tommy hilifiger

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

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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

Growling Around Borough

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I live in an area called Southwark. For those of us who aren’t British, it is counter-intuitively pronounced “Suth-uck,” rather than “South-wark.” Historically, it was the theatre, gambling, and prostitution epicenter of Central London. While such activity wasn’t permitted under the Queen’s watchful eye, her visual impairment kicked in right around the bank of the Thames, making anything that went on South of its shore virtually unchecked (this is also because Southwark was not part of London proper, making it a separate jurisdiction). The City of London was particularly suspicious and subsequently, unkind, to theatrical groups within its limits, leading to a large theatrical community in Southwark, where they claimed to “practice” in order to perform for the Queen. Today, it’s where you will find the rebuilt Globe Theater, although the gambling and prostitutes have relocated (hopefully). Between the Globe and the installation of the Tate Modern Art Museum, its become a popular area that hosts lovely walks down the Southbank, and scenic views of St. Pauls.

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This man is pointing at Southwark from the Millenium Bridge.

However, before you get to St. Pauls, you have to cross over London Bridge (possibly one of the most boring bridges in London, despite its widespread musical acclaim). And before you reach London Bridge, you encounter a sudden wall of delicious smells cascading from the left side of the street. That pantheon of flavors is none other than Borough Market. Borough Market is the next step up from a farmers market, selling all sorts of fresh produce, meats, and cheeses, in addition to a delicious selection of tempting takeaways.

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I sampled the salt pork, which I was informed was an “American dish” via Boston.

One thing I didn’t realize upon visiting Borough Market is that unlike the farmer’s markets I’m used to back home, people don’t really shops here for their groceries. That isn’t to say no one does, but Borough Market today is a bit of a tourist destination, which has driven prices from the mom and pop tomato stand fares you’d expect to those recognizable in the rest of central London. If you decide to take a visit yourself out-valuing Tesco will not be on the schedule. However, it’s fun to just walk around, and take in the selection, of well, everything.

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Verdant Inner-City Seating

As should be no surprise to those who know me, with a universe of food staring me in the face, while there, I decided to splurge on a coffee. However, this coffee had a recommendation, namely a line spanning out the door (and I’m told, on weekends, well around the block). The brand is Monmouth. Founded in 1978 in Covent Garden (on Monmouth Street), they have grown into three stores that seem to have a cult following. A yuppie playground, Monmouth is not coffee for the weak; if you are prone to headaches, this is not your brew. If you want to stay up half the night doing work to the background of warm, rich flavour this is where to get your beans.

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Just in from The Clothesline: A Real British Queue.

To the sartorial: have you ever seen something that was so crazy that you secretly wanted it (for no rational reason), but told yourself you could never pull it off? That was my relationship with my lion skirt. When I saw it in H&M, it’s combination of quilting and lion heads, I demurely put it back on the rack where it belonged. Undaunted, I returned to best this beast, and here is my interpretation, if you can think of a better way to sport it, let me know below. I’m definitely up for suggestions.

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Outfit Details:
Choker: H&M
Leather Jacket: H&M
Skirt: H&M
Belt: Thrifted
Satchel: Fossil (this is the only purse I brought over, but be on the lookout soon for some diversity, and the newest addition to my closet!)

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