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Posts from the ‘Coffeehouses’ Category

DECADES OF GRATEFUL WRITERS WISH CAFÉ CENTRAL A HAPPY BIRTHDAY

I know a parallel universe where a writer can be alone in the company of others. A place where the air is laced with the scents of freshly roasted coffee beans and the soft tones of piano music accompany stories-in-the-making. A place where the cell phone remains tucked away and the only interruption is the arrival of a slice of Apfelstrudel with a side of freshly whipped cream or a berry torte topped with a sliver of chocolate and a swirl of gold.

Café Central — inspiring writers, poets, artists, intellectuals, and countless more for 140

Cafe Central Coffee on a silver platter served with water

Cafe Central Coffee on a silver platter served with water

years! Franz Kafka, Arthur Schnitzler, Karl Kraus, Adolf Loos, Peter Altenberg – were all “Stammgäste” here – so-called “Centralists”. Sigmund Freud, Karl Popper, Gustav Klimt, all came here as well. Rumor has it that Leo Trotzki played chess here while preparing for the October Revolution in his homeland. Happy Birthday to a true Viennese institution!

Without you, Vienna would only be half as wonderful. Thank you, Café Central, for being you, and allowing writers the world over precious hours of in-between times and boundless inspiration.

In my historical fiction novel that takes place in the beginning of the 1900s, Women and Wild Savages, the Austrian poet, Peter Altenberg, describes to Lina

Cafe Central Desert

Cafe Central Desert

Loos the masterful skills of Café Central’s head waiter, Herr Ober Franz:

     “The third appeal of Café Central is Herr Ober Franz, the dominion of this empire of suspended time. Everything runs like clockwork and occurs only with his blessing. Astuteness is only surpassed by his ability to be discreet. A connoisseur of all drinks, he knows the rules to all games. Before the Herr Guest utters a syllable, good Franz addresses him in the appropriate tongue. In addition to German and English, I’ve heard Franz speak French, Italian, Hungarian, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, and Russian. From the 250 newspapers available in this coffeehouse, Franz knows each of our favorites. Once I even witnessed Franz, without a word, setting a Presse in front of a man who had been absent from Vienna more than a decade.”

                Franz’s slender figure glided through the labyrinth of marble tables. His

Cafe Central Apfelstrudel

Cafe Central Apfelstrudel

upper body swayed as his coattails swung elegantly and his black bow tie aligned perfectly.

                “He presides, my dear. If we Viennese are half naked without a title, it is Franz, not the magistrate, who confers the honor. He masterfully ignores his guests to bestow us with the treasured in-between times: between the bank and the barber, the lectures and library, the firm and family, between today and tomorrow. He and His stand guard over our idle hours and never jostle us with a disapproving glance or unrequested bill.

                                                                                                Women and Wild Savages, KC Blau

And don’t miss on World Poetry Day!

MARCH 21 – PAY WITH A POEM DAY!

On Monday, March 21, Julius Meinl along with Café Central and other coffeehouses throughout the city are celebrating World Poetry Day by offering patrons the opportunity to pay with a poem by choosing their favorite Julius Meinl coffee or tea and “paying with a currency better than money: a currency of emotions” . Let your creative juices flow, be inspired by the ambience and enjoy the Mélange.

https://www.meinlcoffee.com/poetry/campaigns/pay-with-a-poem-2016/

 

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WOMEN AND WILD SAVAGES PRINT VERSION NOW AVAILABLE

You asked for it – Women and Wild Savages, the print version, hot off the presses! Hold it in your hands. Feel the sleek, smooth surface of real paper. Revel in the smell of fresh ink. Dog ear it. Marginalia it. Mark it with an R for Reader and Me.

Romance, love, betrayal, poetry, friendship, horse-drawn carriages, coffeehouses, wineries, death, tragedy and hope – all wrapped up in the story of a young, aspiring actress and her marriage to the world-famous architect and designer, Adolf Loos. Because you deserve to spend some quiet hours in Vienna’s coffeehouses.

Women and Wild Savages

Women and Wild Savages is the first book in the Vienna Muses series

Women and Wild Savages at Amazon – print version

E-Book Versions are Available too

Women and Wild Savages at Amazon for Kindle

Women and Wild Savages at Barnes and Noble for Nook

Women and Wild Savages for Kobo

And Don’t Forget to Download the Free Readers Guide

Women and Wild Savages Readers Guide

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BOOK RELEASE – WOMEN AND WILD SAVAGES

Women and Wild Savages

Women and Wild Savages is the first book in the Vienna Muses series and currently available on amazon.com as ebook

No woman knows, or ever has known, or ever will know, what she does when she enters into association with a man.

Women and Wild Savages is out! Very excited to share some big news for me personally – a book I have been working on for several years was released this past week on amazon.com. The print version will follow soon and all versions will be available at other outlets by February. The book is the first in a series entitled “The Vienna Muses” which takes place in Vienna at the beginning of the 1900s.

Writing has always been a part of me and with the publication of this book, a lifelong dream has come true. I am grateful to a great many people – obvious and not so apparent – who have supported this dream and this particular project along the way.

