Friday, December 16, 2011

Ode to an apple

With all due apologies to John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley it's not an ode, but more of an essay.  I don't write poetry, but Essay to an apple doesn't sound right.

So apples.  I like apples.  I especially like MacIntosh and Courtland apples.  I love the colors of them.  Half red, half green with the clean white insides.  They have great crunch when you bite into them.  That first explosion of sound and taste.  Then, the are crisp and sweetness of the white interior.  I eat them raw, but they are great to cook with.
I also dug out apple recipes.  Apple cake was last week and I'll make apple fritters this weekend.  Those always remind me of my childhood and my grandparents.  Warm apple fritters and milk.  Ah, nothing better in the chill fall afternoons. Unless you are talking about homemade applesauce.  So simple, so easy, so good.  Apples, water, a big pot, some low heat, cinnamon, nutmeg and a strainer and you're done.

It's great on toast.  I highly recommend it in yogurt too.  Again something from my childhood.

Fresh picked apples in the fall.  One of the joys of New England.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I've been learning how to kayak in the past few weeks.  It's lots of fun.  I find it relaxing as well as being really good arm exercise.
It's not exactly related to my Austrian experiences, except that while I was there I was more active.  I walked, hiked up and over mountains, used the on-site gym, and did yoga, to name a few things.
I wanted to stay active when I got home.  I have not done as well as I hoped, but mostly because I have less 'exercise' time since there's things like cooking, cleaning, shopping and the damn drive.  I think I miss my commute to the schloss more than anything else.  Yes, lazy.  But it did reduce my carbon footprint a little those 2 months. :D

So back to kayaking.  I've been 3 times so far.  The first time I really liked it.  However there was the maritime disaster. I will say that it wasn't totally my fault.  Really.  Thank goodness I grew up in those waters and knew how to swim.  Briefly I tipped the kayak(there were circumstances....) and didn't know how to empty it.  (I do now.)  I had to tie the waterlogged kayak to my mom's and hope we made it in.
We had help from different sources, some of which were helpful and some, sadly were, not, but we made it in safe and sound.  (A piece of advice for everyone, learn how to swim.  Even a dog paddle stroke!) I had better luck the second time out.  And I went out again by myself just today.  I stayed out a good hour paddling around and getting comfortable.

This time I headed down the beach to Bradley Point and back.  It was the back part that was harder.  The current and the wind were in my face.  Or bow, if you want strict nautical terms.  It took some time to adjust to the waves breaking over the bow on occasion and the sun in my eyes.  But once I got it I enjoyed it.  Good workout for the shoulders and arms, and I like being on the water.  Hell, I grew up on that beach so it'd be stranger not to be out on the water and the beach in August.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fiscal Sustainability

I don't usually post stuff on politics here.  I don't want this to turn into a political commentary blog.  But lately I've been thinking about it.
My last few weeks in Austria I searched for articles about fiscal sustainability for a session they were holding at some point.  It has been on my mind in the last few weeks.  And especially this weekend with the Iowa primaries gearing up.
I fear for the country if the so called Tea Party keeps hijacking government for their own agenda.  I wonder how they expect us to get out of debt if they refuse to raise taxes at all?  I mean it's sorta the first rule of paying down debt is to increase the money coming in.  Yes, limiting your expenditures to fit your income is something everyone who works within a budget needs to do.  But when you have more debt than income you need to get another job or get a raise somehow.
But this is a foreign concept for some members of the elected government.  Yes, we should cut back certain areas of spending in government.  I know there have to be some programs that have run their course and are no longer useful or can be sustained without government money.  An independent audit would be the best way to go.  We need people who aren't influenced by political ideology, future power, or the media spotlight. 
Yes, what we need are (brace yourselves) experts.  I know, horrors!  It's unheard of.  Having people who are trained in these things and have spent years perfecting their skills helping people, businesses, universities, non-profit organizations, churches, and smaller governments live within their means advise the federal government to do the same. 
It's only common sense, which the Tea Party claims to embrace.  But their actions this last week or so make their words a lie. 
I don't want my plumber doing my taxes, or a car mechanic giving me a physical.  So why do we trust a journalist to tell us about religion, or a professional athlete to be a military strategist?  When did education and expertise become anathema?  And a better question is why?

