Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A Good Reason


Lately I have been  taking a lot of photos. It's spring, the light is coming back and the more I go outside, the more I see. I walk, halt and shoot photos. Without a good reason. Having worked as a freelance journalist half my life, I can't help but ask – ask myself – what is it that makes me going? Halting and taking all those photos. I could not come up with any satisfying answer yet.

Looking at my parents, I see a young woman shooting film. Cuttings film with this cutter on rainy afternoons, me and my sister looking thoroughly at those tiny tiny frames, finding ... us! And I see a young man, strolling around the city, early mornings, on his way to work, preseving moments on the corner of the streets of N.Y.C..

Sure, photography and film, both were huge in the late 1960's and 70's. Still, not everyone my age shares my love for photography. In my eyes, the brand KODAK was as strong as Coca-Cola. Recently, film has been experiencing a revival.

This year, my love for capturing the street – the city, the light, reflections and details –  seems to have reached a new level. A friend of mine says it's our age: the older you get, the more you appreciate the seasons. However ;-) it seems a good time to show you some Viennese corners you might not be familiar with. At the moment the DP2 Merrill is my workhorse.

Lets start ...

The light that greets me in the morning when I leave the house

The light on my way home, in the centre of Vienna, close to Volkstheater

 Austrian tradition, happening in Vienna. Yes, this is actually in Vienna, you have to trust me. I know my hometown. ;-)

 This is one of the oldes hospital complexes in Vienna at the moment, seen from the street. A few years from now people will live in these premises. A new housing complex is on its way.

 I fall for nostalgic typography, every single time. My nostalgia already starts in the late 80's.

One thing I like about Vienna is the distinction between its West, East, South and North. The West has it's own atmosphere, framed by hills. Those hills are – you have to believe me – the Eastern tail of the European Alps! That's where it ends. Or starts. Depending on your point of view.

One of my big loves is the love for sunlight reflections. Sunlight which is not supposed to lighten those corners and walls, because the sun at that time of the day is already behind the buidlings, those buidlings meant to be in the shade in the early evening, since they are facing East.
 This building works as the sun's giant reflector:
Around the corner of the giant reflector you can find a place which welcomes you with beguiling odour at this time of the year: the Vienna Volksgarten. Men enter the park, shouting "It smells like perfume!" It smells like perfume!"
 Syringa / lilac ready for full bloom

I have been told that the scent of lilac is one of the rare scents you won't find in a bottle. Maybe because it sickens people after a while? There is a chance to escape the odours, one of the more neutral parts of the gardens:
 In the rear you can see the building of the Austrian parliament.

Oh, and those cuuuute ducklings. 
They were floating around a small bassin.
They were also racing around the bassin. Not pictured: the crowd of adults, admiring the ducklings.

Maybe you have noticed (probably not): I have been playing with proportions, getting familiar with the square format, a format I am not familiar with. You, who own and use a smartphone are probably very familiar with the square. One word: instagram. I am taking a different, a more analogue approach.

Speaking of analogue: we are done! For the last 3 months we have been listening to 30 years of 33rpm. Every single side, including the B-sides :-) Approx. one third ot the record collection is going to leave the house. 

Two folders with 45rpm are left,. I enjoy listening to them a lot. Except for this rare single:
What you can't see is how they sing in "standard German", an absolute no-go when it comes to Austrian folk music.  

Have a nice day!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Sunday Morning

... looks like this at the Paula residence:

These Tulips come with a tiny CO2 footprint, 45km travel distance. The grew in Mr Paula's parents' garden in Lower Austria. One week ago they looked very different from now.

For regular readers, this is sight is probably nothing new to you:

 old stripes
 Guess who is in favour of the red half and who is in favour of the blue half? You remember this?

For the next 8 - 10 weeks you are not going to read anything sofa-related on this blog. Promised!

And this is how the Sunday morning sounds like:
United Future Organization feat. Mc Solaar, Ensemble On Est Ensemble Sans Se Parler. Mc Solaar was the reason I started to learn French. Two decades later the reason sounds still veeery reasonable to me. :-)

Enjoy your Sunday!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

finally: decision making

Pretending ... a new sofa. Blue? Beige? Real life simulation with real life blankets.


my weekend, so far: 

No, we are not going to buy chairs. We are buying a sofa. We left the sofa-section in the furniture shop and moved on to the chairs, because I wanted to see the colours in daylight. Moving the sofa close to the windows what not an option ;-)

Before moving to daylight, we successfully nailed down the model-choice. We are excited, since the measurements of the new sofa are going to be as close to the measurements of the old sofa as you could get. No, we are not fond of new styles. Yes, we happily stick with the proven design and proportions. Call us conservative. 

