Thursday, July 30, 2009
When they were finally tired of the park, I tried to get them to go with me to the Central Friedhof (cemetery) because I haven't been there this trip, but they were having none of it (they'd already gone with Curtis and found all the famous graves but Falco). So instead I took them to the Stadtpark and told them they had to find me 1. a lake 2. a clock 3. a statue of Strauss the Waltz King 4. one of that party boy Schubert 5. & 6. two more statues. They managed to get to them all and more. I really like the Stadtpark and Rob makes fun of me because it is the lowest of the parks along the ring (behind the Burggarten and the Volksgarten) and has a kind of seedy reputation at night. During the day, though, it's shady and lovely and even Rob would be happy to have it in Provo. Up at the top of the collage is a yellow building called the Kursalon where people used to go to have 'cures' when they were sick. You can read all about one in Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain. Viel Gluck! I loathed that book more than anything in my college career. Maddie asked me why doctors don't prescribe rest cures anymore, and I didn't know what to say. I guess they decided they weren't that effective and were costing a ton of money. And evidently everyone had affairs while on their cures.
But back to the hunt: the kids found everything and Rob called as soon as we were done and on our way to celebrate at the eissalon. So he joined us after his own kind of treasure hunt in the city archives.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Here was our table -- an embarrassment of riches. I had the chanterelle strudel with green sauce, because where else am I going to find that? But everything I tried was wonderful, like the spinach and feta strudel, potato salad, cucumber salad, steak fries, and apple and apricot strudels with vanilla sauce. Rob had a pork knuckle stuffed with knodel, but I myself cannot love a knodel, though I have tried. The students almost all scrammed after eating, muttering about homework and other nonsense. The Isaaks, the McFarlands, and a select few students stuck around for some card games like killer Uno and golf. It was a lovely evening visiting the vorstadt.
*A long time ago in a heuriger not so far away, Rob was a starry-eyed German language instructor on the 1992 Study Abroad. A BYU official had come to town and the director and teachers were all invited out to dinner. When the musicians came around asking for requests, the director suggested a string of obscure, scholarly musical works they'd never heard of. Rob suggested a typical local lied which they seized upon as the only recognizable song. It made the director go 'grrrr' that he couldn't impress the BYU official with his vast knowledge of obscure music, and that this young upstart managed to find something the musicians knew. But that is one of the dangers of dealing with the autodidact that is der Profi Rob.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Rob and I got into another of the museums on our list for free.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
[click to enlarge] Maddie's birthday was on Wednesday. She has had her birthday in Vienna three times and in Berlin once, which means she often doesn't get to have her friends around (which is why we did this), but she does get some incredible cakes. This year she chose the ice cream cake from the italian eissalon on Schwedenplatz. After we brought it out to thaw, we went into the living room to open presents. When we asked the boys to throw away the paper, they came running back in squealing and bringing a terrible smell -- the plastic lid to the cake had been left on a burner where a certain small person likes to turn the dials. Which is how we almost managed to start a fire with an ice cream cake. Difficult to do, I know, but if anyone could manage it, we could.
Maddie got a book, a DVD, and then more grownup things like clothes, jewelry accessories and hair dye. It's a tradition that she does temporary hair dye while she's here. Friends who work at the UN even got her some American treats from the commissary. And she got e-mails from friends back home and got to skype with Shumway grandparents. Technology has opened up all kinds of things for us on this trip. In the evening, we went to the kinderfreibad with two families who go all the way back to Rob's student days at BYU. They reminisced about their roles onstage and the kids dove into the melee in the pool. It was wonderful to be in a cool pool. It was fun for Maddie to have other kids to celebrate with besides her brothers. It was nice to be with old friends. We were the last ones out!
Rob and I are completely startled by this girl. We can't believe that she's eleven. We still imagine her to be the dark-haired baby, and not this young woman who can do the grocery shopping or astound with her vocabulary or keep up a punishing schedule of school, violin, swim team, activities and friends. Amazing!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
This is a small marina belonging to the junge OVP political party, which according to Rob is like the young republicans. There were all these nice young things helping kids to lash together rafts.
[click to enlarge] The Leopold museum was at the top of our list. This is my favorite museum in all of Vienna (and not just because I'm a Shumway and it's air-conditioned, though that didn't hurt!). It came from the personal collection of an optometrist and his wife who began collecting in the 1950's. It was Dr. Leopold's mission to make Viennese artists better known. Rob and I are just amazed at the breadth of the collection and the amazing eye he (they?) had. One of the pictures above is my absolute favorite painting in Vienna. There is a bag of Haribo in it for the first person who can figure out which one it is. In fact, Rob got a photography permit as a professor so he could take a picture of this for me because they don't have postcards and posters of everything for sale in the gift shop they way they do in the US. This is the interior of the MAK, the museum for applied art in a gorgeous neo-renaissance building. They keep all of the Wiener Werkstatte things here, as well as some furniture, glass, a Frankfurt kitchen, the study for Klimt's dining room mosaic in Brussels, textiles and rugs and other installations. There is a room with handmade lace, some of it hundreds of years old. One piece told the story of Adam and Eve, being placed in the Garden of Eden, being tempted and eating the fruit, and then an angel guarding the tree and the couple being thrown out. I think Zina should try a reproduction of it!
The Schubert garage says it's "fast and safe".