Monday, August 15, 2011

More Leopoldskron history

There were several interesting stories that I learned about the schloss that I just had to share.  One was in the Reinhardt days and two were from WWII.
The first one was about a particular statue that Reinhardt bought to furnish his palace.  Remember the schloss had changed hands often and the art work was sold off through the centuries.
Max was a director and an artist, but he also was a businessman.  He had enough money to buy and rebuild the schloss...
He had seen this statue over a building in Vienna and liked it.  He thought it would be great for his entrance hall(the Great Hall we call it now).  He wasn't able to buy it himself, so he sent a trusted cousin(female) to do the transaction.  No one is sure exactly why, but maybe because she would be underestimated by the owner of the statue.
So she knocks on the door and says that Max Reinhardt really likes your Madonna and would like to have it.  The owner of the house refuses saying the Madonna is protecting my girls.  The cousin(who's name I never got) is a bit taken aback and realizes the sign is advertising a brothel.  So oops.  But after going back to Max and then back to the owner of the brothel(realizing maybe that she has a price for this along with everything else).  She did.  So Max got his Madonna.  I don't know what he paid for it in the end, but it is very nice.

So the next little vignette takes place in the 1940's.  The Schloss was seized by the Nazi's after the Anschluss.  The schloss was fought over by member of the Nazi party.  It was used a staging area for people who were going to the Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgarten.  (Berchtesgarten is on the other side of the Untersberg so close...) But a Princess who was a fan of Reinhardt managed to finagle the schloss for a while and shipped out most of Max's things to him in California.  I don't know how, and would love to know.  Because it was 16 crates of stuff.  She got 16 crates of an enemy of Nazi Germany(and a Jew) stuff across war torn Europe to California.  I mean this wasn't just a few suitcases of clothes and paying a extra baggage fee on Lufthansa! 
This blows my mind.  16 crates of stuff!  Across war torn Europe!  To a Jewish director in the USA!

The final story had evidence scattered around the schloss.  This was late in the war.  An American bomber was flying over the area and was looking to drop his bomb.  Engine trouble I think.  He saw the lake and thought, Oh good a lake.  So he dropped the bomb.  Well the lake isn't really deep.  So he blew most of the water out of it and the concussion broke all the windows in the lake side part of the schloss.  So many areas have holes in the walls.  My favorite is in the White Room.  One of the portraits looks like he has a GSW in the forehead.
I don't have a photo of that, but here's one from the Chinese room.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


One of the other interns told me about this great chocolate shop near the center of town.  Zotter.  Or as I call it, the most dangerous shop in Austria.
The stuff they sell is sooooo good.  They do have some very unusual flavor combinations.  Rose and basil?  Pineapple and cashew?  A bacon chocolate bar? Rose flavored chocolate? But there are also more traditional flavors like hazelnut or rum coconut chocolate.
Those are the handscooped chocolate bars they sell.  For different seasons they bring out different and limited edition flavors.  I was there for the Easter flavors.  There was one with strawberry ganache and strawberry chocolate.  The best one was called (English translation) Easter Fire.  It was dark chocolate with eggnog flavored filling with chili peppers.  AMAZING.
Okay not everyone liked it.  But hey that's life.
One of the things I really liked about the bars(other than the chocolate itself) was the artwork on the wrapper.  I have some shots of them.  Fun and attention getting.  Although if you don't speak German and you haven't tried that one before it could be risky.

They also make handmade chocolates and have something called a ChocoShot(it's a syringe filled with chocolate) for those days when you really need a pick me up.
And the best part about Zotter? Two samples.  Ah, Zotter. 
And they are very conscious about the whole fair trade deal.  They say they buy right from the farmers mostly in Latin America and also use other organic products to make their chocolate products.  That's very typical in Austria.  The very organic and local mindset about their food.  They have 2 markets in Salzburg.  The main one near Schloss Mirabelle and the Green market near the University Square.  Two farmer's markets everyday!  Except Sundays.  It's great.  I realized it can be very easy to be vegetarian in Salzburg because of that.  Lots of fruits, nuts and veggies of all kinds.  Cheeses and breads fresh made and in the case of bread still warm.  But that's another story...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Leopoldskron part 2 or is it 3?

So now that we have some background on the owners and history of the schloss you understand the context of the place.
And as any good archivist knows, "Context is everything."
I mentioned that Max spent a great deal of time and money renovating the schloss.  He created the library and redid the dining room with a Venetian theme.
And just in case you wondered who built the library he had a signature of sorts plastered into the ceiling in the very classic sign for the theatre.  The mask on the left is a portrait of Max himself.

