Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Christmas Illuminations #8

Some last Christmas lights... The restaurant "Motto am Fluss" opted for illuminated trees.
I hope you have a wonderful New Year´s Eve and wish you all the best for 2012!
"Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right." - Oprah Winfrey

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Christmas Decoration #6

This year´s Christmas displays of the delicatessen and restaurant "Zum Schwarzen Kameel" are inspired by different artists. I´ve showed you already the Andy Warhol window, another one is dedicated to René Magritte´s "Le fils de l´homme" ("The Son of Man", 1964). If you love Magritte, I can highly recommend the current exhibition of his works at the Albertina.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Christmas Illuminations #7

These beautiful crowns are illuminating the Habsburgergasse in the city center.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Christmas Illuminations #6

54 of these huge "crystallights" are illuminating the Kärntner Strasse during the Advent and Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Finally... A Christmas Tree

Having been very busy in the last weeks I managed only yesterday to take a picture of a Christmas tree. It´s located at Palais Ferstel in the city center.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

2011 Christmas Illuminations #4

Starry, starry night... These stars illuminate the Ringstrassen Galerien, a shopping center, in the first district.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas in Vienna

Year in and year out I hope that we have a white Christmas like in this drawing, but I can´t remember when this wish came true for the last time... In Austria we are celebrating Christmas this very night: The tree is set up and lit for the very first time, the Christkind (Christ child) places the presents beneath the tree, bells announce the arrival of the Christkind into the house - when he arrives the family gathers around the tree and sings Christmas carols. The presents will be unwrapped and a lot of families will eat a baked carp for Christmas dinner. My very personal programme for today: In the morning I will have brunch with some girlfriends and in the evening I will celebrate with my parents.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas!! Frohe Weihnachten!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 Christmas Decoration #5

Santa Claus is no Austrian tradition, our children get their presents usually from the Christkind - nevertheless you can see an increasing number of Santa Clauses on Christmas decorations and in Christmas displays. Even the "Imperial and Royal Court Confectionary Bakery Demel" shows one in its current window. He should better turn off the tv and get started on distributing his presents...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Christmas Illuminations #3

The Casual Luxury Hotel "The Ring Vienna" is currently hiding behind a huge blue curtain.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Cake

There´s a cake for every occasion, Christmas is no exception - but I think this cake is too beautiful to be devoured.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 Christmas Decoration #4

I discovered this reindeer in the window of a clothes store in the city center. No glitter, no kitsch, yet christmassy - I love it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Trees

In Austria we usually decorate our Christmas tree not until Christmas Eve. The sale of the trees started one week ago. You can buy your tree even in the very city center, on Graben there are even five suppliers, all of them offering trees cut down in the proper phase of the moon...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

4th Sunday of Advent

"This time of year means being kind to everyone we meet,
To share a smile with strangers we may pass along the street." - Betty Black

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Sweets

In Austria we decorate our Christmas trees not only with balls and the like, but also with sweets. Here are some typical examples.

Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 Christmas Decoration #3

The Christmas display of the delicatessen and restaurant "Zum Schwarzen Kameel" was inspired by Andy Warhol´s "Campbell´s Tomato Soup" and created by stage designer Johan Engels. That´s not very christmassy, but for Vienna it´s a rather extraordinary decoration.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 Christmas Decoration #3

The Christmas display of the confectionary Oberlaa shows the perfect Christmas tree for the animals of the forest. The tree and the animals are made of marzipan.

2011 Christmas Illuminations #2

The eye-catching Christmas illumination of Rotenturmstrasse in the city center.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Tree Decorations #2

Have you already digged out the decorations for your Christmas tree or bought some new pieces? 
I discovered this beautiful ball in a flower shop in the city center.

Monday, December 12, 2011

2011 Christmas Illuminations #1

Illuminated trees in front of the Grand Hotel Wien, a 5* Luxury Hotel in the city center. Can you see the bigger white dot between the illuminated branches? It´s the full moon from last Saturday.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

3rd Sunday of Advent

Instead of the now three lit candles on the Advent wreath here are three Christmas trees dressed with pullovers, scarfs, gloves and bonnets - I discovered them in the window of a clothes store.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Illuminated Cathedral

Until December 30th, St. Stephen´s Cathedral is illuminated every day from 4 p.m. until midnight with special transparencies created by students of the University of Applied Arts. Accenting details of the cathedral´s façade, the illumination intends to stop people during the bustling pre-Christmas period in front of St. Stephen´s and make them look at it more carefully.

Friday, December 9, 2011

2011 Christmas Decoration #2

"Shelter" is the title of this year´s Christmas display of the Swarovski store in the city center. It includes also an Advent calendar - every day until Christmas one of the white parcels that you can see in the foreground will be unwrapped. Click here for a photo of last year´s decoration.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Chandeliers

Those of you who have been following this blog already last Advent, might remember the huge Christmas chandeliers on Graben. This year I see them every evening when I leave the office.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2011 Christmas Decoration #1

The Christmas window of a new clothes store in the city center. I love the golden baby stroller, cat and  poodle.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

St. Nicholas / Krampus

Today we are celebrating Saint Nicholas Day. During the night Saint Nicholas filled the children´s boots with gifts and sweets, and at the same time checked up on the children if they were good, polite and helpful last year. Saint Nicholas is usually accompanied by Krampus (the word originates from the Old High German word for claw, "Krampen"), a demon-like creature warning and punishing bad children. If the children were not good, he puts a tree branch in their boots. In this photo you can see some Saint Nicholas and Krampus sweets.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Distinct Vision

