Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Christmas Decoration #6

The last photo of this year shows another Christmas decoration: a vintage mannequin in the window of a make up store that caught my eyes only yesterday.
I hope you have nice plans for New Year´s Eve (I´m invited for a fondue - a very traditional dish in Austria for the last dinner of the year) and hope you drop in again in 2013!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Christmas Illuminations #6

The blue lit Christmas trees on the balcony of the 4* hotel Römischer Kaiser in the city center stick out against all the normal (yellow and white) lights.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Tree & Schönbrunn Palace

In the center of the Christmas Market in front of Schönbrunn Palace there is always a huge Christmas tree.

Friday, December 28, 2012

I finally made it to a Christmas Market

Before Christmas I was too busy to visit one of the many Christmas markets in town. Fortunately the market in front of Schönbrunn Palace was open until the day before yesterday. It´s my favourite Christmas market, you can find there handicrafts and original gifts, but of course also food and drink stands.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Vanillekipferl

Vanillekipferl (vanilla croissants) are Austrian crescent shaped Christmas biscuits. They are usually made with ground almonds or hazelnuts and get their typical flavour from a heavy dusting of vanilla sugar. They are said to have been created in the shape of the Turkish crescent to celebrate the victory of the Hungarian army over the Turkish in one of the many wars between the nations.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Dinner

These days there are a lot of Christmas lunches and dinners with family and friends. A fact that inspired a children´s fashion store for its Christmas decoration.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

2012 Christmas Illuminations #5

This huge candle illuminates the office building Kärntnerringhof in the city center.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

The square in front of St. Stephen´s Cathedral is currently embellished with a Christmas tree.
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, just the three of us.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas!! Frohe Weihnachten!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

4th Sunday of Advent

"Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts." - Janice Maeditere

Saturday, December 22, 2012

2012 Christmas Decoration #5

These mannequins in the window of a clothes shop are driving home for Christmas with a lot of presents...

Friday, December 21, 2012

2012 Christmas Illuminations #4

The shopping street Kohlmarkt in the city center during the Advent/Christmas season.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 Christmas Illuminations #3

The illuminated bridge between the two buildings of the shopping center Ringstrassen Galerien in the city center. For more photos of this illumination please click here and here and here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 Christmas Decoration #4

In the window of a furniture shop a bear is waiting for customers in his punch stand.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 Christmas Decoration #3

"A Christmas fairy tale" - that´s the title of the windows of the department store Steffl in the city center. The decoration was designed by the French graphic artist Benjamin Lacombe.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Tree Lamps

If you don´t want a fir tree for this year´s Christmas, you could instead put up one of these Christmas tree lamps. I discovered them yesterday in a design shopping center in the 2nd district. Personally though I prefer the classical Christmas tree... but - in answer to my reader Paul - I won´t have any tree this year, I will be satisfied with my parents´ tree.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

3rd Sunday of Advent

"As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December's bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same." -
Donald E. Westlake

Saturday, December 15, 2012

2012 Christmas Decoration #2

Have you already bought all your Christmas presents? Due to a stressful period at work I´m considerably behindhand with my preparations...

Friday, December 14, 2012

2012 Christmas Decoration #1

The window of the "Imperial and Royal Court Confectionary Bakery Demel" was transformed into an Advent Calender which reveals every day until Christmas another special item.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vienna Christmas Market

During the Advent season a lot of squares are transformed into Christmas markets. The stands of the Vienna Christmas Market in front of the town hall offer Christmas gifts, Christmas tree decorations, sweets and warming drinks, and the trees of the surrounding park are festively decorated. I took this picture two nights ago through a window of the Burgtheater.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Town Hall in a Late December Afternoon

The spire of the Town Hall hiding behind the trees in a late December afternoon. I´m still not used to how early the sun sets during winter...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2nd Sunday of Advent

"Christmas is not just a day, an event to be observed and speedily forgotten. It is a spirit, which should permeate every part of our lives." - William Parks

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Cat in the Shop Window

In the street of my gym there´s a record store which sells also books, posters and furniture. It´s also the home of this cat which in the evenings sometimes sits in the window and watches the people passing by.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Saint Nicholas & Krampus

In Austria today is 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, a demon-like creature warning and punishing bad children. If the children were not good, he puts a tree branch in their boots.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Jumping for Joy

Good news: Every year the international consulting firm Mercer does a survey to evaluate the quality of living in 221 cities around the world. Once again in 2012, Vienna came out on top in the study, making the Austrian capital the world's most livable city for the forth time in a row. Please click here for more information.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Winter in the MQ

During "Winter in the MQ" (until December 23) the MuseumsQuartier offers plenty of activities: there are so-called "Ice Pavilions" (the lit-up structures in this photo) where unusual punch varieties and delicious treats are served up, an ice curling rink, a racetrack for remote-controlled vehicles, on the weekends live djs warm up the guests and video projections on the façades bathe the MQ in a special light. A different (young?) way to "celebrate" Advent...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chocolate