He also built an ampitheatre in the park so he could stage plays.  Sadly the theatre was not built on solid ground and sank years ago, although there are still signs of it if you know where to look.
In fact the schloss itself was not built on solid ground, but the Archbishop took a page from the builders of Venice and used supports in the boggy ground to be the bedrock and foundation of the place.  A problem with waterfront property, I guess.

After the Second World War was over the schloss was returned to Reinhardt's heirs.  His widow offered the use of the place to several Harvard(yes I know...)grad students who came up with what is now referred to as the "Marshall Plan for the mind" to get former enemies to share ideas, cultures, and trust each other again.  The Seminar was supposed to be a one time thing, but it was so popular with the participants that it continued on.  Obviously.  There have been some rather important people who attended sessions there.  The Prince of Wales, and Ralph Ellison were two that I knew about from research(and cleaning) in the office.  So it's very diverse. 
The organization that runs the Seminar bought the place in the 1960's and so here we are.  At least when it comes to ownership.
It was designated a historical place of interest by the Austrian government sometime back.  From an artistic and historical standpoint you gotta love that. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Reinhardt and Leopoldskron

So now that you have the basics of how the schloss came to be it's time to move to the 20th century.  So here enters the hero of the piece.
After the First World War Max Reinhardt bought the schloss and spent the next 20 years and a great deal of money renovating.  As someone who spent the majority of her time in his office I can attest that it was worth every cent and second he lavished on the place.  Here's one of my favorite views.  This is looking out to the library from the Reinhardt office.
Many people have not heard of Max Reinhardt these days.  So here's a few facts about him(thanks to the finding aid of the SUNY- Binghamton Special Collections, which holds the Reinhardt archives)  Max Reinhardt started his work life as an actor.  He was best known for his portrayals of old men, but he quickly tired of the scripts and the style of acting at the time and founded his own theatre in 1901.  Known as Schall und Rauch it helped Max develop a directorial style for his later years.  He moved around from Vienna, Salzburg, and Berlin during this time.
He quickly became a well known director who used new technologies and experimented with locations for his productions.  This came in handy when he and Richard Wagner and Hugo von Hofmannsthal revived and expanded the Salzburg Festspiele.  Reinhardt convinced the Archbishop to let him direct Hofmannsthal's play Jedermann(Everyman) in front of the Dom Cathedral to open the Festival.  This is something they still do today at the opening of every festival, unless it rains, of course.  Here's a shot of the front of the Dom on Palm Sunday.   A partial view of what it could be like for the play.

After the war he left Berlin for Salzburg where he lived until 1938.  As a Jew he was unwelcome in Austria after the Anschluss.  All his property including Leopoldskron was seized by the Nazis because he was considered an enemy of the state.  Luckily for Max he was in the U.S. at the time where he lived in until his death in 1943 at the age of 70.  Some think losing the schloss broke his heart.  I don't know about that, but it is known that he was saddened by it's loss to the Nazis.  When his possessions(all 16 crates of them) were returned to him by an admirer he replied to her "Thank you, but what are 16 crates when one has lost Leopoldskron?".
So the schloss is still working it's magic on the owner.  Like the original owner it was hard to leave the place that he loved.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Schloss Leopoldskron

I can't remember if I posted anything about the history of the schloss.  I don't think so.  Not as a dedicated entry, of course.  I know there were hints.

It is quite interesting(and I want to use more of the library and schloss photos I took) I'm sneaky that way. :D  Here's my favorite photo of the schloss exterior.  Two residences of a Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. 

So bear with me while we delve into the history of Schloss Leopoldskron.  First we will set the scene with a few facts about Salzburg.  Salzburg means salt castle in German.  Also known as 'white gold' the salt mines in the area ensured that money poured into the region.  It was one of the main reasons that Salzburg became an archbishopric so early.  (Before the 1000's) Some salt mines still do operate in the region to this day. If anyone is interested in the history of salt and how important it was to the world economy check out this book, Salt, a world history by Mark Kurlansky.

So early on Salzburg had enough money to be an independent principality with an Archbishop as the head of the church and the political head of state.  Known as a Prince-Archbishop until the early 1800's,(Napoleon and the Council of Vienna stripped the Prince part of the title in 1815 and Salzburg officially became a part of Austria.) they were the power in Salzburg.  In fact Mozart's father was court composer to Archbishop Leopold Firmian.  They even think a young Mozart played in the schloss for the Archbishop.  It makes some sense, there's just no documentary evidence.  Young Wolfgang played everywhere else why not at Schloss Leopoldskron for his father's patron?

