Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Eurotrippin continued...

Day 3 Monday, September 7th, 2009
We learned our lesson the hard way yesterday and wisely had breakfast at the hotel before heading out to MUMOK- Museum Moderner Kunst. What can I say about modern art*? It's a natural outgrowth of the complexity of modern life and the meaninglessness that results from it? It's hit or miss? It's silly (to paint a canvas one color and tell people it's "artistic")? It's even sillier to literally scribble (think- any two year old can do this) on a piece of paper, tape that to another piece of paper, have two floors(!) in a museum devoted to this, without it making sense to anyone and call THAT art? Yeah I guess it's safe to say that we liked the modern art in Chicago and LA better.
*Disclaimer- I am not a trained art critic. Nor am I a professionally trained artist. I’ve never taken an art history or an art appreciation class. To be frank I don’t even think I can doodle very well. So everything I have to say can just be ignored, thank you very much.

Naschmarkt- is where we headed to next. It's an open air market where you can buy fruits and veggies and any kind of cuisine imaginable! (we found Russians selling vodka and caviar!) We snacked on some Vietnamese soup and strawberries.
Across the street is the Secession Building- this is a building. Really there's some artsy explanation for why it's important but to us it's just a building. Please see photos for proof. Then onto the Jewish Museum- another rather disappointing place, maybe we're bad Jews or something but we didn't find the experience particularly moving or informative. When we first got there, there was a woman in the elevator with us who asked "Where are you from?" I thought I detected an accent from her so I answered "oh from America."She then says (all bitchy and exasperated with me) "Well I know that, where in America?" I thought about it for a second, I never know quite how much information to give here (well my husband and I are originally from the Ukraine, and we both immigrated to San Francisco, and went to school in Davis and then he moved to Reno and I stayed behind, blah blah blah, you see the problem) so I said "Umm Reno?" to which Miss Bitchy says "I didn't realize people from Reno actually went anywhere"...awkward pause from me, mental plea from Slavik "please don't bother she's not worth it" UGH!!! Some people.
The one exhibit we both enjoyed was "Tipisch" a look at pervasive Jewish and other ethnic stereotypes. There was a multimedia component (with clips ranging from "Dave Chapelle's Black White Supremacist, a rap song about "The Protocols of Zion", and other clips of existing stereotypes in the media) which was designed to show us that stereotypes are alive and well and be (we think) serious in tone...well we find it hilarious and sat and laughed at everything. I guess it's hard to edumacte us backward, hillbilly, Reno-ites that never travel anywhere.
After this a quick break at Buffet Trzesniewski- a place serving 21 different cheap open faced sandwiches, essentially Russian salads on black bread.
From here we hobbled around the City Center looking for Cantina La Norma, an Italian restaurant mentioned in the Rick Steve’s travel guide. By the time we found it I could no longer walk… yet somehow miraculously found the strength to continue to get gelato at Zanoni Zanoni, yummy yummy! Another memorable moment of the evening for us was when I remarked to Stan on all of the lovely horse drawn carriages taking tourists around, “Ooh horsies!” To which Stan says “Run from the four legged pooping machines.” Lovely imagery thank you Stan.

It’s modern, but is it art? No I think it’s a cardboard rock suspended from the ceiling. Stan underneath another fine “art” exhibit. Several selections from Naschmarkt. The Secession building. Sandwiches from Trzesniweski.

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