You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2009.

no88

Since there’s been so much “talk” (as in our talk) lately about the changing weather and season, I thought it’d be nice to include a photo that illustrates the phenomenon. Notice the leaves on the sidewalk, in the process of being mushed into dirt.

no91

Der Österreichische Bundesverlag ist einer der größten und bekanntesten Schulbuchverlage Österreichs.

This is one of the largest and most well-known schoolbook vendors in Austria, and has many language-learning books, foreign language literature, and children’s books. And who knew? It was right under our eyes! 1., Schwarzenbergstraße 5, Vienna.

With the arrival of the weekend, the splendor of the end of the month has come with it. This magical time of year is encompassed by the end of the harvest season, that is Halloween, and the beginning of frost on disintegrating leaves.

In Vienna, change is in the air. Days are shorter, clouds hang low, and shops have filled with unnecessary oddities of the forthcoming holiday season. One thing is for sure, however: Naschmarkt has not yet closed its shop-fronts for the winter (although our favorite wine shop has recently stopped serving outside), and soon enough, the Christkindlmarkts will start being constructed. (Nov. 12 is the first.)

This weekend, we have a plethora of things to do. But it’s started off right: a hardy breakfast while listening to the roots music of Chris Thomas King. The New Orleans’ roots and blues musician accompanied our coffee, and told us heartfelt stories. A good start.

One of the more important things on the to-do list is to gather flowers to adorn the living room table. This has become a weekend tradition, mostly because the flower lady at Naschmarkt on Saturdays is one of the better arrangers in town.

We’ll fill you in throughout the weekend; what discoveries we happen upon, and what realizations we come across.

schuhservice no5

schuhservice no7

schuhservice no9

schuhservice no10

schuhservice no11

If you were looking at these pictures without knowing really where it is, where would you think you are?

I spent a half hour in this magic place the other evening. I knew I was late, past opening hours. In Austria, most services are not open past 6pm. The door was wide open, although it was dark inside. As I walked in I noticed a light still on in the back and cigarette smoke seeped and curled my way from behind a curtain.

The space was inviting, yet surreal at the same time. The mannequin standing beside me was staring aimlessly at the space just above my head, and shoes displayed in the window had a layer of dust on them. Perfectly retro, I was considering whether I could buy them. Second-hand is becoming my forte, you see (more to come on that subject later).

The posters and the funky out-of-place objects, such as the piggie-bank (an elephant in this case), the owl with wide eyes fit in just right.

I said “Halo,” and a voice replied, “Halo,” without any movement from behind the curtain separating the shop from the back room.

I asked, “Are you still open,” and the voice answered “Yes” (in German, which fit perfectly in the surreal environment). Still no sign of an actual human being. After what felt like a long time, the shop owner, with a big head of gray hair and huge hands covered in ink and dirt, showed up. He put his foot on the counter tying his shoe as he continued talking to me.

Even before I started writing, I had digressed, I realize.  But my experience at the cobbler was a memorable one. I am having my new, cool, chocolate-leather-brown boots (with a perfect heel) altered a bit, and I was hoping this cobbler would have the creative mind to do it…

We just have to wait and see the results. Enjoy the scene.

Photos by: Lauren Brassaw

walk1

October. Crisp breezes are already beginning to sting your cheeks here, and the burden of keeping a warm nose has begun to cross your mind. Wool clothingstuff, of course your hats, gloves, scarves, etc., have all been pulled out, restocked, and rearranged on your shelves.

Without a doubt (as life works like this), but fortunately, our so-called “Indian summer” made a comeback this weekend.

No, we didn’t go swimming. We did manage to take long walk though, practically basking in the sun over the course of several hours next to the Danube River. Here are a few shots from the adventure.

walk1

The water’s reflection.

walk1

The colors of mid-autumn are beginning to take hold. Dying leaves shriveling in the mud makes for the pungent, fertilizing odor that is so familiar this time of the year.

walk1

Here, the sun bursting through the leaves of the old birch trees.

walk1

apt.

I hope you’ve read the “about page,” so I can get right to the point…

It is a warm autumn day in the end of October. The leaves are falling, but there is still a summery feel to the weather as Indian summer has lingered for two months now (but with a short, strange stint of rain and snow for a few hours last week). When the sun is out it is wonderful to be outside: 17°C at midday.

By the way, autumn is by far my favorite season – the thought of a warm cover-up (but not too much) and beverages of the season, normally coffee, cider, or in our case Sturm, which is young, sweet wine available only during the fall season, thrills me.

Now, it’s the end of a long weekend and we had a busy schedule;  including a morning at the second hand warehouse Caritas, successfully finding great furniture for our living room (needing some touch-ups, but already in use), spending an entire afternoon at the local market Nachmarkt, (grabbing an echt falafel and a cup of Sturm, going for a long walk (all of an afternoon, squeezing in beer and a Frankfurter) along the Danube river, attending a goose dinner with friends and finally baking a two-kilo pork-roast with vegetables and potatoes for our delicious dinner tonight. Did I miss anything? Maybe the late night movie…

The photo above is taken in the early morning, while we were enjoying strong, black coffee (organic, of course) purchased at Alte Wien Kaffee across the street.

I have to randomly share, that I’m a huge scarf-wearer. A recent purchase; the sumptuous, two-tone color piece, purchased at Coton Doux in Paris, is like my dream accessory at the moment…(side note: it belongs to Lauren…).