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Hello there!

Last night a good friend of ours invited us to join her and a colleague at the opening party for the Wiener Festwochen, Vienna’s music and performing arts festival that’s got something going on everyday for the next month!

Situated directly in front of Rathaus (or City Hall), the opening ceremony for the event included a special emphasis on the human voice, particularly collective singing, and included a range of styles from gospel or opera to classical symphony and choral arrangements. And, in each piece, the celebration of the human voice seemed heightened, and had we been sitting, would have left us on the edge of our seats.

As tradition has it, and perfectly so, the concert closed with the Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor: Choral, Op. 125.

Afterward, the party moved inside to the main festivities hall inside the Rathaus, where invitees met the musicians, singers and others who are part of the festival performances. The architecture inside the building is as ornately gothic as the outside of the building, but when decorated with modern lighting, the hall became a dreamy hallucination between the past and present.

We feel honored to have been invited, and are looking forward to checking out some of the performances.

● Also check out full coverage of the Opening of Vienna’s festival (in German).

Yesterday, I spent a great day in the city of Linz. After walking around for most of day in very cold April weather (one of those days), I tagged along with my friend to the OK Kulturhaus in the city center for the opening of the six-day long film festival Crossing Europe.

Press accreditation and information room for guests

Most Austrians are familiar with the annual film festival Viennale. It draws a public from all around the world and goes on for one month. A smaller version of the Viennale, and perhaps a bit less known, is Crossing Europe.

(sponsored by Silhouette)

This year is the festival’s eighth year, but the genre stays the same, devoted to idiosyncratic, contemporary and socio-political auteur cinema from Europe.

Guests of the film industry (nearly 600 accredited festival participants) and the local cinema audience are able to choose from a program with 130 hand-picked films, documentaries and short films.

Linz views

The opening night was filled to the brim with the press, photographers and other guests, being welcomed to the program, the jury and the guest of honor, Austrian film producer gone Hollywood, Eric Pleskow. He is the former president of United Artists and Orion Pictures, and during the hight of his career the film One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest (1976) under the ownership of United Artists, won an Oscar.

Eric Pleskow (sitting) is greeted by a very (and I mean very) excited event organizer

Before the first screening of the festival, the co-organizer OK Kulturhaus invited guests to enjoy the traditional Austrian meal knödel and sauerkraut and a cold beer to splash it down.

It’s Thursday — hope the week is going well for everybody!

Often we head down to Naschmarkt in the evenings after work. It’s an open-air market where we usually food shop, and occasionally stop for a glass of wine. This being somewhat of a necessity after the 25-minute train-ride — yes, I’m being slightly facetious.

We live next door, which is not to say that the atmosphere has become dull and monotonous, rather that we find it comforting and nigh. It’s old-worldy, too! Check out the brass bar stool in the background below.

As we passed one of our favorite wine-vendors, the owner called to us to try a new wine!

This week he’s serving a fresh 2010 Grüner Veltliner — young and… — and we were more than delighted to be tasting it while hanging out in the evening sun!

The weather this weekend is supposed to be gorgeous in Vienna — high of 22° C — so there will be plenty of hangin’ around outdoors.

Good afternoon friends!

We went a-walkin’ in the sun recently and came upon this magic moment. Throughout Karlsplatz park lively accordion waltz was audible — ringing through the air and bouncing from building to building — and pleasing passers-by.

This little one came running up to the accordionist and stopped, right in front of him, and stood there listening for quite some time. The moment seemed magical as the child’s eyes lit up with intrigue; you could see some of the first musical inspiration entering his mind.

And the accordionist was sure enough quite interesting, too!

Hope you are all having a nice week!

Hello friends! I have to say, it took some time for my eye to catch onto this detail. Here’s how my thoughts unraveled:

Oh look, they added a new symbol for the disabled… Strange how it overlaps the surveillance sign – what poor design.

They’re usually so good about design, why would they do that?

It must be an important sign.

What is it?

Oh, I see…!

This is apparently done by a street artist here in Vienna after a young couple were caught copulating on the subway. Crude. You can google the video yourself if you’re interested.

Hope you’re all having a lovely week so far! See you soon!

Welcome back to a new week!

Early Saturday morning, I went walking in a small Slovak town, where I was visiting my parents. I was not planning to photograph anything in particular, but in the end, ended up taking shots of storefronts and signs. All of what you will see below is from the main strip in town, which is about 200 meters long.

What occurred to me was that there was an amazing array of typography.  I do not know what typefaces they are, but take a look at the variety of these wonderful specimens. There are a lot of alternatives and flourishes, ranging from fat and curvy serif, to thin, modern and relevant sans-serif. Or how about character and personality, loud and expressive, or the quality in well chosen proportions and a well balanced ensemble — timeless.

A while ago we were wandering around Vienna and came across some other interesting typefaces.

I just love letterforms, and when thinking about using various types I would usually want to attempt to express that. I appreciate a type design where there is an element of something that demonstrates a passion and flair for the subject, versatility and craftsmanship.

Do you have a favorite here?

Are you as excited for the weekend as I am?

It’s been a long, rough week fending off the cold and flu that everybody else seems to have picked up, and has been incapacitated by for days on end. Well, so far we’re going strong and haven’t gotten any full-blown anything.  Sign of relief. If there are two thing I would prescribe to not get sick — which obviously isn’t the flu-shot — it’s vitamin C and good food.

Earlier this week we treated our selves to a meal out at one of our local Japanese restaurants — Tokori — located in Naschmarkt. Since the weather has turned harshly cold once again, the green tea and scalding Udon soup was particularly soothing.

Japanese food seems particular fresh, and clean, and therefore healthy. That’s the kind of food that will keep you well during the winter.

The restaurant itself is a small, self-standing structure, it’s outer walls almost completely windows, which gives the space a comfortably open air.  It was our first time to this particular spot, and honestly, I think the atmosphere probably enhances the taste of the food, which is to say it’s probably not the best Japanese food in the city.

I hope everybody has an enjoyable weekend!

Happy Monday/V day/welcome back to work!

There’s something incredibly aesthetically pleasing about receiving mail via snail-mail! Perhaps it’s leftover nostalgia from childhood, when you went to check whether the post had delivered anything other than advertisements. And back then, often times they did.

But it doesn’t work if there’s nobody sending things… it’s a give and take situation. So I’m inclined to send a hand-written letter from time to time, just to fill that void. Valentine’s day is a good time to remind others – not only a partner – that you are thinking of them.

This is a design that I came up with a couple weeks ago.

Do you enjoy sending and receiving snail-mail? What time of the year inspires you to do so?

Our good friends, Allison and Florian, are getting married. I was asked if I would like to join them to visit a wedding photographer named Stephan Rauch — nick named “the happiness catcher” — who was having an open house.

As an aspiring photographer, I have been contemplating what it would be like to photograph weddings for a living. I admit, I have a little ways to go.

What we encountered were some stunning images, and as one might suspect, we were bombarded by ever-joyous moments and faces, from every corner of the world.

But almost more inspiring than the photography itself was the way the space engaged you: high ceilings and enormous windows, all the while being surrounded by large images projected on the walls.

Hope everybody’s Mondays are going well so far!

The highlight of our weekend was getting out for a long hike. Twenty minutes into the bus-ride heading out of the city, we realized that there is still a good amount of snow on the ground elsewhere. In town it has all but melted away.

full-size photos via

It was a long, rewarding hike – good company and plenty of laughter – and the way giant snowflakes clumped onto the tree branches was particularly beautiful!