On Saturday I made an excursion to Graz to see an exhibition of American photographer Greg Gorman (*1949). "A distinct Vision" shows some 220 photographs (portraits and nudes), displayed for the first time in Europe. The exhibition takes place in former industrial premises which are due to be demolished in early 2012. I loved the contrast of this special location and the well staged photographs.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

2nd Sunday of Advent

With this photo I´m breaking the rules as it wasn´t taken in Vienna but in Graz (the capital of the federal state of Styria). It shows a life-sized nativity scene made out 50 tons of ice, located in the Landhaus courtyard. The unveiling of this ice sculpture one week ago marked the start of the Advent season. Click here for a short video.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Tree Decorations #1

It´s time to buy decorations for the Christmas tree. How about silver-coloured balls and birds?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Shakespeare & Company

If you are looking for English-language books and magazines from around the world, "Shakespeare & Company" in the city center is the perfect place for you. The store has also authors living or passing through Vienna, introduce their writings, books and thoughts. Please note: This bookshop is not affiliated with any other "Shakespeare & Company" store or likewise named places in the world.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Calender

In Austria we don´t only have Advent wreathes for the countdown to Christmas, but also special calendars: The Advent Calendars have 24 "windows", each of them reveals an image, a poem or a small gift such as a toy or a chocolate item. The first "window" is opened today (December 1), the last on December 24 (Christmas Eve).
N.B.: Wish me luck! I´m starting a new job today!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

White Beauty

A statue in the park of the Liechtenstein Museum. On a side note, Vienna has the best living standard in the world, according to the Mercer 2011 Quality of Living Survey! That´s already the third time in a row that Vienna is no. 1 in this ranking!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reflections #10

Reflections of autumnal trees in the windows of the Liechtenstein Museum which in its present form with fixed opening hours will close at the end of this year. The new focus will be on events and pre-booked guided tours of the Princely Collections.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Smile Of The Sphinx *)

After ten days without not even one ray of sunlight, we finally had a somewhat sunny weekend. Yesterday I took a walk in the garden between the Upper and the Lower Belvedere where you can find 12 sphinxes. Here is one of them, with St. Stephen´s Cathedral in the background.
*) "The smile of the Sphinx" is the title of a short story by Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

1st Sunday Of Advent

Time is flying: Today is already the first Sunday of Advent! By now every Austrian household should be equipped with an Advent wreath for the "countdown" to Christmas. Today we light the first candle, next Sunday the second one and so on, until, by the last Sunday before Christmas, all four candles are lit.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Cat Is Watching You

 I wonder what this cat was thinking while watching me taking photographs...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Modern Living

I stumbled upon this arrangement of fancy furniture in a store in the 6th district. Especially the sofa, made of jeans cushions (I would love to know how it feels to sit on it) and the Roy Liechtenstein-like picture caught my eyes.. But I also love the trailers.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

21er Haus #3

The red carpet by Austrian artist Markus Geiger seen from the first floor of the 21er Haus.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

21er Haus #2

The opening exhibition at the 21er Haus deals with the building itself and its adapted architecture. In this photo you can see a red carpet by Marcus Geiger, laid crisscross and even wrapped around the balustrade, and a fluorescent sculpture by Lucio Fontana.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

21er Haus #1

The 21er Haus was built in 1958 by the Austrian architect Karl Schwanzer as a pavilion or temporary showroom for the Universal Exhibition in Brussels. In the same year Schwanzer won the Grand Prix d´Architecture for his visionary and technologically innovative design. From 1962 to 2001 the building served as an exhibition hall for the Museum of Modern Art until its collection was moved to the Museum of Modern Art - Ludwig Foundation in Vienna’s new MuseumsQuartier. In 2002 the 21er Haus was incorporated into the Belvedere museum. During the past few years the building was adapted to the purposes of a modern museum and finally reopened last week.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Orange Bicycle

During my holiday in Paris last summer, I photographed a lot of doors and portals in different colours - blue, red, pink, green, yellow. A friend of mine complained that there were no orange things (Guess which is her favourite colour), so I promised her to watch out for the colour orange during my next trip to Paris. I went back there recently, kept my word and she was happy. The other evening I took a short walk in the city center of Vienna and in quick succession several orange things caught my eyes (obviously I´m still focused on this colour), amongst others this bicycle.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sweet Sunday #10

When it´s cold and the days are dull, my appetite for sweets is getting stronger than usually. I would love to savour all of these chocolates...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Monument to Beethoven

This monument to Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) - created by Anton Dominik von Fernkorn in 1862 - is located in a small park in the 19th district.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Falling Leaves

"Falling leaves
hide the path 
so quietly" - John Bailey ("Autumn," A Haiku Year, 2001)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Upholsterer

During one of my recent walks in the city center I discovered this store of an upholsterer in a tiny courtyard.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lipizzan Art

In the summer of 2003 the city center was invaded by colourful painted horses: Business companies and shops could buy white lipizzan statues and then decorate them with their logo or a theme with the help of a local artist or in some cases a group of school children (Click here for images of some of the horses). In autumn of the same year some of the horse sculptures were auctioned and the proceeds went to the Spanish Riding School. In the courtyard of the borough office in the city center you can still marvel at one of those horses.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Design Gallery

The "stilwerk limited edition design gallery" presents selected objects of successful designers, architects and artists which work at the interface between art and design. The gallery is located in a modern building by French architect Jean Nouvel which was opened one year ago. For more pictures of the building please click here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Green-Yellow-Blue-Red

A detail of a sculpture in the garden of Augarten Contemporary. If you want to see the entire sculpture please click here.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blue Sculpture

In the garden of Augarten Contemporary you can find several sculptures. One of them is this blue one by Austrian artist Robert Kabas.