Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Ground Hog Day, Viennese Style


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 Personal 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
first published 2009
© 2010 by Merisi


29 comments:

  1. Hmmmm...it's a dilemma.
    Don't worry.
    I'm here to help.
    I counted 5 types of cakes.
    So, you can safely eat one without worrying about wrecking the system.
    I think you should go for that red one - it looks very foreboding.
    Crisis averted.
    Phew.

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  2. Merisi, you have answered a question that popped up in my mind earlier today 2/2. Would anyone living outside the States even care about Groundhog Day, aside from the funny movie starring Bill Murray?

    I am delighted that after a nostalgic referencial wave to that zipcode, you proceeded to cake.

    Our Pennsylvania ceremonial ground hog declared those six additional weeks of winter are in store. On the other hand, today in New York, the temperature rose above freezing, and may do so again tomorrow.

    If I could have had one of those cakes you've photographed, my temperature and early February spirit would definitely have risen.

    Thanks for sending the visions. xo

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  3. Not a sign of a groundhog here today -- they are all snug in their burrows. I hope they have plenty of whatever the groundhog equivalent is for those charming confections.

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  4. Such a choice of delectable cakes you have provided, Merisi. I can only imagine they would melt on a tongue to be savoured with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

    Groundhogs need to be deep in their burrows at this time of year. It's six weeks of winter in Ontario however one looks at it.

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  5. Delightful! I think you should have rewarded yourself with a piece of cake and a hot beverage for all that tilting at windmilling cakes you did.

    We had -30C temperatures here today, with the windchill factored in, in spite of sunny skies. I can guarantee another 6 weeks of winter here in New Brunswick, no matter what Mr. Groundhog's opinion might be.

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  6. I have no idea what a groundhog is, but your photos are superb as always. Congrats with the new road you will be taking :-)

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  7. I tried to pick a favourite there, but they ALL look just TOO delectable! Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures.

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  8. i love your take on groundhog day. much yummier!

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  9. What a wondeful post!! Those are amazing works of art.....makes me want to go to Vienna more and more!! Thank you !!!

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  10. What a perfect post. I enjoyed it very much. :)

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  11. What you needed was an assistant to count as you clicked! Then the two of you could have shared that odd piece of cake...with a delicious cup of Vienese coffee.

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  12. I'm sure that I would become quickly an elephant if I lived in Vienna!!How can you resist?? Happy virtual ground hog day!

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  13. Those cakes look fabulous. If a groundhog were to be at that intersection today he would be squashed. Maybe a roadhog.

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  14. What a delightful story and exquisite pictures, Merisi. I'm glad you captured those scrumptious cakes with your camera instead of counting them.

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  15. Well, I like your theory with winter! I say, just eat cake until spring comes!! They are all works of art.

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  16. Does that mean you didn't allow yourself any cake?

    I think that I would like the one with the snow-like meringue on top. Gorgeous, gorgeous post.

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  17. Bee,
    no, I did not. ;-)
    I was only stopping to take the pictures from the outside, the Lazy Susan kept turning and turning ....

    Alan,
    I can't imagine it being any busier than it was already in 2005 when I last drove by there! Look out for him, he (or she?) sits on the right hand side when you turn right towards Montgomery Mall from Seven Locks, at the edge of the road. Wished I had taken a picture!

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  18. Bee,
    no, I did not. ;-)
    I was only stopping to take the pictures from the outside, the Lazy Susan kept turning and turning ....

    Alan,
    I can't imagine it being any busier than it was already in 2005 when I last drove by there! Look out for him, he (or she?) sits on the right hand side when you turn right towards Montgomery Mall from Seven Locks, at the edge of the road. Wished I had taken a picture!

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  19. Bee,
    no, I did not. ;-)
    I was only stopping to take the pictures from the outside, the Lazy Susan kept turning and turning ....

    Alan,
    I can't imagine it being any busier than it was already in 2005 when I last drove by there! Look out for him, he (or she?) sits on the right hand side when you turn right towards Montgomery Mall from Seven Locks, at the edge of the road. Wished I had taken a picture!

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  20. Thank you all for your comments,
    I read them and they put a smile on my face!
    I had lots of fun when I hammered out that spur of the moment post last year and more fun reading what you say about it. Thank you! :-)

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  21. Those puddings are beautiful and distinctive in design, so should go to a museum...against my appetite!!

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  22. You have such a sense of humor, Merisi! I can just see you chuckle and smile, reading all the comments!

    I wouldn't have time to count the cakes, because some would have been eaten by the time I come to the end!

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  23. @ the Lacquer Spoon,
    yes, wouldn't that be a great idea,
    Sunday at the Cake Museum! ;-)
    The good thing is that I am not particularly fond of these kind of creamy cakes. I am more the strudel type (the one with the paper-thin homemade dough, not the fake one with puff pastry) or chocolate-almond-nut torten.

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  24. @ jeannette,
    thank you! :-)))
    My kids say I am so nut funny, but I know deep in my heart I am still a child who delights in whatever chuckle she can get out of life. And there is some mighty funny stuff out there, isn't it? ;-)
    Thank you for returning here, even though I do not manage to visit you in turn often enough.

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  25. das weinwurm war einer der wenigen bemerkenswerten kaffeehaeuser, welche bisher noch nicht auf dieser seite vorgekommen sind.
    ich bin gespannt ob den verbliebenen ebenfalls einmal diese charmante ehre zuteil wird ...

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  26. A cake museum !! I loove it !! What a grand idea! I had to print this one out to show my mom and she was just in awe! She said it was like the Anna Torte we had from Demel !!


    http://nycstylecannoli.blogspot.com

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  27. Dear Merisi,
    There was something bittersweet about reading that zip code in this post. We have just moved from a zip code very similar to that one to go live in darkest and coldest New England! I do miss somethings about it already (it has only been about 10 days), but our last day there was spent enjoying Latino Dim Sum at Cafe Atlantico!!! I remember you loved Mr. Andres' restaurants as much as we did! By the way, I love your cake counting game, if for nothing more than just to have an excuse to look at the cakes!!!

    xo,

    Betty

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