archives: Vienna

Europe Spring 2018

Random photos from the trip, not yet published:

Dinner in Cambridge. BBQ chicken pizza. And a local G&T. (The BBQ sauce was very sweet.)

Breakfast in Vienna.

Vienna hotel room.

We don’t see Uzbekistan Airlines every day in the USA!

Red Square. Moscow.

The view from my flat in London.


Vienna morning

8.30 a.m.

I have a breakfast meeting at 9, and a meeting on campus at 11. And then I’m off to London.

I slept last evening with the window open, since my room did not want to cool down, and I wanted to sleep under the wonderful comforter on this most yummy bed at the Hilton Stadtpark Wien.

Of course that meant that nearby street construction — noisy and sounding like a banshee as metal scraped on metal — woke me wide open at 6.30 a.m.!

The water pressure in this hotel is astounding.

And the hotel bar, with a few dogs scattered about, is most warm and welcoming.

I’m looking forward to being back in Vienna in a few months for my research project! The list of museums and other places to visit keeps growing:

  • Albertina Museum
  • Leopold Museum
  • Melk Abbey
  • Walk every side street in the city centre and see all those wonderful little shops
  • Eat more paprika chips

This city has such a different feel than Moscow.  It’s much more compact, and inherently more walkable.  People stroll, rather than scurry.  People smile, something that doesn’t happen on sidewalks in Moscow, from what I can tell.  Moscow is austere; Vienna, warm.  From what I can tell.

Vienna Monday

My full day of activities in Vienna on Monday ended with dinner. Ten students and Prof. Martha Hart. And me.

Grundl Bauer is a lovely local restaurant on the west side of the First District, and they had a table for twelve waiting. We dined on traditional Austrian specialities, and I of course had veal Wiener schnitzel. And an Ottakringer beer. And a table full of Kaiserschmarrn for dessert.

My meals earlier today consisted of a delightful hotel buffet breakfast, and a snack of Esterhazy torte and black coffee.

And from the street today and this evening:

My health tracker tells me I hit more than 14K steps today. Walking in the city will do that! No public transport today or tomorrow.

Forthcoming travel

Travel plans for the next year are shaping up.

March 2018 — Moscow, Vienna, London

May 2018 — Kansas City, Boston

June 2018 — NYC

July 2018 — Vienna, with a one-day stop in Stockholm

August 2018 — Helena, Montana

November 2018 — Washington DC

January 2019 — Hong Kong, Bangkok, Saigon

I’ll have a few more short trips in there too, but these are the big ones!


Messing Award

I am delighted to acknowledge the generous research grant that Webster University has awarded me for Summer 2018!

[This is the big happy news that I got a month ago, but needed to withhold until my employer made their own announcement.]

The Messing Award is perhaps the most prestigious internal grant award available to faculty.  The grant, for international research and travel during the summer months, provides one full-time faculty member per year funding for an international summer activity that strengthens the curriculum of the faculty member’s department or improves the teaching/learning relationship.

The Rathaus, or City Hall.

So I’ll be going to Vienna for the best part of July 2018.

My proposal focused on curriculum development:



I propose to spend three weeks in Vienna in Summer 2018, focusing on curricular development for music majors and WINS affiliate music majors; building and strengthening relationships with key local individuals and institutions; and making solid specific plans for summer study opportunities.  I will commit the award funds to airfare, lodging, and daily transit and food as I pound the pavement, visiting people and places as we seek to further the existing infrastructure and capacity.

This Messing Award application requests funding to support broad-scope Department of Music and WINS curricular development, rather than an individual course or project related specifically to my own teaching.  In this regard, I am applying as the ten-year Chair of the Department of Music, rather than as an individual faculty member – but with a clear result of strengthening the curriculum in the Department of Music.

The proposal listed possible outcomes:

  • Creation of additional curricular opportunities in Vienna for Webster music majors and WINS music majors
  • Agreement on a master syllabus for a new GCP fine arts interdisciplinary course focused on Vienna fine and performing arts
  • Solid inventory of available and interested teachers for all instruments and genres normally taught at undergraduate level
  • Groundwork and three-year implementation plan for summer music activities in Vienna
  • Survey of locations that Webster University can appropriately utilize/rent for music-related teaching and performing
  • Friend-building for partnerships amongst local institutions

Vienna, here I come!

As of February 6, my flat is booked in the 4th district, complete with a grand piano:

Righteous living

I am charmed today.  And I hope the day stays that way.

At 1.17 a.m. in the USA, my perch is currently the wonderful AMEX/Diners Club lounge at Vienna International Airport.

Vienna does this right.  I checked in my bag at the train station and didn’t have to schlep the damn thing (21 kilos today) with me to the airport.  The 16-minute train trip from the city center to VIE meant that I had no hassles at all, and I walked directly to the security gate. No airport lines!

And then they opened two new security lines just as I was arriving, so I was waved into a lane with no people waiting. A quick trip up an escalator, with no waiting at passport control, and I’m suddenly in the international departure terminal . . . where the lounge is literally ten steps ahead.

Now if the flight leaves on time, an the connections work in Chicago (always dicey), I should be in Saint Louis by 6.45 p.m.

Of course that means an 18-hour travel day.  Such is the price one pays, though.


Flights leaving Vienna within the next hour:

  • Tallinn
  • Warsaw
  • Brussels
  • Barcelona
  • Belgrade
  • Antalya
  • Manchester
  • Kiev
  • Ljubljuna
  • Baku
  • Prague
  • Varna
  • Minsk
  • Washington
  • Chicago!
  • Budapest
  • Vilnius
  • Minsk
  • Paris
  • Zagrebe
  • Sofia

And yesterday I was talking with a German engineering student who is skipping his planned trip to Hungary, and instead going to Slovakia, then to Italy, and then on to Turkey via the Balkans.  Train travel is truly international on this side of the Atlantic.