Sunday 24 May 2009

Life in the Slow Lane

Window with Rhododendron
Galerie Kandinsky

What are you looking for?
Kristian's Monasteri Restaurant
is tempting you!

This being an equal opportunity blog,
here the same scene again!

When you are done looking,
I would suggest to stop
for breakfast at Café Kandinsky.

Be forewarned:
Tables like this one are not uncommon,
here you run into a serious risk
of whiling away your whole morning!

Something like 101 different varieties
of Staud's heavenly-tasting Konfitüren jams
lie in wait for you - the sweet beginnings of more such
slow food for a leisurely breakfast.

I have yet to find out
why in the world anybody would think
that "Slow Food" was invented in Italy!

Italy of all places is where they
have "bars" where they scan your coffee-IQ
- (what with the "Bon giorno, dottoressa!") -
that secret code trasmitted immediately to the automatic coffee maker
as soon as your shadow slinks through the door frame,
all meant to expedite your stay at the counter
down to mere seconds!

"Slow Food"
was not "invented" in Vienna either,
there simply was no need to,
Viennese meals
are by definition
a celebration of slowness

in the best sense of the word:
taking more time than is usual or necessary,
not moving too quickly, but proceeding at a low leisurely speed pace!
(That old saying about "words not hurting" does not always apply,
especially not in Vienna,
where "fast" and "speed" should be used
with the utmost care only -
they are best left to traffic reporters
and disk jockeys

Photographed by Merisi
Lerchenfelder Strasse to Neubaugasse Durchhaus *)
Saturday, May 23, 2009

*) Durchhaus: Austrian for a passage way
through one or more buildings
The Lerchenfelder Durchhaus
cuts through a whole city block.

View of the Durchhaus
from the entrance
at Lerchenfelder Strasse
Don't forget your bike!



  1. Just to let you know:
    Over the last ten days or so,
    I used only my little pocket camera, a Panasonic LUMIX TZ5.

  2. I'd like to have breakfast at that restruant. Looks like you'd be eating among the greenery.

  3. Oh my, it looks lovely. Is this the Wien I am going to meet?

  4. Beautiful images.
    I love the half-eggs.
    And the entire mood... whiling away your whole morning!
    The world on tortoise-speed!

  5. Whenever I link to your site, I hold my breath...and when your first photo comes up on my screen, I invariably gasp, and say, "Oh!!!!" How many ways and times can I say this? Your blog and writing are divine...and your photos always transcend the ordinary!!!! ~Janine XO

  6. These are all superb photos...and your commentary is filled with explanatory wonderment...who knew so much about eating in Vienna?

    My favorite photo is #1, and my second favorite(s) would be the two different takes of people walking into the restaurant.

    This is very well done! Thanks!

  7. Oops! Two other comments:

    In referent to your comment: As a great photographer once said, "It's never the camera. It's the photographer." It is possible to take fantastic photos with a cheap throwaway camera.

    And, what I especially like about your blog is that you are able to be artsy without being pretentious (and that's a very rare quality!)

  8. Great photos from that little camera, then! Love the shadows. They're a painting, Merisi.da

  9. Oh, you've taken excellent photos with your little Panasonic!
    I thought you were using a reflex!
    About that refined restaurant, I'd like to have a breakfast with you there, so we could speak about photography! :-)
    Have a good week ahead!

  10. your photos always give me such a peaceful quaint journey

  11. Charles Gramlich,
    it is an incredible place, flowers and greenery included.
    I just love the atmosphere there, you are sitting outdoors yet still under a roof. Magic when it rains. ;-)

    it depends all on what you are ready to encounter, and how:
    Vienna is you, after all! :-)

  12. cipriano,
    the halves were soft-boiled eggs (not mine, I have had breakfast earlier at the market, remember?). I like the expression "tortoise-speed" - I may use it some day, giving you credit, of course. ;-)

  13. Sniffles and Smiles,
    oh, now I am speechless, you are very generous - thank you, merci! :-)

  14. Jacob,
    thank you! :-)

    I still have not discovered how in the world people here in Vienna find the time for leisurely breakfasts, long lunches, Kaffeehaus breaks between and after, pre-opera drinks and then not only not sleeping through the performance, but making witty and knowledgable commentary right after, into the wee hours ...
    and making all look so effortless! ;-)

  15. Jacob,
    oh, I agree (not speaking of myself, naturellement)!

    While it is indeed possible to take great pictures with a simple camera, it is my opinion that with an SLR the creative possibilities (Gestaltungsmöglichkeiten) are less dependent on technical restrictions.

    I thank you for your kind words regarding not being pretensious: I simply do not believe in pretensiousness. Life is too short to waste the time with foolish things.

