Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Library Cantina

I know he already talked about it last year, but this is the library where Rob researches his favorite topics on german-speaking culture: obscure women writers and composers, Red Vienna and the civilizing of the urban poor, and perceptions of America in the 1920's. I think I'd be able to study even the most boring or disgusting topics in a library with rolling staircases -- the climbing of ladders to retrieve books is just so civilized!
Here is the outside of the library -- it's a wing of the Hofburg (the Emperor's in-town palace) overlooking Heldenplatz, which is a very historyful piece of dirt. It has statues of Prince Eugene who lived in the Belvedere palace, and Archduke Charles, the guy who took Barcelona because they're military heroes who fought for Vienna and the empire. It is most well-known for Hitler's speech here just before Austria was annexed to Germany.
This is more context than you need, because in the basement of said library is a cantina where we like to have lunch. It has only two entrees each day: one with meat and one vegetarian. You go buy your drink and get a token for your entree to take back to the kitchen window, then choose a seat among the eclectic tables and have your lunch. It is horribly hip, with red walls, huge abstract wall hangings, big vases full of flowers and peacock feathers, and a clientele that ranges from the decidedly blue-collar library workers, to the academics visiting from all over the world. At least one student agrees with us: he said "I have to go there every day just to see what they're going to have! I love that place!" Amen. Every time we go, Rob starts planning how to have something like it on campus at home. It will never happen. Red walls? Vegetarian entrees? Non-representational art? Mis-matched furniture? Not at BYU.

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