Chocoholics like me don´t need any excuse for eating chocolate...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

1st Sunday of Advent

“Advent: the time to listen for footsteps - you can't hear footsteps when you're running yourself.” - Bill McKibben

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Theme Day: My Street

My street is not very beautiful, there´s a lot of traffice and noise but the location has also its advantages - it´s close to the city center and to the Donauinsel where I go for bicyle rides during the summer. It´s hard to find anything worth photographing in this street, so I decided to show you the façade of one of the office buildings that were constructed in the 1990s.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Advent Wreaths

In Austria it´s a tradition to buy an Advent wreath for the "countdown" to Christmas. Every Sunday of the Advent season we light a candle - on the 1st Sunday of Advent one, on the 2nd Sunday two and so on, until, by the last Sunday before Christmas, all four candles are lit.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sweaters for the Trees

In September an Austrian mail order company asked people to knit pieces of 15 x 15 cm. The company received more than 1.500 pieces and will plant an additional tree for each of them in Austrian reafforestation projects. This cooperation with the Ministry of Life wants to point out the importance of trees and forests to the climate protection. The knitted pieces are currently covering several trees in Augarten.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Stage? Sculpture?

This wooden structure in Augarten reminds me of a picture stage. In this photo I used it as frame for a nice Sunday afternoon scene: grandparents take a walk with their grandchild and dog.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November Roses

“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose” - Kahlil Gibran

Monday, November 26, 2012

Entrance to Augarten

There are several entrances to Augarten. This one offers a direct view of the flak tower (Combat Tower), a relict of World War II. The light in this photo is caracteristic for autumn and winter in Vienna...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Flowers #59

“Flowers are our greatest silent friends.” - Jim Brown

If you look closely, you can see some Advent wreaths hidden between the flowers. I was so busy the past few weeks that I didn´t realize that Advent is already around the corner...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Jordanhaus

The "Jordanhaus" on Judenplatz is one the oldest buildings of Vienna. In the Middle Ages Judenplatz was the center of Jewish life. In 1420 Duke Albert V ordered the imprisonment and forcible conversion of the Jews. Those that had not converted or escaped were sent off in boats down the Danube, while wealthy Jews remained under arrest, several of them tortured and stripped of their property. On March 12, 1421 Albert sentenced the remaining Jews to death and their synagogue was demolished. The inscription on the façade of the "Jordanhaus" refers to these dramatic incidents.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Austrian National Library - State Hall

The baroque State Hall was built from 1723 until 1726 according to the plans of the famous court architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and carried out by his son Joseph Emanuel. The ceiling frescoes were completed in 1730 by the court painter Daniel Gran. The statue in the middle of the State Hall shows Emperor Charles VI (1685-1740) who ordered the construction of the hall for his Court Library. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Façade Detail #18

Beautiful details of a doorway in the city center.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Vintage Mannequin

I love vintage mannequins and therefore was very happy to discover this one some days ago in the window of a  fashion store in the second district. It´s not the first time that I´ve photographed this mannequin, you can find more photos here, here and here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

People in Vienna - Last Preparations

Another station of last week´s gallery tour was the exhibition "People in Vienna" by the Austrian photographer Sabine Hauswirth on the ground floor of Künstlerhaus. As you can see, preparations were still going on...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Modern Portraits at Künstlerhaus

Vienna is participating in the current European Month of Photography: more than 200 photographic exhibitions and events on the topic of photography are on the agenda right across the city. Last Thursday I took part in a gallery tour and one of the venues we went to was Künstlerhaus where some works of a young photographer (whose name I unfortunately don´t remember any more) were set up in the beautiful staircase.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Flowers #58

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time
to have such things about us.” - Iris Murdoch

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Candles in The Street

On my way home after a long working day I recently stumbled upon these candles in front of a clothes shop in the city center.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Courtyard of the Teutonic Order #1

During my last walk in the city center I discovered the quiet courtyard of the Deutschordenshaus - the seat of the Teutonic Order, a German-based Roman Catholic religious order formed at the end of the 12th century.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Photo Shoot

Last Saturday I was a model for an acquaintance of mine who is taking part in a group exhibition of portraits of the School for Photography. Here she is shooting another "model". If you are not used to it, it´s really hard to "perform" well in this setting... I will definitely have to continue to earn money in another way...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ants Pillar

I discovered this ants pillar yesterday on the ground floor of the auction house Dorotheum, it seems to be a foretaste of the contemporary art auctions at the end of the month. These ants and interlacing tubes are characteristic motifs of the Austrian multimedia artist Peter Kogler (*1959).

Monday, November 12, 2012

That´s November to me

When I thought of a title for this photo, the first word that came to my mind was "November". The colours, the flowers, the twine of the virginia creeper without leaves - that´s November to me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Flowers #57

"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." - Aristotle