Having spent 3 hours in the furniture shop, we left with a modest selection of only 4 sample sheets. (4 out of ... 100?) Not bad! Back home we draped the sample sheets on our existing sofa.

Not to my surprise, the colours look different depending on the time of day (cool sunlight, warm light from bulbs at night). This is the cool daylight:

I did not really take the colour of the walls into concern, but that's why you leave a furniture shop with sample sheets. Because you should take the colours of the walls into concern.

Seems like we might have to repaint the livingroom, in case we go for beige:
The fact, that the fabrics do not come in the same price does not make this decision-making any easier.

For a better understanding: Sofas and I - we've come a looong way.

Some might say "Paula, this won't be the last sofa you are buying, so just go for it, buy a sofa, any sofa, just buy something!"

I am not so sure about that, regarding the fact that the last (=current) sofa has been around ... well, as long as I have been around :-o

Failed attempt, a few years ago

 Parting in parts - the large sofa left the apartment a few years ago.

Not to my surprise the manufacturer is Danish, just like the old manufacturer was. Scandinivian design, a love for life.

Enjoy your sunday-chill-out, on a sofa maybe?

Saturday, 11 April 2015

whereabouts: Heldenplatz


During the days before the Vienna City Marathon (tomorrow, April 13), the Heldenplatz in the city center slowly but steadily becomes a marathon village.

The photos show the Heldenplatz before the brands have appeared on the scene. The tents are free from any sign or identity. 

I find the whole white setting interesting, almost ironic, especially the "open corner fences". All in all a lot of truly artificial plastic structures, right in the middle of the historical center of Vienna. 

 Erzherzog Karl, intimidating the tent-vulcano (back: cupola NHM)

 on average days, the Heldenplatz looks more like this (April/2011):

Back to marathon village:
The Heldenplatz is popular among dogs and dog owners.
 The white fences remind me of show jumping.

 sportive infrastucture

 lots of voltage
behind the scenes

In case you plan to visit the Sisi-Museum around the corner of Heldenplatz tomorrow around noon: might be not the best idea. ;-)

Have a nice weekend!

We had our own veritable marathon in a furniture store. Our new sofa is coming closer. For 3 hours, we have been looking at and sitting on various fabric-samples, again and again and again. Did I mention, how the colour blocking almost made us go colour blind?
Such colourful choices, see:

Monday, 6 April 2015

whereabouts: Neighbourhood at Night


For weeks months years I've been thinking about this. Yesterday I finally grabbed my tripod and camera and did it: I went for a nightwalk.

It did not take long and I fell for details. Of course light plays a huge role. Over the past years the city gouvernment has replaced old streetlamps with new lamps, probably LED. They create the most excellent moods at night in the streets. It's about creating spots – spotlighs creating spots.

Did you know you can actually meditate on urban still life?
 The answer is Yes.

 The camera (SIGMA DP2) captures the mood of a blossom at night in an ideal way.

I think I going to revisited the spot at daytime. 
To give you the picture: 
You spend 15, 20, no - 25 minutes* standing in a corner of a park. It's just you, your tripod with the camera and 0°C. And all because of one blossom on a twig. 

You can leave the blossom on the twig but you are connected. After those 25 minutes you walk away as another person. Oh my ... I guess we are talking about some serious Hanami impact here! Haha.

*yes, the camera IS slow, it takes 12 sec to save one photo
  Hanami* at midnight in my neighbourhood

* Japanese: blossom-viewing

On with a typical situation:

Surprisingly colourful workshops inside a historical buidling, sunday night:

The following sight triggered yesterday's freezing nightwalk:

I run past this station 3 times a week/March-October ( = running season). I like the sight in many ways and always wanted to come back with my tripod and take a picture. Well, it's ok. But not that special I imagined it to be. Maybe I'll give it another try, past the Hanami season, the Blue Hour might suit the motif better.

Until then: enjoy the Hanami-season!