Saturday, January 15, 2011


Hello all, hello.

I commend you for checking this here blog even though the whole premise is a bit outdated.
What I'm about to tell you all has nothing to do with Vienna but this is my only outlet in which I can humor and preach to my good friends.

This is going to take ya'll back to the summer of 2008.
I was sitting in the Tuileries Garden in Paris, just a few meters away from the cafe below.

Cafe de Pomone Jardin des Tuileries

I'm not sure where I heard or read it, but I had recently become aware that in the year 2011 the world population was going to hit 7 billion. It got me thinking. My god. 7 billion people. In 1960, the population hit 3 billion. In only fifty years, the population more than doubled....whew. Anyway anyway, I started think...huh - what if, in 2011, we, the world, get together and have a month long party?  You skeptics out there, don't worry, it'll get better. I was a wee little 18 year old boy in Paris in a dreamlike state of mind, but I was totally aware of the ridiculousness of the idea. I wanted all 7 billion people in the world to gather and enjoy each other's company, drink and eat, put on some artsy performances, have translators at the ready, make sure of adequate law enforcement (I think we considered all of the criminals in jail and such -- I forget exactly what was decided on that but that is a minute detail in the grand scheme of things here). Basically, the plan was to organize the most historic occasion in history. Much thought even when into where the event would take place. Long division, crazy addition, and multiplication was performed on napkins. I wanted to make sure everyone at the party, soon-to-be-named "SEVEN" -- no, no not the Brad Pitt-Morgan Freeman "SE7EN," had plenty of room to move freely. The weather and climate was a major factor as I didn't want to get hit with any casualties as a result of the worldly festival. As you can imagine, this scene in a splendid garden on a somewhat brisk summer day (if I remember correctly) was quite the spectacle.

Now, in the past two and a half years, I've explained that same plan (if you haven't realized yet, I've been half serious-half joking throughout) to a few friends...I'm not sure exactly who I told but I know whoever I told had a nice laughing fit. Of course, I know it's an impossible impossibility. I simply loved toying with the absurd idea. I considered writing it all out in some semi-official fashion just in case some meanie  would try to steal it but thought ''s just so ridiculous I don't think anyone would ever spend more than 10 seconds thinking about it' so I didn't. What was I going to do about it anyway?

Since the New Year, I hadn't really realized "Oh wow, it's 2011, I better get ready for Seven."
UNTIL this morning when...

Papa Joe and I drove out to Great Neck for our semi-annual dentist visit. I sat down and immediately, one of the dental hygienists comes into the waiting room and tells me they're ready for me and to bring a magazine just in case. I grab the only magazine whose cover was completely visible. It happened to be a National Geographic with a big "POPULATION 7 BILLION HOW YOUR WORLD WILL CHANGE" on the cover. Since you all now know of my curious interest in world population, it wouldn't surprise you that I quickly perked up. I didn't care that the dentist was about to mangle my mouth and teeth...I had some GOOD reading ahead of me. I wasn't able to do it though, because the dentist was right on time. 

As soon as the dental hygienist lady told me I was done, I darted out of the room and into the waiting room. I plopped down in a chair and violently flipped through the magazine. Page Twenty struck me and struck me real hard. It read "Seven Billion: World Party - As the global population approaches the seven billion mark, we should all probably try to get to know one another a little better. What if somebody threw a party and invited every single person living on Earth? It would be a logistical nightmare, but you might be surprised at the relatively small size of the venue needed to fit seven billion people - even if we gave them enough room to dane. Don't forget to RSVP."  --- Nigel Holmes

Oh don't you worry, Nigel. I RSVPd a long time ago...two and a half years ago actually. Below Nigel's paragraph, there are some figures and maps showing how much land is needed for the event. GREAT.

Two things:
1. I guess this means I'm not as crazy as I thought.
2. It's just a shame...the person who witnessed the original plan concocted back in 2008 is well, somewhere...somewhere sticky. Somewhere sticky and tricky.

