Sunday, October 16, 2005

Vienna: where might a Viennese go in the hope of finding a pick-me-up?

The usuals: bars, friends, friends at bars, friends at cafés, friends elsewhere, for a walk.

At some point, oh say 100 years ago, they may have gone here:

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The waiting room at Freud’s house on 19 Bergstrasse

I wasn’t really in need of a pick-me-up, but still found it a good place, really an extraordinarily fascinating place to head to on a Sunday morning.

Vienna, like Warsaw, pretty much closes down on Sunday (except for the coffee shops). Yet the people (like in Warsaw) go out in great numbers to parade up and down the main shopping gasse's and strasse's (the park is to the side and does not lend itself to parading up and down. You can dispense with it in an hour or so).

You would think one store at least would seize the competitive advantage and throw open its doors and rake in the Euros, but no. Sunday is Sunday. You eat and you drink and you eat some more. And stroll.

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The Havelka: some describe it as Vienna's most bohemian, intellectual, literary, smokey, etc etc cafe.

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fewer people, quieter spaces

It seems I ought not strain myself either on a Sunday. And I did not. I kept the camera in its pouch and, apart from the museum visit, I concentrated on strolling. And eating.

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chanterelle mushroom salad

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plum strudel -- hold the cream, please.

And in the very early morning, I amused myself by taking pictures in the mirror of a neighborhood café.

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Cafe Aida

Vienna: afternoon delight

Thinkin' of you workin' up my appetite, looking forward to a little afternoon delight.

Everyone’s doin’ it

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Taking the world by sturm: white plastic cups filled with young, fruity, purple liquid. Crowds packing the main square, standing, talking, sampling. The new wine has arrived!

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Vienna Oct 05 104 the casual

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Vienna Oct 05 109 the white haired older

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Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night.

When everything's a little clearer in the light of day.

But you've got some bait a waitin' and I think I might try nibbling

a little afternoon delight

Eating it up

Of course, it's not all in the drinking. Around the corner, the street foods are there for you and they don't lack crowds. It's all pleasure and indulgence. Looking for low-fat? Not in this neck of the city.

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this calls for the real stuff (after first emptying the tall sturm cups)

My motto's always been; when it's right, it's right ...

With or without whipped cream?

In the end, I want my now very late afternoon coffee. I have it in my mind that the day will not be complete without Austrian apple strudel.
I don’t speak German, but being surrounded by it makes it easy to start picking up words and phrases. Since I got the coffee thing wrong my first day here (too little coffee, too much whipped cream), I thought I’d work with the words on the menu and request something closer to what I wanted: lotsa coffee and lotsa milk.

On the menu I see: kleiner espresso mit milch and
grosser espresso mit schlagobers im glas.

Easy. I tell the waitress:
Grosser espresso but not mit schlagobers im glas; instead, mit milch in glas, danke.

She says (in German): ah. You want a latte

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the cream comes anyway. with the apple strudel.

And you know the night is always gonna be there any way...

Afternoon delights turn into evening pleasure

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Vienna at sunset is outrageously beautiful, imposing, regal.
And really, it's time I tasted the traditional Viennese foods, prepared perfectly, with an eye toward freshness. I found what I was looking for.
[Okay, no I did not just look at foods, look at people eating, sit and eat myself, stand and eat, walk and drink and eat, no I did not do that. But it seems that way, doesn't it?]

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to start with, a frothy pumpkin soup with pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil

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followed by absolutely perfect Weiner schnitzel, updated with greens on scalloped potatotes

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ending with poppyseeds. In a white chocolate mousse. with fruit.

Sky rockets, really, this day was all about sky rockets. Completely delightful.