Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Vienna Favorites: The world's most beautiful grocery store...


Yesterday was about our favorite market in Vienna, so I thought it only fitting to show some shots from our absolute favorite grocery store.  Meinl's is possibly the most gorgeous and classic grocery stores I've ever seen - even besting a few Paris and London faves, (but it might come down to personal taste).  A gourmet shop out of the family made famous for roasting coffees and baking up tortes for the Hapsburgs & Co, this houses all the prettiest consumables under the sun in Vienna.  And if presentation is half the battle, then Meinl's has it nailed.  Hardwood paneling, leather handled shopping carts, beautiful tin boxes...When you buy a cut of meat (from a butcher wearing a pressed shirt and tie who speaks English), they give you his name on the package in case you have any issues or forget how to cook it.

Naturally, Meinl's grocery shopping has you paying for the priviledge so you have to choose what you buy here wisely.  But I found myself here more often than not just becuase I enjoyed the experience so much.  Not only is it gorgeous, but they're actually pretty forward thinking when it comes to Vienna - they took credit cards! they bagged groceries! That's not necessarily a given at your local SPAR, though more and more stores broke on the former by the time we left (no progress on the latter I might add).  When you're done with your shopping, there's a little coffee bar out  front, or the noted wine cellar and bar down below - now tell me, where can I find that in the US?

The Welcome Wagon at the entrance...

The take-away counter...

A little espresso before starting shopping...



Coffee for gifts...


Yummy candies in pretty tins...

The famous Meinl Coffee Boy sitting on the staircase...

The marzipan confectionery...

Teas by weight...

The bakery...


The pasta aisle...

The fishmonger...

The butcher...


Meinl's famous hot chocolate...

Teas and sweets...

Their own in-house jordan almonds...

Apperitif snacks...

Welcome to the produce section...



You can't see it in the picture but that stone wall behind the fruits is actually a fountain...


Branded marmalades...


The wine shoppe...


Almdudler...Austria's contribution to soda...

The check out line...

Leather handled grocery carts...

Mini carts for mini diplo shoppers...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Vienna Favorites: At the (Nasch) Market...

I have a love-hate relationship with Vienna's Naschmarkt.  I presume I'm not the only one.  Not only is it does it have some of the most gorgeous produce, it's also one of the only places for more global or exotic spices, a treasure trove of fresh fruit juices, and one of the very few places in the Vienna (if not the only one) where you can get truly fresh seafood.  But it can also have it's frustrations.  Be prepared to walk slowly behind those that are more spectators than shoppers; keep an eye on the scale and on your pockets - if you don't be careful, you could walk out way more euros lighter than you intended.  Try what you can before you buy it - not all hummus vendors are created equal.  But if you know that going into it, the market makes a fantastic Saturday routine, capped off by a nice seafood lunch at either Umar or Strandhaus or Asian at Kim Kocht, and people watching with aperol for dessert!













Friday, July 27, 2012

Photography Friday: Irene Andressner


While in Vienna, our hotel was rather artfully minded - their current exhibition featured Irene Andressner.  She's a little bit like an Austrian version of Cindy Sherman, using a costumed self-portrait medium.  However, her costumes usually consist of her as famous personae - in the instance of the hotel exhibit, she was dressed as Milly Stubel Orth, a ballerina commoner who married a Hapsburg, and eventually was tragically missing at sea.  In another series, she is dressed as famous women of Vienna, most of whom - like Hedy Lamarr, the seductive actress and later math genius - are women with an indepdent streak and an anti-conventional contribution to Austrian society.  She's even dressed herself as Constanze Mozart...and then Mozart himself in a gender bending role and a departure from her female historical and mythical characters.

The photographs are usually done as lightboxes, which accentuates the strong colors even more, but some photographs have their own lighting installation that she builds.  Sometimes it's the backdrop in the photograph, but in the Milly series, there were elaborate lightbulbs and chandeliers, as the ballerina herself was illuminated by Edison's original lightbulbs.  So what do you think? Strong or just spooky?







All photographs by Irene Andressener.