Hello dear readers! I'm so sorry for the delay in this post--my family was in town, as promised in my last post, and so when I wasn't at work, I was showing them around Vienna, eating lots of delicious food (not on my dime), and celebrating my birthday! (Hence the Blink-182 lyrical reference in the title of this post--not a whole lot of songs about being 23 out there, are there?)
|My brother was here! I missed him for sixth months and then he got annoying after five minutes. So... basically normal!|
|Mom snuck a paparazzi photo of me and my brother walking along the street. I'm pretty sure we were doing Batman voices when she took this.|
Once I knew my family was going to be here for my birthday, I immediately took a look at my schedule and made to plan a spectacular, action-filled day--basically, how many museums could I drag my brother to using my birthday as an excuse, and how much food could I shove in my face because birthday calories obviously don't count? Turns out the answer in plenty, though I was a bit disappointed when I began to make the plans because my birthday fell on a Monday this year, when a lot of arts venues in Vienna seem to be closed. So I had to get a little creative in my planning, but I think everyone enjoyed themselves!
First, we met for brunch at Pure Living Bakery in the seventh district, which I previously been to with my roommates. After everyone's eyes almost fell out with shock at the pure amount of sugar on the menu, we enjoyed our breakfasts of pancakes and yogurt parfaits and bagels and coffees. I'm pretty sure we were the only ones in the restaurant, so we got the VIP treatment. Next we went to the Belvedere Winterpalais in the first district, where we saw "The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined," a pretty wacky and out-there display of fashion inspired by older royal models. My favorite piece was by far the ornate coat from the Viktor and Rolf Autumn/Winter 2016 collection.
|My cappuccino (American-style, which means large, naturally) had a cute little face!!!!!|
|They didn't let us take photos, so I had to write down the info and then do some googling to find the best coat ever.|
Next we went across the Danube for some Italian food courtesy of Al Pacino Pizzeria, which I really only picked for its location and because it was called Al Pacino. My family loves The Godfather, so I figured they would get a kick out of eating at Al Pacino's. I had some delicious gnocchi with meat sauce, and the rest got pizzas, if I remember correctly. Next it was just back across the river to the Kunst Haus Wien (koonst-howss Veen), which is a museum designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser (free-denz-ryekh hoon-durt-vah-sur) an artist and architecture with a very unique and idiosyncratic style--the floors were deliberately uneven, and the walls were covered with his paintings and drawings, which made use of a colorful folk-art style. I would include photos, but we weren't allowed to take any (even without flash!), but there are some good photos in the link above.
|Waiting for that yummy food... Dad rocking the Northwestern gear for my bro!|
|Selfie with the momay with part of the façade of the Kunst Haus.|
Then after a good bit of walking, we went back to the seventh district for dinner at 7Stern Bräu (pronounced zee-ben shtairn broy), a nice, typically Austrian-style place. We almost missed our reservation because I accidentally took us inside the wrong restaurant (which had a similar name, I swear!!) and we waited there for a good twenty minutes before I realized my mistake. After dinner we meandered along Mariahilferstraße, where my brother promptly found some gelato, until it was time to go home--I had teaching at nine in the morning the following day.
|I had to return some videotapes. Actually, they were DVDs. But still. This is a view from the outside steps of the library near my place!|
|This random building in the third district had these amazing mosaics. I wish I'd written down the address...|
|Next to the gelato place was a very fancy water party. That's what this place sells--fancy water. And there was a party. With a bouncer. To stop people from getting into the water party. I just lack the words.|
On Wednesday, I dragged my family to the MAK (which I visited in the fall). I wasn't sure how into it my brother and dad would be, but there was enough weird arts and crafts to prevent them from being bored. The design lab hadn't really changed at all since my last visit, but because it has so much material, it definitely didn't feel like I was revisiting the same pieces I'd seen previously. My dad particularly liked one video (by artists called Honey and Bunny) that used all sorts of combinations of location and perspective to play with the idea of how we eat in a very surrealistic way.
|This was a pretty cool piece of furniture. It opened like an accordion and was designed to be manipulated into differently-shaped couches!|
|I think Dad was watching slo-mo video art when I took this.|
|Here is Mom, helping Ben use a typewriter for the first (and likely only) time in his life...|
While saying goodbye was of course not easy, I will be coming back to the States in a few weeks to attend a conference in San Diego, where I'm presenting a paper on (I kid you not) Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, where I examine how its medium as a YouTube series allows the creator to engage with fans and remediate these interactions into the ongoing text of the show itself. I'm such a nerd.
|Slightly blurry selfie taken last night after dinner!|
|We are so sad about being separated for another two whole weeks. Look at all those tears. (I will miss him though--I always miss my bro.)|
In other news, the last notice came in--looks like I will not be going to graduate school for my PhD this fall. I'm pretty disappointed, but not exactly surprised at this point--it seems as if PhD programs are shifting their gears to admit more students who already have Masters' degrees. I am currently exploring my other options for next year, and trying to keep my head up. I can't help but feel as if I've been dealt a pretty big setback in terms of my career. I don't want the PhD to teach--I want it because it really seems like you need one to be hired as a curator these days. But I just have to keep doing what I always do--keep writing, keep working, keep hustling until something shakes out.
Miscellany of the week(s):
- Got to see both Moonlight, which was amazing and gorgeous, and Beauty and the Beast, which was good in some ways and bad in others. The latter movie had to deal with living up to the cartoon, which was my favorite as a kid. Belle is also my favorite princess, so of course I was going to be picky.
|Photo of my Marx Brothers boys at the Burgkino!|
|... you okay there, chair? You drunk?|
- I also squeezed in two interviews for my project: one with the director of a Roma cultural center in Vienna, and another (via Skype) with a Roma director and performance artist based in Vienna (but currently in Berlin). I can't wait for this all to come together!
- My brother just looked like Dopey from Snow White in this picture:
|Gee, I wonder where he goes to school?!|
- I spotted this dress at Zara today, prompting me to laugh out loud in public.
|Austria: "no, we've never watched The Sound of Music--it's such a silly American movie! Why do you ask?"|
|Me, looking at the above dresses: "... no reason!"|
- Jack Wolfskin. He solves tundra crimes. (A new pilot by Deborah Krieger, because the store name "Jack Wolfskin" is definitely also the name of a rugged dude living in Alaska who is also a detective or something. Like a Robert B. Parker novel (RIP). (Coming soon to NBC. Produced by Dick Wolf.)