That Vienna

Spent a week in Vienna, thankfully away from all those hideous Englishmen (wink wink, just kiddin’ ha ha), saw all manner of good stuff, a Monet to Picasso show that was an education (not to mention awesome and gorgeous and amazingly empty) a Durer exhibition that was sort of religious, a Max Ernst show that was exactly as expected (that is: Great) and a bunch of Richters that were a fillip to the Monet-Picasso show (starring Munch and Bacon(I mean, god was this a hell of a good day)). So this was Vienna. Did I say I got lost about seven times because I said, ‘Okay, Phill, here’s a big gorgeous Austro-Hungarian Palace, when you see it you’re here,’ only to find out that there’re about seven such palaces all around Vienna and that locating oneself thereby is foolhardy at best, and masochistic at even better than best. If you happen to hate your feet.
No hotel because for those preterite who can’t cop a room in the Four Seasons Intercontinental Hilton on short notice downtown Vienna is unique amongst European tourist locals in having no place to stay. So, like any good tourist, I hit bars, and wound up hitting nails into a stump with the claw of a hammer for sport, then staying up hanging out badmouthing the country I love for free drinks until 10 am with one Eurogreasy bartender and three waitresses. It was grand.
Then: Klimt, and [Ed’s note] I’ve always loved Klimt and ikons both, mainly owing to Kleist (Read Kleist!) but holy god! The Belvedere Palace is the palace taken over by, in its lower quarters, Viennese artists of today who’re super good, and in its real palatial realm, by Klimts, which are far far beyond good.
I don’t want to go on too much here on Steve n them’s spot, but suffice it to say that the way gold and abstraction resolves into the pure uncluttered beauty of a woman’s face tilted to one side and beyond the world in pure contentment, well, it’s something. Saw Mozart Beethoven shows with headphones on, there’s a Museum Quarter that’s nice, saw that, but mainly I saw Vienna as a sort of challenge to any greatness that can’t back it all up with one thousand years. It was sort of cool.
Saw more, but nothing more worth mentioning.

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