Archive | April, 2020

A beautiful original image of Vienna’s districts

23 Apr

A friend sent me this from one of her colleagues and I liked it so much I immediately asked for (and received) permission to post it.

The artist is Paul Talbot, a trainer and consultant with a hobbyist eye for design.

Enjoy!

The victories of coronavirus shopping

21 Apr

VCM 2020

19 Apr

The Vienna City Marathon (VCM) 2020 has, of course, been canceled. It would have been held today, and the weather would have been good for it–not too hot or sunny and not much wind.

A few years ago I started writing the VCM date in my calendar so that I could set aside time to watch it undisturbed. This was after a number of years of having it on the TV in the background but not planning to really watch it. At some point I had to accept that it was oddly absorbing and enjoyable to watch people run for hours and that there was no point in trying to get anything else done while the VCM was on.

I still watch on TV but there is a point at which the runners pass about 10 minutes from my flat so I have taken to walking down there and cheering on the front runners: first man, first Austrian man, first woman, first Austrian woman. (I have never gotten the sense that they took in that we were there cheering, but I like to cheer them on nonetheless.)

There is a hole in my calendar this year where the VCM would have been. I’ll especially miss seeing Valentin Pfeil, a gifted and personable Austrian marathoner, and Nancy Kiprop, the Kenyan teacher who runs to earn funds for her school and has been the winner among the women three years in a row. I’ll miss the shots of this beautiful city I live in, the streets cleared of cars but lined with fans. I’ll miss the people who run it with a sense of fun, dressed up in silly costumes and not looking at the clock. I’ll miss the ORF commentary. And I’ll miss the stories of the runners and how they came to be in the VCM.

This, too, is a part of Vienna in the times of coronavirus.

Subdued

12 Apr

That is the word that, for me, describes the mood in Vienna this Easter weekend. It’s common to have little traffic in Vienna at this time of year because so many people who live in Vienna go back to their hometowns to celebrate Easter with their families. This year, this kind of traveling around is being discouraged to prevent the virus traveling with people. This means that there are more residents in the city than there ordinarily would be, but we all seem to be maintaining a respectful quietness. Yesterday and perhaps today I would have expected some loud music at least, but we seem to be quite subdued.

Fresh air

4 Apr

Every morning I get out of bed and open the window to sniff the air and see what kind of day it is. We are just wrapping up Week 3 of our lockdown and, after reading about the reduction of air pollution in places like Wuhan and Los Angeles, every morning I have been hoping that the air would be noticeably fresher. And every morning it still had the metallic bite characteristic of air in Vienna. Until about two days ago, when the air was suddenly softer and even held a trace of sweet spring smells. In the parks it’s even more obvious. Fresh air!