Thus, I have no testimonial proof...oh freakin well. You win, MR. HOLMES.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New York City

In case anyone was worried that I never made it home, I am here to trounce that thought.
New York City's a strange place that seems to not have changed at all in the past four months. I'm not sure if I changed - everyone that has anything to do with study abroad is always saying "Oh man...the real transforming aspect of studying abroad hits you upon arrival in your home town/city." I've definitely had lots of amazing walks since I got back but I'm not so sure that I can say I'm a different fellow. I must give a wee little recap of the last few days in Vienna because, my oh my, were they eventful.

Other than saying all the necessary goodbyes, I got pickpocketed by a nice and drunk Turkish man, waited in Vienna's gross airport for 8 hours, got to my home in New York City without my luggage. To this day and very moment, 5 days after landing, I am still without that very luggage. Ouch, you may say. Ya. OUch. OUch Ouch. I blame the Austrian airline people, the Iberia airline people, the Swiss air people, and the intolerant Viennese. Ugh to all of them. Give ME BACK MY SON (LUGGAGE).

How can you not love Mel Gibson? He's so dreamy and sooooo sweeeeeet.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's over ladies and gents

I'm coming back ya'll.

On my way to Vienna (in JFK), I wrote on a piece a paper the following:
The journey begins!
As I sit in this moderately comfortable airport seat I wonder where I'll be 24 hours from now, a week from now...a month from now.
I stare at the many families walking and gliding to their gate. Hebrew, French, every language is spoken in airports.
Oh...sure hope I don't get a stomachache on the airplanes.
That's all for now, ladies and gents.
Take care of the United States for me,
The next morning (on the plane from Zurich to Vienna), I wrote:
Boarding Austrian flight to Vienna. Made a few (fellow IES folks) ((the trio and Drew Bernard)). Guess what's being played as I write...Johann Strauss' "On the Beautiful Blue Danube" Waltz. How fitting, eh?
Viddy well and talk to ya in Vienna!
Little did I know I'd have to listen to that piece of crap every day on the way to schooly wooly in the U-baaahn.

Alright. I'm on the plane in 5 hours. Good night, good morning. See ya'll sooooooon

Monday, December 13, 2010

Crazy Dayz (daze)

I've been eating lots of mmm mmm good food, playing poker, getting the best hands and winning poker,  making latkes, seeing and hearing some jaZz - lying to trumpet players about who I study with, watching the Vienna Philharmonic rehearse as I sat next to retired Vienna Philharmonic french horn players, "studying" for finals, "preparing" for the final days, being a die-hard IES student while hanging out with all of IES in Australian bars in Austria, almost taking a train to Bratislava in the middle of the night, wandering about the many Christkindlmarkts running into Viennese people that I met in September, recording otherworldly percussive, improvised music in strange recording studio/houses in creepy neighborhoods, and of course watching some African men play pool at the local drugfront, Taste and See.

Yah, that's about it.

See ya Americans reaaal soon.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

No more time

I believe that any blog posts I write in the next week or so are going to be rather brief. I've got a mere 9ish days left in this fair city so I don't plan on spending much time documenting my final days. So much time, so little to do...strike that, reverse it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Shosta Wosta and oh so much more

Three nights in a row at the Konzerthaus...four Shostakovich symphonies, two of which were mighty creepy and depressing (last night) and tonight....Earth.....WIND......AND FIRE.

I had no idea what to expect seein' some funky dudes in a concert hall famous for classical music.
What I got was about 1500 fifty something year olds dancing to their favorite tunes from the 70s and 80s.

It was pretttay prettay different from Shostakovich's 14th and 15th Symphonies, I'd say.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Our second-to-last weekend in Vienna happens to be a Dmitri Shostakovich concert series at the Konzerthaus with the most Russian orchestra in the world: the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra with Mista Valery Gergiev conducting.

After a fantastic day yesterday, with the LaRosa-Schweppe Concert and a hoppin' after-party at our Taste & See residence, a slow and easy day was definitely in store. The evening, though, was devoted to Shostakovich's 12th and 7th Symphonies. Simply ridiculous they were. Booming and bombastic.

I'm going to attempt to wake up early tomorrow to see his 8th Symphony. We'll see what happens.

See ya folks soon