Saturday, 2 February 2019

Groundhog Day
The Viennese Way


Once upon a time,
I had my own personal groundhog.

We passed each other frequently
at the intersection of Democracy Boulevard
and Seven Locks Road,
Zip code 20854


He would sit by the road, on the Cabin John Creek side,
and give me a regal wave with his right paw.
I wonder if anybody has seen him lately.
Today, perchance, on Groundhog Day?


There is no Groundhog Day in Vienna.
Austrian groundhogs prefer to live the high life,
- high as in high in the Alps -
and not a single one of them would be silly enough
to dig himself up through something like ten feet of snow
to check his shadow on the second day of February.
They rather brew themselves another pot of coffee or tea,
and wait for April showers to wash away the whole white mess.


There being no Groundhogs in Vienna,
therefore no Groundhog Day,
I had to invent my own little weather forecast game:
How about counting cakes instead,
I said to myself when I spotted a little merry-go-round,
ferrying cakes, round and round and round:
If the number of cakes passing is an even one,
winter will soon end!

If on the other hand,
the number is an uneven one
,
I shall go in and eat that culprit,
to make sure that winter will not continue
for six more weeks!
I was ecstatic about my ingenuity:
I felt like Don Quixote,
ready to saddle Rosinante attack
windmills with my Dulcinea sword cake fork.


A rather dizzying task,
as it turned out:
Those pesky cakes sped by so fast,
I had hardly time to push the shutter release button,
let alone count!
I must confess,
I failed. I failed the quest!


I forgot to count,
absorbed as I was to get ahold of a picture
of each of the cakes to document their number.


The cakes
passed by,


and passed
again,


and again!
I was so exhausted from not-counting,
I could not even recall anymore
whether an even number meant
seven more weeks of winter
or instant spring!

I do miss the good old days
with my Very Own Groundhog:
A look and a light wave of my hand
was all it took back then.


Photographed at:
Aida Café Bognergasse, the snowballs;
and all those cakes, at
Café Weinwurm, Stephansplatz 11,
in the shadow of St. Stephen's Cathedral!

Images and Text © by Merisi
First published on Groundhog Day 2009

Sunday, 27 January 2019

On the 263th Anniversary of the
Birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
was born on the 27th of January in 1756.
Today marks the 258th anniversary of his birth.
The following are my thoughts and images
from a visit in 2009 to his memorial
at St. Marx cemetery.

A wreath of roses and spring flowers
had been laid at the foot
of the grave stone marker,
and a white candle was burning nearby.

It has been snowing in Vienna, all week.
I imagined little Wolferl
being born on a day like this:
A heavy snow storm in the early morning hours,
with the clouds parting at noon,
allowing for a few minutes of sunshine
to caress the face of the newborn genius.

A bouquet of pale yellow roses
had been left by another Mozart loving soul.
They were frozen stiff,
as if to enshrine their beauty forever.
It warmed my heart thinking that someone
had come out all the way,
walked up the long hill,
maybe in a snow storm as I did,
to offer this token of love.

Another friend
had brought a single rose,

gently posing it
on the angel's pedestal.

A red rose kissed
by the winter morning's sun.

An angel,
keeping watch,
pensively,
cloaked in sunlight.

263 years,
so many years full of music, his music,
source of untold delights and
unimaginable moments of sheer joy.

Somewhere in these hallowed grounds,
Wolfgang Amadeus was laid to rest,
yet his music is with us, to this day.
Music of the spheres
brought down to earth,
not by celestial bodies,
but by a human genius.

The wreath,
a gift by Pension Mozart.

Photographed on 27 January 2009
at Vienna's St. Marx Cemetery
First published in 2009

Images and Text © by Merisi

Friday, 14 December 2018

Christmastime in Vienna
A few of my favorite Things


Checking the List
Demel's at Kohlmarkt


Christmas Market
In the shadow of St. Stephen's Cathedral


Vermischte Warenhandlkung
Weihburggasse

Images and Text © by Merisi

Monday, 10 December 2018

Walking into the Season of Light
December Days in Vienna


Autumn's last Leaves and Shards of Glass
Wall at the MuseumsQuarter


Gift-Wrapped Box and Light Bulbs
Hanging from tree branches


Leaves and Christmas Lights
Autumn melding into winter


Photographed 3 December 2015
Walking past Glacis Beisl towards the MuseumsQuarter
Images and Text © Merisi

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Happy Thanksgiving, America!
Abraham Lincoln's Manifesto of Gratitude


"The year
that is drawing towards its close,
has been filled with the blessings
of fruitful fields and healthful skies.
To these bounties,
which are so constantly enjoyed
that we are prone to forget
the source from which they come,
others have been added,
which are of so extraordinary a nature,


that they cannot fail
to penetrate and soften even the heart
which is habitually insensible
to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
It has seemed to me fit and proper
that they should be solemnly,
reverently and gratefully acknowledged
as with one heart and voice
by the whole American people.


I do therefore invite my fellow citizens
in every part of the United States,
and also those who are at sea
and those who are sojourning in foreign lands,
to set apart and observe
the last Thursday of November next,
as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise
to our beneficent Father
who dwelleth in the Heavens.


And I recommend to them that
while offering up the ascriptions
justly due to Him for such singular deliverances
and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence
for our national perverseness and disobedience,
commend to his tender care all those
who have become widows, orphans, mourners
or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife
in which we are unavoidably engaged,


and fervently implore
the interposition of the Almighty Hand
to heal the wounds of the nation
and to restore it as soon as may be consistent
with the Divine purpose
to the full enjoyment of peace,
harmony, tranquillity and Union."

Quoted from
"A Declaration of Thanksgiving"
Abraham Lincoln's Manifesto of Gratitude
October 3, 1863


Photographed in 2009 in the fields and meadows of
Lake Neusiedl-Seewinkel National Park
© by Merisi

Lake Neusiedl is located
less than an hour's drive south of Vienna

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembrance of Things Past
Café Drechsler Is But A Dream Now



There is magic



in playing to be alone



in public


Photographed in May 2010 at Café Drechsler
Corner of Linke Wienzeile and Girardigasse
6th District, next to Naschmarkt
A-1060 Vienna Images and Text © by Merisi
Images and Text Copyright by Merisi

Links:
- -> I am so proud to have been invited to select this month's theme for City Daily Photo's Theme Day Gallery.
May I invite all of you to head on over and see what's going on in coffee places around the world?
Please follow the link -> City Daily Photo Theme Day: Scene from a Coffee House
- -> Café Drechsler Homepage:
"In 2007 the doors of this coffee house jewel along Vienna’s Wienzeile-Street re-opened. After careful remodeling by Conran & Partners, Cafe Drechsler now presents itself as a café in 21st century style.
As such it continues the tradition that began with Engelbert Drechsler’s family in 1919 – to be a traditional meeting place for guests who appreciate typical coffee house specialties, classical Viennese coffee house cuisine with seasonal accents, and a relaxed atmosphere day or night."

Monday, 1 October 2018

Good Morning from Vienna!
Guarding Schönbrunn's Gloriette


Schönbrunn's Gloriette
Standing high on the hill behind Schönbrunn Palace,
the Gloriette with its large high-ceilinged center hall
and arcaded wings, this graceful folly in all
its splendid non-usefulness, is in my opinion
one of the most romantic places in all of Vienna.

Image and Text © by Merisi