I have spent so many years with the characters in this book that they have – in a strange way – become a part of my life. I have held their postcards in the Vienna City archives, their letters of desperation — perhaps their very last letters – in the Austrian National Archives. I have studied their poetry, their books, the book of those they loved and those that loved them and tried my best, over 100 years after the events, to recreate a story that conveys not only the characters, and the city, but an entire Zeitgeist. I can only humbly hope that those who read Women and Wild Savages will hear the clings of silver spoons on porcelain and smell the tantalizing scent of freshly roasted coffee beans while they delve into the private salons, grand cathedrals, buzzing coffeehouses and cobble-stoned lanes of Vienna of the early 1900s.

Maybe It's Time for A Catnap

Two not-so-obvious supporters of my writing

Research and writing can be frustrating at times, but every now and then fate seems to throw you a bone. While working on the book, through some miracle of miracles after hours of google procrastination, at about 2 am one morning, I came across a 1904 newspaper clipping from a New Zealand online archive with a copy of a tragic last letter from one of the characters to another. What are the chances?

After years of work on the manuscript, I had finished nearly everything, had spent days painstakingly going through all the final edits from my copy editor and just as the finish line appeared upon the horizon, I found myself faced with evil incarnate. I logged into my computer to find all my files locked. A window popped up demanding that I pay an ungodly amount in Bitcoins or I’d never see my files again.  Do hackers from the darkside have any idea what writers earn? Back your character up against a wall and see how they react – a demand of writers to up the tension in their books. Was someone in the book of life playing a bad joke and testing me?

A friend once wrote when his book was published that he had expected the joy that would come on release day but not the sorrow. After spending so many years alone together with these characters, I can definitely relate to this. Publication feels like a time to say good-bye and I nervously stand by the door as I release my version of my characters, my words, my work into the world.

As I watch Lina Loos, Adolf Loos, Peter Altenberg, Karl Kraus, Marie Lang and all the others waltz from my safe-keeping to yours, I can only hope that I have been true to them, to Vienna, the Zeitgeist, and that you, dear readers, will find as much pleasure in your time together with them as I have over the years.

Women and Wild Savages at Amazon for Kindle

Women and Wild Savages at Barnes and Noble for Nook

Women and Wild Savages for Kobo

Women and Wild Savages Readers Guide

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TOP TEN THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN VIENNA IN DECEMBER

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Vienna gets lots of visitors in December and that’s not too surprising because the city is beautiful this time of year. Here’s the top 10 things you’ll want to do and see while here in December to get the most of your visit.

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    1. Visit a Christmas Market. With over 20 markets to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Here’s a list of Vienna Christmas markets from my 2014 post with links. Note that the special events have probably changed but otherwise the markets and descriptions usually stay pretty consistent year for year.
    2. Indulge in some Glühwein while at that market. For your own Glühwein recipe – check out my “How to make Glühwein” post.

      Gluehwein at Schönnbrunn Castle Christmas Market - photo courtesy of M. Gardzina

      Gluehwein at Schönnbrunn Castle Christmas Market – photo courtesy of M. Gardzina

    3. Have lunch at Cafe Central – they have what’s called a “Menü” option on the weekdays and it is usually a soup and a main meal consisting of a meat or non-meat dish and rather reasonably priced. Be sure to make reservations or you might have to wait for a table or not get one at all. You can write to them for reservations at the email address on the Cafe Central website but reservations are only valid if you receive a confirmation email (usually pretty quick response time).
    4. See the mosaic of the Last Supper. Do this after your visit to Cafe Central, since the Minoritenkirche with the mosaic is a two minute walk up the road from the Cafe.  More about this amazing piece of art work in my post: “Napoleon, Jesus and the Free Masons: the Last Supper in Vienna.”
    5. Have an authentic Austrian dinner in one of Vienna’s oldest restaurants – the Griechenbeisl. Again, reservations are a necessity. Check out my post about the Greichenbeisl restaurant entitled, “If the Walls Could Speak – A Schnitzel with Turkish Invaders, Beethoven, Twain and Johnny Cash.”

      Fancy Schmancy Aida Krapfen

      Fancy Schmancy Aida Krapfen

    6. Try a Krapfen. Don’t know what that is? Kind of like a apricot jam filled doughnut – more on the subject here: “Krapfen – Getting Fat in Honor of Fat Tuesday.”
    7. Definitely, definitely, visit a Coffeehouse to catch your breath, read a newspaper, discuss the world, and maybe even have some coffee. These two posts should help you with that: This one has a list of choice coffeehouses: “Vienna and her Coffeehouses – Sit Back and Smell the Coffee,” and this one describes a bit of the coffeehouse culture: “Place to Visit in Vienna – Coffeehouses.”
    8.  Digest some art and see some museums. Check out my post “Things to See in Vienna – Art Museums and Street Art.”

      Entrance to the Griechenbeisl

      Entrance to the Griechenbeisl

    9. Visit the Austrian National Treasury and check out some amazing artifacts like the legendary holy lance/ Spear of Destiny. More about that on my post:”The Holy Lance (“Spear of Destiny”) & the Power to Rule the World.”
    10. Take a stroll through the park of the Schönbrunn Castle and be sure to hike the hill behind the castle up to the gorgeous Gloriette where you can have a hot cocoa and if you’re timing is right, listen to some live piano music.
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