So back to the early history of the schloss.  Leopold Firmian... umm...acquired some land near a small lake in the countryside(he expelled a lot of the Protestants of Salzburg and gee look at all that wasted farmland) and decided to build himself a summer palace. 
I gotta say this for him, he knew location.  His plot of land was right between the Untersberg mountain and the city with great views of both, depending on which way you were facing.  And as an added bonus it's waterfront property! 
So the palace had to match both the location and the importance of the owner.  As you can imagine, it took him quite some time to get exactly what he wanted.
He started it in 1736 and it was finished in 1744(right before he died)  In keeping with artistic trends of the time he did it in the Baroque/rococo style.  Lots of stucco work, marble, and giltwork.  That man had no self-esteem issues whatsoever.  Anyone who makes the Pope gasp at your audacity has a HUGE ego. (That was the whole expelling the Protestants deal.) 
Here's some views of the original Baroque style.  The chapel is one of 2 rooms left as Baroque. 

After he died he had to have his body interred in the Dom.  As the Archbishop of Salzburg he had a reserved spot in the Dom crypt whether he wanted it or not.  In the 18th century, however, it was trendy to bury part of yourself in places you loved or had meaning for you.  So Leopold Firmian literally left his heart at Schloss Leopoldskron.  In the chapel floor actually. 

He left the place that he loved to his nephew, Count Laktans, who sadly did not pass it on to family upon his death. 
A shooting gallery owner acquired the place when the Count died and sold off most of the pretty things like paintings, giltwork, and statues that the count and archbishop had collected.  The Firmans were known as patrons of the arts.  Apparently the shooting gallery owner was not.  They don't know for sure if the schloss was used as a shooting gallery,  but I wouldn't be surprised.  Guys, guns, and money in the 19th century.  You can do the math.
The shooting gallery owner didn't own it for very long.  It was sold several times in the 19th century and used for different purposes.
So now we wait for the entrance of the 20th century and Max Reinhardt.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Playing catch-up

I didn't get to post everything I wanted to about Austria and Salzburg before I left, and I had so much going on when I came back that I didn't get to do all of it.  Sorry about that!

One such post was about the oil and vinegar store in Goldgasse.  I had read about it in my guide book and it was highly recommended.  As well as by some people at the schloss.  I took some time off from the library the week I was scheduled to return home to do some shopping things...
Well, I went to the bakery at St. Peter's(yummy brioche) then to the store.  By the way if you are in Salzburg, go to the bakery.  It's the oldest in Salzburg and they use a wood fired oven.  Gotta hand it to those monks...they know good bread.

Anyway back to the store. It's called Vom Fass and it's one of those places you could spend ages in.  They just don't have oils and vinegars.  They sell sherry and whisky as well.  I just tried several different vinegars and oils.  It WAS still morning...and I had to go back to the library.  You taste and try different things.  You pick your own bottles(I went with the plain square kind for transport, but the shoe shaped one tempted me) and they fill  them with what ever you choose right from the cask.  That's what Vom Fass means.  From the Cask.

The apple cider vinegar redefined my understanding of what vinegar should be.  As the owner promised!
The raspberry vinegar was sweet and tangy, perfect for a salad dressing. I had lemonade without the sugar when the owner added a lemon- lime vinegar to my bottle of water.  AMAZING.  I mean I had no idea you could have vinegar that tastes like that.  And I don't always like vinegars, but I loved these.

The beer vinegar has more of a tang than some of the others I tried.  It has the beer aftertaste.  Malty actually.  It hits in the back of the throat.  The owner told me it's really good to marinate beef in.
I tried aged balsamic and finally decided that my brother would prefer the beer vinegar over aged balsamic.
The hazelnut oil is perfect with ice cream.  I have an idea to use it in a recipe with chicken.  I'll let you know.

And the funniest part was when I was choosing the stuff to bring home.  He had run out of the apple cider vinegar and had to replace the cask.  So I browsed around the front and near the register I see this photo of the store owner and Mark Harmon(you know from NCIS.) Well, if not you can google him.  Apparently he and his wife were on vacation in Salzburg and wandering the Goldgasse when the guy recognized him.  He went out and spoke to him.  Asked him if he was who he thought he was.  Harmon ended up looking in the store(don't know if he bought anything) and taking the photo.  One more reason I loved that store.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I am often amused and awed about how life operated in circles.  Remember that favorite toy you had as a kid?  Perhaps a game or doll?  And now that we are grown our children want the new updated version of the game or are watching the reboot of your favorite childhood cartoon or television show.  Proving once again that there is really nothing new under the sun.  It is amusing and somehow comforting, I think. 