  16. A Brush with Color,
    thank you!
    You are welcome to paint any of the scenes, would be an honor! :-)

    Pietrograzie! :-)
    My reflex is at the camera spa right now - one year old and the second vacation already. I am a bit annoyed, but what can one do?

    my pleasure, thank you! :-)

  17. So good, so sweet, so slow.

  18. lakeviewer,
    oh yes -
    I wished I could relax there more often! :-)

  19. Beautiful photos with your pocket camera...I think people would be more healthy is they took the time for slow food instead of fast food..
    Michelle From Rambling Woods

  20. As I sit here with my cup of morning coffee on my Happy Monday, I am promising myself to live like these pictures, with peace and lots of good food! Thank you again!

  21. Ah, Merisi, the Slow Lane is my street address!

  22. Anonymous25 May, 2009

    Gorgeous exposures with that little camera! :)

  23. Oh very very nice!!
    My daughter and I also had a relaxing Saturday morning but not with such a scrumptious breakfast as yours!!
    My little Lumix (DMC-FX55) is also tucked away in my handbag when I go 'out and about' - it takes good photographs.

  24. Kurwenal25 May, 2009

    How wonderful,refreshing,clear, with witty tales as well ! I adore that single chair and small table tucked into the corner : that would be my place to enjoy a melange and watch the room fill up.
    Thanks Merisi for these constantly beautiful and inventive images.
    Best wishes from a wet and rainy UK.

  25. I want a slow life...

  26. You are making my list very long!

  27. These photos are elegance personified!

  28. Exquisitie & civilised! Reading your blog is like having a gentle breeze from the river. I've never been to Vienna but this is a place I'd love to visit to one day. I heard Museumsquartier and Leopoldstadt are the two arty places to visit. I wish I was there now eating a fabulous continental breakfast. Here is the article that you might be interested (it's in last weekend FT newspaper)

  29. Equal opportunity blog!:D
    I like the leisurely pace in your post Merisi, and the photographs too.

  30. Oh, you are POTD!!!! I'm so thrilled!!! Every one of your posts is so brilliant!!!!!Congrats! ~Janine XO

  31. ah Merisi .. such a lovely pix and you are right .. slowing down to savor is a good thing ...

    Congrats on the POTD mention!

  32. I'll have to just dream of these places today. Thanks for a wonderful daydream.

  33. Blogger Rambling Woods,
    thank you, Michelle!
    I was not aware before I moved here that so many of the food sources were right around Vienna.
    Wine alone, I have had mostly wines from a 50km radius, and not one drop that I did not like. ;-)

    here's to you, and a truly worthy endeavour! :-)

    david mcmahon,
    may I welcome you with Mister Roger's tune (who certainly lived in a slow neighorhood!):
    So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
    Since we're together we might as well say:
    Won't you be my neighbor?

  34. Seamus,
    *smile* thank you!

    it was her gift for Mother's Day
    (I remember our first mother - daughter outing, when she was two, and I thought how nice she's now old enough to have real conversations with. *giggle*)

  35. Kurwenal,
    the chair and the tables I photographed are actually in the Durchgang, which you see in that last picture with the bicycles!
    Since you cross several apartment buildings walking through there, parts of these buildings reach over the Durchgang, forming arched outdoor rooms, like porches. Really very romantic and nice to sit in when in the summer a late afternoon shower hits, because it gives you the same feeling an open porch in the American South does, outside, yet not exposed to the elements (I have yet to be served a proper mint julep there - maybe I should procure the ingredients and simply show up with them one fine afternoon!).

  36. Simon,
    it's years that I am telling you to move here, isn't it? ;-)

    that the point of the whole exercise! :-)))
    I hope you have started already. *sternlook*

    easy with the subjects at hand! :-)

    A Super Dilettante,
    thank you very much for the article, I scanned the first paragraphs and am looking forward to reading it (the author calling the Museums Quartier the ‘bobos’ living room made me laugh out loud - last time I checked, there were still mostly students hanging out there in the square. It IS a lovely place, though, like a huge Italian piazza, with outdoor living room sofas giving it the Viennese touch. My favorite there is the Aloha bar! *smile*).

  37. indicaspecies,
    you know, when I read my posts I think to myself: next time, instead of just snapping walk-by pictures, you need to sit down yourself! :-))

    Sniffles and Smiles,
    thank you, also-run seems to become my middle name!

    thank you! :-)

    Grace Albaugh,
    you are welcome! :-)

    Dreams can come true, you know that, do you?

    I'll have to just dream of these places today. Thanks for a wonderful daydream.

  38. Wishing we had a slow food restaurant with delightful treats here in my little town.


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