bass

Fall of the Habsburgs

DSC_0689Important piece of information: for those of you travelling to Vienna, if by chance you are taking a bus from the Bratislava airport, “Vienna” in English is “Wien” in German. Give up on a sign that looks like Vienna, and hasten to “Wien”-er land! Once there, get ready for delightful food. To start, Viennese coffee and Vienna stew at Cafe Schwarzenberg, as fancy as it was overpriced, and even though my meal screamed tourist, an unexpected bread charge for 6 euros is positively excessive (especially for two pieces). And yet it looks so unassuming…DSC_0699DSC_0701Vienna marked my first stop on a 5 day trip, ending in Berlin. Necessarily, by only bringing a carry on, my fashion options were a bit limited, so more so than usual, cool comfort won the day, and it’s probably a good thing considering how much we walked. I knew almost nothing about the city before I arrived, save its particularly musical upbringing. I have a habit of wearing fashionable shoes walking, only to lose feeling in my smaller toes for over a week. This time my trusty travel Bass shoes kept me supported to see this:DSC_0770 and these:DSC_0717DSC_0707DSC_0744And I walked until I was positively inspired…10807518_10204551773807933_1117419402_oeven if Chanel is known to make people a bit mooney and swoony….DSC_0787We never figured out what this next thing was, but it looked cool. With the Latin writing, I like to think of it as a Roman temple re-incarnate. DSC_0681What I wore:
Bowler: Brixton
Scarf: estate sale find
Sweater: H&M
Jeans: Ann Taylor Loft
Shoes: Bass

DAY 2DSC_0696DSC_0702 2DSC_0700DSC_0688The second day in Vienna, I toned the walking down and actually did a few things, starting with the Habsburg Palace. I could tell I would be new money when I was surprised at how sparse the inside of the Habsburg Palace. However, what they might have saved on wall hangings, the certainly lost on cutlery. Every successive ruler had to have a travel set of cutlery, one for each house, and even one solely reserved for Easter Day. Accompanying this display, before the advent of the lightbulb, one had to be well stocked with ornate candlesticks. The Habsburgs have an entire room.DSC_0683

IMG_0355

Less than expected, but very red

Next, I headed up towards the University of Vienna (and its surrounding area)  to pay homage to one of the great Austrian economists (Von Hayek) alma maters. While we were there, they were having an impromptu book sale, and I managed to snag a few English vintage Penguin editions. Subsequently, I decided my daughter will attend the University of Vienna; now to have the daughter…DSC_0713DSC_0719DSC_0723 2DSC_0731For the rest of the afternoon I wondered a bit taking pictures of things I liked and getting lost. Somewhere along the way, I decided I would try to see if there were standing room tickets to whatever opera was playing. The opera was about 10 minutes from my hostel, so I thought I could run back and change if I stood in line for a ticket at 6:30 for a 7:30 production. As it turned out when I got there, the opera started at 7:00! Thank goodness, I was early. They also only asked three euros to get into the opera. DSC_0791DSC_0736In our lives we all need personal rituals (whether buying scones on Saturdays or keeping an involved makeup routine). Personally, I maintain a ritual of always drinking champagne when I go to the opera. I thought they sold it by the glass, only to receive a small personal bottle to add to my personal routine. What could be nicer than standing on the balcony of an opera house drinking champagne?IMG_0368IMG_0363What I wore:
Hat: Brixton (see above)
Scarf: thrifty find
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters
Shirt: GAP
Pants: Antonio Melani
Shoes: Tommy Hilfiger

Haiti Part 2, Roughing with Pastels

 

I think it’s becoming too obvious, so I might as well out with it. When in the Caribbean, I have slyly drawn upon some colonial fashion. I know, I know it’s spitting in the eye of what I stand for, but there’s something about those fresh, cool billowy fabrics that seems so appealing when you’re standing in 98 degree heat. That being said, I left my pith helmet at home (along with my monocle), but today’s outfit definitely pays homage to a French lady standing on her veranda somewhere.

DSC_0061

Marj (my roommate) and I sharing tea at Catholic Relief Services

We went to visit Catholic Relief Services, and went on-site to see the new Haitian hospital they are building. After the earthquake, the original was only left with two buildings of the entire complex standing. Again, it was really too bad no one knew anything about engineering. I had mixed feelings about the project. On the one hand, the design was really impressive. It allowed the hospital to expand and theoretically provide services that were inaccessible before the earthquake. On the other hand, expanding the hospital to the planned magnitude significantly increased costs. The representative from CRS admitted they didn’t know where they would get the money to keep it running. Hurricane money has trickled up significantly in the last 5 years, ever careening into the next natural disaster. While state-of-the-art facilities are a blessing, I wonder if perhaps the people wouldn’t be better off with something sustainable… Is that too practical? On the other hand, maybe “if you build it, they will come.” It’s a bit of an experiment which only time will solve.

DSC_0086DSC_0091 2On the whole, it was exciting to see all the programs CRS has going in Haiti. Little did I know when I chose Notre Dame, that within a year I would be posing as a poster child for any Catholic organization, much less a worldwide nonprofit!
DSC_0096

 

Shirt: Vintage (estate sale)
Pants: Zara (bought off Poshmark for a song)
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters
Scarf: Talbots
Earrings: Gift
Bag: Givenchy (by way of Ebay)
Watch: Target
Shoes: Bass

DSC_0105

 

A quick ode to these shoes. I would recommend that any ardent traveller get an equivalent. These babies have gone with me from Amsterdam to the Azores, Ireland to India, and now Haiti. Because they are leather they are super comfortable. I prefer them to tennis shoes (which only serve to remind me how nauseously American I am). They are good for climbing rocks or hunting tigers (hunting as in trying to spot). In my opinion, they are a more fashionable, durable alternative to Keds with the added advantage that the dirtier they get, the better they look.