The awe comes in when you run across something you knew long ago and put away or forgot because it wasn't trendy anymore or you just got too busy.  Then somehow the universe brings you back to it when you need it. 

I was surfing around the internet this evening looking for a quote for another blog post and ran across the official website of Robert Fulghum.  You remember him, the author of "All I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten"?  It was big in the 90's.  Good book.  The premise of it all was how we learned what we needed to survive in life early on.  I don't have all of them,(there's that copyright deal) but a few are when you've hurt someone say you're sorry, cookies and milk are good for you(I really like that one) wash your hands, put things back where you found them and something about being aware of wonder.

Well, it hits me that this is still pertinent for today.  We are so obsessed with being right all the time and making our mark that we don't do that.  Say we are sorry and be aware of wonder, I mean.  We should.  It's so easy when we are little.  You are learning about the world and even the mistakes are important.  Maybe not fun...but you are more careful in the future which is important to learn too.  And to be able to say we are sorry to friends or family?  How easy it is when we don't have an ego on the line.  Sometimes it's rough being a grown-up.

But I also think that to do both of these things show maturity.  It's hard to say we are sorry for anything these days.  It's seen as an admission of wrongdoing.  More, I think it's seen as an admission that we don't know everything and a license for others to use that against us.

But to say out loud "Yes, I was wrong, I apologize for that." takes guts, self confidence, and selflessness.  I also believe that it shows respect for others.  To admit that your truth isn't the only truth.  And your truth may not even be truth.

Which circles us back(see how I did that?) to wonder.  Because to admit you were wrong opens up possibilities for learning and exploration.  There is so much in this life to experience if you're just aware of it.  And those times are wonderful.

I spent so much of my time in Austria open to learning and exploration and I didn't go a week without being awed by something.  It could have been as simple as a new taste,(like Troja's kebaps or the Zotter chocolate) as everyday as entering the library office, as comforting as having dinner with friends, (or as Katrina would say the intern family) or as new as climbing a mountain.

Each experience was full of wonder and wouldn't have happened if I had stayed home thinking that was the safe, practical route.  I was wrong about that.  Yes, it was safe and practical.  But it wasn't right. 

How much do we miss by doing safe, practical, protective things in life?  How often does the universe put signs in front of us by circling us back to what we knew once, but forgot or left behind?

I know a person who firmly believes in karma.  Life circles around vindicating those who need it and tearing down those who need that.  It may take years, this person told me once, but it happens.  It may not be major, but it does happen.  All you have to do is be open to it and pay attention. 

So your assignment for the week is to be aware of wonder.  Report back on what wonder you experienced.  Big, little, simple or complex.  Extra points if there's a circle involved. 

And to kickstart wonder here's something that took my breath away, and was one of those experiences I wouldn't have had if I stayed home applying for jobs and doing my usual routine.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sound of Music (again)

I was reading an interview with Christopher Plummer(Capt. von Trapp) and he was a little annoyed when people bring up that movie.  He made the point that it has taken on a life of it's own that has nothing to do with the movie itself and his character.

Having spent 2 months dealing with the crazed fans of the movie coming and taking photos, sneaking into the grounds and generally wandering around Salzburg, I understand in part where he is coming from.  

Someone I met went on the bus tour and thought it was bizarre.  Here's where they filmed this part of the movie, and you might remember this from the end of the movie...ect.  Not the normal sightseeing tour at all.
As I mentioned before I did find it a bit creepy when all these people would be standing across the lake and staring at the schloss and taking photos.

Even odder was when people just came into the grounds and started wandering around.  I mean there were signs saying Private!  I had to politely but firmly kick out 3 Asian tourists my last week there.  They wanted a tour.  I should have charged them 10 euros a head and given them one.  Then stuck the money in the library fund.  We could have used it. 

It's also a bit sad, because the schloss itself is much more than a pretty backdrop for a movie.  There's genuine art, architecture and historical interest there dating from the 18th century when the Archbishop built the place.  Now all they want to see is the outside and the seahorses from the canoe scene.

