You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2010.

It was a sunny morning as we woke up today: smiles wide, and bare feet.

It’s the end of February and we can already feel how the season is changing. Even though it is still cold, the smell, the moist air and the earlier morning light makes it feel like spring.

Sunday breakfast and an afternoon stroll — sometimes things come out even better than you imagined or hoped.

Oh and by the way, it seems like the olympic buzz must surely be outweighing the Vancouver rain today — in a huge way — as it is the weekend of the final gold medals.

Hiking the Wienerwald outside Vienna’s 18th- and 19th-District suburb, Grinzing, proved to be just the thing for this early-risin’ day. Although the snow in the city has long since melted away, the higher elevations to the north/northwest of the city have a-plenty.

This was one of the first days with an abundance of sunshine. The reflection from the white surroundings led to a slight over-exposure of the skin, which we noticed the following day.

The forest was still and few others thought to adventure here. It felt like a place and landscape of sanctity; the view was equally breathtaking.

Around noon, and around the crest of the mountain, the path we were on led to a cute Gasthaus, of which neither of us can remember the name. The Schnitzel, Gulasch und zwei große Bier hit the spot.

MUMOK in the Museumsquartier finished off the exhibit Gender Check with a finissage to remember.

Gender Check is an exhibition reflecting ideas of masculinity and femininity in the former Communist block. Twenty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the paintings, films, posters and sculptures (in other words, artwork) explores how men and women were depicted in life, through the art of Eastern Europe.

As much as it focuses on a specific geographical area and period, it forces the observer to think about fundamental questions concerning art, feminism and gender issues in general.

The finissage is a new concept to me, but a good one. In closing the exhibit and moving it to Warsaw for the next six months, the curator and two artists walked a group of around twenty through the exhibit, explaining the history and ideas behind many of the pieces.  It was a lesson in anecdotes to remember.

How do images impact on our view of the sexes? What are the effects of social forces on how we think about gender?

This painting is the first to greet you as you walk in; a painting by Wojcieh Fangor (Polen/Poland) titled Figures; 1950; 100 x 125 cm.

Passing time with the sleeping trees (and sleeping world) is good for you. Walking slowly, observing last year’s birds scouting for a new pad, enjoying the silent surrounding being disturbed only by the snow collapsing beneath the weight of your boots.

Here’s an fascinating interview on the art of slowing that I came across this week; it’s all about recognizing when to slow your life, and what it means for you in the long run. + some food for thought.

Photographs were taken at Vienna’s Prater.

This scene presented itself to me yesterday in the late afternoon. The world seemed to be full of life around; dogs playing and owners mingling, vendors shouting and strollers strolling. The onsetting dusk matched this energy in colors and power, while the mural, “der lange Atem,” created an interesting juxtaposition.

What I discovered tonight was that what I thought was some grotesque advertisement, is quite the contrary, and we live with it every day. That’s the wonder of art. This piece by Gottfried Helnwein.

The photograph was taken in Vienna, Austria, on Linke Wienzeile across from Naschmarkt.

Late on this February evening, we were walking in the quiet , empty, snowed-blanketed streets in our neighborhood. We talked about this and that, and about the movie we had just seen at the Film museum directed by Luis Buñuel, as part of the series titled Golden Age: Mexican Cinema, 1930 – 1954.

I also reflected on how I used to walk my dog in the park late every night and early each morning, and how nice it was to enjoy those silent moments together.

It had started snowing lightly again at 6, right before we went in to see the film; by the time we left the cinema the world was once again dusted in white. The comfortable, soft rhythm of walking in the snow felt good. It was so nice to move slowly and be together and enjoy our life.

The savory tart is essential to French cuisine; it can be modified to whatever ingredients you want — a suggestion from this end is to go vegetarian and easy on the egg. This one comes from somewhere out toward the ol’ Alps.

Quiche au chou frisé et feta
a couple handfuls of kale
one onion
a few garlic cloves
some feta
a few eggs
salt and pepper
olive oil
savory pastry dough (flour, butter, water, salt)


Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius (475-ish degrees fahrenheit, or up high). Grill chopped onion and garlic in skillet for a couple o’ minutes — then add the chou. Season well with salt and pepper and let soften (about five minutes). Meanwhile, having made the dough in advance, roll it out and place it in a lightly floured, 20cm pie form, letting the edges hang over.

Next you’re going to add the veggies to the crust, cover with feta, a few eggs and a bit more olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool for ten.

Imagine your day starting with a half-working mind, having danced well into the morning hours and waking merely a few later… Your vision, at a moment like this, could very well appear as the photograph below: a winter, rose-garden tunnel — frigid, long and narrow — surrounded by twisting and curling vines of thought.

As the day moves forward, color makes its way back into the scene, and warmth in your toes.

As the sun sets, the crepuscular air gives into the coming night. Schönnbrunn Palace in the distance appears as any other palace in a distance; its trademark garden-house is out of view.  We did climb up to the garden-house in the bleak February weather. It felt good, like the fresh horseradish that accompanied a Frankfurter and helped clear our minds.

From this perspective you notice the royal grounds are accompanied by a miniature vineyard that stretches the length opposite the zoological attractions.

While we waited for the snow fall, we passed the time deep in thought, and put our ducks in a row.

I wonder if, when looking out from any of these windows, reality looks any different from than how the windows and their immediate surrounds appear.

On the one hand, to doubt it would cynical; the decay of the minds living in these windows might see the world much the same as they allow their home to become. On the other hand, does that mean the discourse of our perspectives is static?

I can’t take my eyes off the red bricks that protrude through the worn stucco.

Let’s hope these aren’t all living room windows.

You have to appreciate the textures in these walls and windows as they play with your vision. So many layers and levels to what these windows are, and what they might be like from the other side.