Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wisterias of Monet's Garden

Giverny, France. Claude Monet may have been enthralled with his waterlilies but I was enchanted by his fragrant pale wisterias.  Despite the throngs of tourists, quiet moments could be found with the wisterias overhanging the trellis of one of the Japanese bridges in his gardens. I wish you could have been there to enjoy the sweet fragrance of these beautiful blossoms.  This must be the best time of year to visit Monet's gardens.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Among Clipped Shrubs

Maria Theresia's statue reigns between Vienna's Natural History and Art History Museums.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Limb Shadow Reflection

Reflection on a glass-topped, woven table of a tree limb shadow cast on an overhead awning.
Stuttgart, Germany.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Door Design

Vienna has retained, restored and replicated many doors similar in concept to this. Ornate and stucco-framed, this portal of oak, glass and iron combines beauty with practical elements—it's sturdy without being too heavy or fortress-like and it lets in lots of light without sacrificing security.  What a good idea!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Building 25

Door to building 25 in Vienna's Rabenhof public housing complex.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lonely Door

Aging gracefully, perhaps a little neglected, but still magnificent.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Two Turquoise Türen

Turquoise doors on Vienna's Lustgasse.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

On Roadies and Rhodies

A week or so ago, just as I started to photograph the lovely lilac- and lavender-colored, purple and pink rhododendrons in Vienna's Stadtpark, sirens blared on the nearby Ringstrasse and people started running to the Ring.  Reluctantly, I joined the crowd to see what was happening in time to witness a kazillion motorcycles, mainly Harley-Davidsons, roar by.  In ten minutes or so the very noisy Easy Rider parade ended and I returned to the quiet serenity of the Rhodies.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

One of Vienna's Elegant Coffee Houses

The elegant Cafe Schwarzenberg, one of the grande dame coffee houses of Vienna, is a great place to go for breakfast or a leisurely coffee.  With its tiled ceilings, crystal chandeliers, arched windows and wood paneling it is an homage to both another century and the concept of civilization.

If you're interested in viewing an amazing compendium of photographs of Vienna's coffee houses and other mouth-watering coffee photos, visit Merisi's Vienna for Beginners.  She has taken so many photos of coffee that I felt almost guilty taking a photo of my own cappuccino. There's a link to her site in the Blog Roll on the right.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Flavors of Enjoyment

It seems half of Vienna turns out for the annual Genuss (roughly translated as 'enjoyment') Festival in Stadtpark.  Sheltered in sparkling white tents, food and beverage vendors from all over Austria offer tasty samples and sell their finest products in one of the city's prettiest surroundings.  Some of our memorable samplings—and purchases—included smoked trout, pumpkin seed-basil pesto and fresh strawberry shortcake.

Let's start with dessert first and those irresistible homemade shortcakes...One, please...

...And then let's sit in the sun by the pond and devour it.

What a cute cookie.

I like the hand-drawn labels and the colors of these fruit liquors.

The Strauss statue never looked better; he was refurbished last summer.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cafe Corner

Cheerful, cozy corner of Vienna's Grand Hotel sidewalk cafe:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sliding Down a Slippery Note

A little off-key....Seen in the Bari, Italy airport:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Small Ears Drying in the Rain

Throughout the Puglia region of Italy, the cooks of the house make a special, egg-free, ear-shaped pasta called Orecchiette (meaning "small ear").  Drying screens by the front doors of many Bari homes held a variety of these pastas and, while several women came outside to tell us about their pasta, none were concerned that it was raining outside.  With a nod to Willie Nelson, perhaps as close as I'll ever get to seeing "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" was watching these small ears drying in the rain.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Curtains Outside of Windows

Plastic, canvas and lace are some of the curtain fabrics used outside of windows and doors in Bari, Italy to protect against rain, sun and insects, to decorate neighborhood wall alters, and to protect drying laundry.  Different!  But I rather liked them and I guess they must be effective as they are widely used throughout the old town.