I have now spent 5 official weeks in Vienna. I have cried in my German classes approximately 2 times, moved 2 times, have had 2 assignments thus far, and made 2 new friends.
At the beginning of November, The New York Times sent me out to cover the euro’s inflation, meaning imagery of money handling, tourism, markets, closed down stores, fancy Viennese cafes, and more. Luckily I had two days to work on this assignment. On the first day I hung out at my local fruit and veggie market that happens every day a few hundred meters from my doorstep and spent some time in the main shopping district called the First District, and attempted using my very minimal german.
This assignment really tested my patience as I would stand in the same spot for over an hour sometimes but feel the need to run around like a chicken with my head cut off to capture all the moments I knew I was simultaneously missing, which we all know wouldn’t have helped.
The second day of the assignment I went out with a mobile soup kitchen called Caritas. I learned that in Austria men must serve either a year in the military OR they have the option of doing a civil service year. And sometimes in solidarity, women choose to do a civil service year too. The soup chef at Caritas was 9 months into his year long civil service year, he was 19 years old and as you can imagine makes a mean soup at this point, in the LARGEST removable soup pot in all of Austria.
The two buses, the Canisibus and Francescobus, stop at stations around the capital poring out a free supper 365 days a year, regardless of the weather, out of military grade metal cannisters that are not made anymore. Around 80,000 "guests" take up the Caritas offer annually, sometimes up to three hundred houseless are served in one night. From what I saw on my night spent with the soup team, a lot of refugees were coming from Morocco currently. The volunteers told me that depending on the season, and if there are storms in the Mediterranean affecting those trying to make a crossing, this determines the changes of the people you may see on a nightly basis. The main-stays in Vienna depends on what district you are in (there are 23) but I met a lot of Hungarian houseless folks, which as explained to me, was because of their current political situation. The Hungarian government has been ‘outlawing’ homelessness and putting people in prison. Which has sent a lot of folks over to neighboring Austria.
I met a lot of nice folks from Morocco who all wanted to take selfies with me. I’d love to follow one of their journeys at some point.
The next day I had another assignment to cover the same issue for Bloomberg which has a completely different style. I have to try my best to not photograph faces, and to take video of all the same photos I capture. This time I decided to bike around the city with all my gear, (lenses, two camera bodies, hard drives, laptop, jackets, and snacks; my back was killing me.) Bloomberg wanted a lot for the very little daylight we currently have here in Vienna, and all together I biked over 12 miles that day.
On November 11 at 11:11 AM people take to the streets near Stephensplatz in the first district to dance a street waltz to start off the ball season here in Vienna!
For fun I’ve been going to a lot of the flea markets! And I went climbing last weekend in neighboring Slovenia where they have heart-shaped rock vending machines at the gas stations, chocolate with puffed rice in it, very strong limestone sport climbers, and some GREAT pop music
Projects I’m currently working on include, trying to work more in the outdoor industry, and working on a longer term project about Syrian refugee musicians making a new home here in the famous classical music world of Vienna, Austria.
Last but not least, I am having a print sale over on my IG. If you’re looking for some foggy art to hang on your moms or grand papus empty walls, DM or email me!
I’m selling 8.5 x 11 of six different prints for $150 which includes shipping from my new favorite print shop in the world, Foto Leutner, here in Vienna. I will only be taking orders for the next three days!
One of the images was named one of TIME magazine’s Top 100 images of 2022, which is all together a very powerful set.
Stay Tuned and thanks for following along :) as always.