I have on my desktop at work a photo of the schloss with the festung in the background and someone came into the office, saw it and said Oh that's the Sound of Music house.  Sigh.  I don't have problems using it to gather interest in the place, but it bothers me that's all they see.

Same thing with library stereotypes.  There's always something deeper.  We don't often look beyond.  Perhaps I wouldn't have in this case if I hadn't been there.  Maybe that's what I learned.  Or at least became aware of.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Well, it finally happened.  I graduated.  Last Friday afternoon at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston I was awarded a M.S. in Library Science and Archives Management.
And the fact I have an M.S. blows me away.  Let's just say that I always thought you needed math skills for a Masters degree in Science.
But who am I to argue with Simmons College if they say that I deserve it?  Which I so do.  After 2 years of driving to Western Massachusetts on Saturdays and studying in the evenings after work, writing papers, struggling to learn new technologies, and building my teaching and public speaking skills, I was so happy to graduate.
I really like my new accessory.  Although I am not sure lemon is exactly my color.

Now I just need a professional job to pay the loans that I had to take out to improve my lot in life.  Irony anyone?
More debt for a better life....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Library office

I miss my(Max's) office.  Okay it was dusty and there's no storage and the computer was slow.  But honestly it's a great view and it's such a pretty office.  And I think the desk was bigger than my current one.  I especially miss the view.  Ah the Untersberg.

 It's so clean and organized now....
 And more fireproof too!
And if I had another few months I could have done more wonders with the closet.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The closet formerly known as the evil sucking vortex of hell

Well, I finished organizing the library closet.  I really did want to do that.  And not just because it scared me.  I can't say I wanted to do it as much as I wanted to create a Max space.  Which I did as well, but it was up there on the master list.  Right under cleaning.  Okay, it was a sub division(cataloger joke) on the cleaning item.
I did promise that resistance was futile.  Was I not right?  It is now a thing of beauty, in a librarian's eyes.
There are labels, organization, clearly marked materials and if there are some treasures still to be found, well it's easier to find them for the next person.

Behold.  It gives me a thrill of pride just to see the photos again. 
I even vacuumed!  The vacuum will never be the same.  But neither will the closet.
I called them unknown because it's true, and I had no idea what to do with them.  Add them to the collection, discard them, leave them?

Someone cared once about the archives.  Not sure exactly when, but they cared. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Nightlife in Salzburg

There's not much overall.  I mean they roll the sidewalks up at 6 in the place.  Oh you can go out to eat and there are wine bars, pubs and kebap stands that are open.  And there's always window shopping and hanging out in the public spaces, but not a lot of other nighttime events.

However we managed.  There are 2 Irish pubs.  O'Malley's and the Shamrock.  Both are on the Getreidestrasse.  O'Malley's is a bit better.  More atmospheric I thought.
Our favorite was a local place though. The Alchemiste Belge in New Town.  Yes, it is a Belgian beer pub in the heart of Austria.
Good beer.  Even I can tell that.  The varieties were amazing.  From dark to light beers all served in wine bottles.  The music was great and the art funky.  Not to mention the tables outside.
We used to walk into town over the river on Fridays and sit for a few hours with a few bottles and just talk. 
And then go for kebaps.  Troja has the best in the city.  Kebaps are like gyros.  But somehow better.  It might be the spices.  Just so yummy.  We'd climb the stairs of the Kapuchinberg and look out over the city and river.

Not a bad way to spend Fridays.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


We had a staff event a few weeks ago where we got a tour of the Festival theaters.  It was a private tour because the Seminar and the Festival have a long history dating back to Reinhardt(obviously).

It was very cool.  Except of course they are doing construction in the Summer Riding School Theater(see Sound of Music theater) and we couldn't see it.  Bummer.  I was kinda looking forward to that.  I mean I'm not a huge SOM fan, but it's iconic.

But the other theaters were interesting too.  We saw the Haus fuer Mozart, and the main theater, as well as the Winter Riding school.
And if was fun to spend time with co-workers outside of work.
  This is the entrance hall of the Festspielhaus.  Some great images.

This is the Winter Riding School.  They used to have demonstrations and jousting for the Prince-Archbishop in here.  Which is why you have the wooden balconies.  The ceiling art depicts victories over the Turks.  A bit violent, but since they got as close as the Viennese gates, it's understandable.
 This is the Haus fuer Mozart.  Built in 2006 for putting on Mozart operas.  It's more in line with size of traditional opera houses during the 18th century, so perfect for staging his operas.  They were preparing for Don Giovanni when we were there.  It was so cool to see the forest and all the backstage stuff that goes into putting on the operas.

