Monday, July 25, 2011

A Coffeehouse Legend

While there's a drought in Somalia, a heatwave in the US, and suffocating humidity in Japan, the temps have been quite mild here in Austria (with the exception of a few super hot days sprinkled in here and there).  This past weekend the highs barely reached 18'C (65'F).  We've had thick cloud coverage since Friday.  Therefore it's been quite dark and dreary the past couple of days.  In fact, I've been feeling a bit gloomy.  (I imagine this is how Eeyore feels.)  Not sad, or depressed really.  Just lazy and, well, gloomy.

Gloomy can be good sometimes, though.  Dreary days are sort of like forced holidays, aren't they?  The weather this weekend certainly enticed me and David to take a rest from our usual weekend bike ride or hike to do some museum and cafe hopping.  We took advantage of the Free Saturdays at the MAK and roamed around the top floor for a bit (we saved the other 2 floors for our next visits).  After visiting the MAK, we refueled ourselves with another first -- a visit to the legendary Cafe Hawelka.

I've read about this cafe in various Vienna guide books and on other blogs about the city.  I put off the visit because I figured the famous establishment would be packed with tourists and the cafe experience would be more frustrating than enjoyable.  Boy was I wrong.  Yes, the place was packed.  But we easily found a cozy table for two.  Yes, there were tourists.  But not the frustrating, obnoxious type.  The respectful type.  The kind of tourists that use their broken German to order a Wiener Melange and then chat quietly with their friends in their common language.  Good people.  And to top it all off, the Hawelka family roasts some pretty fantastic coffee.

So, actually, now I'm a massive fan of Cafe Hawelka.  It was inspiring to sit in a place where for decades writers and artists like Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Arthur Miller, and Andy Warhol discussed their ideas, wrote their stories, and sketched their masterpieces.  Next time, I'm going back in the evening so to enjoy Frau Hawelka's famous Buchteln.  Maybe tomorrow?  And, I'll take my book.  Catching Fire's getting real good folks.

Here's to gloomy days!

"A picture means I know where I was every minute. That's why I take pictures. It's a visual diary." ~Andy Warhol

"A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself." ~Arthur Miller

"When we dream alone it is only a dream, but when many dream together it is the beginning of a new reality." ~Friedensreich Hundertwasser

"The apple cannot be stuck back on the Tree of Knowledge; once we begin to see, we are doomed and challenged to seek the strength to see more, not less."  ~Arthur Miller


Jennifer said...

How delightful!!!! I am sure, as you sit there, you can feel the souls of those who sat before you. Once again...thank you for sharing Wien through your words, eyes, and heart.

Lydia said...

I wish I was there.

Eva @ Four Leaf Clover said...

I sure do miss those hot days (had a taste of it today!), but knowing that just about all of Europe is feeling the same way makes me feel a bit better.

I just watched The Illusionist yesterday and this place looks like it could be right out of that movie (said to be in Vienna, but filmed in the CZ)!

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

A coffeehouse like this one is exactly what I've been looking for, though in New Jersey finding something like it is quite impossible. But I could easily imagine myself sitting in there for hours just reading or writing. Maybe I should consider taking that extended European holiday.

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