 After the opera house we trekked over to the main theater.   This is the only Iron Curtain still standing in Europe(the tour guide's joke).  It's over a meter thick and a fire could rage for two hours behind the curtain before getting to the stage and seats.

For the first and probably last time in my life I hit my mark on stage!  Now I understand theater blocking.
This is another prop for an opera.  It is a copy of a house in Vienna that was destroyed last century sometime.  The Festspiele has storage space issues, something I totally understand.  So they have to shove and be creative in where they put different props when some theaters are in use.  Plus there's the construction in the third one, so...less space than usual.
The tour was seriously cool.  Then we had sausages! Which is always a good thing.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I'm home in Connecticut now.  I will still post some stuff from my last few weeks in Salzburg.  Plus adding photos to some posts.  Especially the lakes.
I  have a video too!
So stay tuned.  When the jet lag wears off and my internet gets turned back on.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I was so hoping to do the lake district here in Austria.  It's known as Salzkammergut.  The whole area is seriously amazing.  The photos in my travel guide were beautiful so I couldn't wait to see it.  But then I figured out how far it is to the lakes(at least an hour if you drive) and sorta crossed it off the list.  While they do drive on the right side of the road all the signs are in German.  Go figure.

But for Easter Sunday and last Saturday some of us went to the lakes.

Easter was St. Gilgen.  That's one of the prettiest places I've ever seen.  Adam drove, since he knows German and how to get there. (And it was his idea.) The four of us (Andrea, Adam, Katrina and I)had a great time.

Mozart's family originally hailed from St. Gilgen(his maternal  grandfather was a judge there) and there is some Mozart tourism, but it's just a nice place to go.
 We walked around, mostly by the lake and stuck our toes in.  It was cold, but hey Alpine lake in late April, so it wasn't terribly surprising.

Then on Saturday we (Lisa, Darren, Adam, Katrina, Andrea and I)went to Hallstatt.  It's further out than St. Gilgen.  In fact you pass through it on the way.
Hallstatt has the oldest working salt mine in the world and ice caves.  Also an amazing lake.  We rented a boat and cruised around.

We spent about an hour exploring the Hallstatt lake.  It's the odd green of the Alps lakes and my favorite part was the castle on the other side.

We also had lunch by the lake.  I had fresh caught trout from one of the local lakes.  Yummy.  It was off-putting at first since the fish was whole.  But so good once I got over the inital, it's staring at me! reaction.
Then we walked around the town.  It's such a cool place.  A place I have to go back to.  I didn't get to see the mines or the ice caves.  And there were some great shops in this little square.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Library updates

Well, I finished shifting the downstairs and created an oversize and a folio section in the library.  Now I am doing some cataloging and creating a Max Reinhardt space.  I even wrote a sign explaining the space.  It's really more of a local history space than a Max space.  But because he created the library and helped found the Salzburg Festival, and refurbished the schloss, and his widow offered the schloss("Max's schloss") to the founders of the Seminar it's dedicated to him.

I have to finish it soon though.  The internship is winding down.  It still feels like there is more to do.  And to be truthful there is.  In fact, I think there's more to do now than when I got here in March.  I know I underestimated the cataloging. 
I talked to one of the program guys about how to create patrons in the library and he had some great ideas.  A writer/artist retreat for one.  Which makes sense since this was one during the Reinhardt times as well as in the 18th and 19th century.  What is old is new again?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

More photos of the schloss and the Meierhof

Someone requested more photos of the schloss and the Meierhof and the places I hang out.  So without further ado!
The Bierstube, the gym, some more library detail shots, and some people.  Oh not to mention the flamingos.  No, they aren't in a zoo.  And the used to belong to Max Reinhardt.  Okay not THESE ones, but they are descendents of the original flock.  It's so bizarre.  Right next to the pigs on the farm there are these huge pink birds.

 We take our table tennis seriously around here.
 Adam is pretty good too.
 Larry insisted on going to the bierstube.

 Dinner in the White room with Andrea, Adam and Darren.
 The masks of comedy and tragedy in the library.  Like signing it Max was here!  And in fact one of the masks(the one on the left) is Max.
 Some cool ceiling art.
 The courtyard of the Meierhof at night
 The fitness center