Sunday, September 23, 2007

Week One: Complete

I have survived week one. Everything so far has been absolutely amazing. I've settled very easily into my flat; unfortunate, since I will probably be moving in another week. Overall, the week has been very laid back. Aside from a few small necessary errands, the week was filled with a great deal of practicing and lots of exploring. I'll include a few highlights in this post...

I already talked about my building a bit, but here it is from the outside. It is a 'passivhaus,' apparently meaning an extra-energy-efficient building. It has a very curious and modern interior structure. I have a beautiful view, since I am on the 6th floor, AND on a corner, meaning I have 3 windows!

I was at the Universität for the first time the other day. My friend Indi (right) from the bass studio showed me and Joyce (left) around a bit. Indi has been very helpful in getting me acclimated and teaching me new words. That has been an adventure all by itself.... The German I have been taught is ABSOLUTELY nothing like the dialect of German they speak here. It has been quite interesting, with people often asking me questions on the street, and me not understanding a single word. Very frustrating. I'm sure I will pick some of it up in time though.

Joyce and I attended a rehearsal of the Wien Philharmoniker the other day at the Musikverein, in hopes of finally meeting our teachers. Oh my God....the Vienna Phil. I have never heard sounds like that before. It was EASILY the best sounding orchestra I have EVER heard. It was absolutely astounding. I am still in shock. I had chills the entire time, as I listened to Danielle Gatti rehearse Beethoven's 6th symphony with them. I did finally meet Herr Posch after the rehearsal, and was given my first lesson time...which will be on October 1st.

Today I went for a long walk through the Augarten, which is a few blocks down from my building. The weather was beautiful, and it was so fun people watching (and listening) in the park. The park is several hundred years old, like most things in this city.

And of course, a park just simply isn't a park without your WWII antiaircraft towers!

These massive structures definitely stood out a little bit...

Look at the tiny people walking at the base.

I have one more week before school starts, so there will certainly be more to come soon...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First 2 Days After Arrival!

I arrived safely and about 45 minutes early! Unheard of. Martin Nedbal, an Eastman doctoral student, living in Vienna this year, picked me up and helped me find my way through the with my massive amount of gear. Martin, who was also my music history TA 2 years ago, is a native of the Czech Republik, so he grew up very near to the city, and seems to know it fairly well.

It was quite the adventure finding my building. The means of transportation in the process of picking up my key and finding the building consisted of an airport train, several subways, about 5 streetcars, and a good deal of walking. I don't know what I would have done without Martin there to help me. We celebrated afterwards with a delicious, greasy lunch of sausage wrapped in bacon. mmmm...

My room is beautiful! It is in flat with two other guys (neither of which speak German, and limited English). One is from France, and the other is from Japan. Both seem very nice, though I havn't had too much time to see and talk them. I have a beautiful view out my window, and can actually see a glimpse of the Prater Park, which consists of a large city park area, and also and amusement park. The plan is, I will only be in this building for the remainder of September. I then move to another building in a different neighborhood for the rest of the semester. This was the view out of my window at 6:30 am this beautiful jet-lagged morning.

Joyce arrived yesterday. She is the other Eastman student in the same program as me. It will definitely be nice to have another Eastmanite her, despite her living on the complete opposite side of the city.

I had an amazing Austrian pork roast dinner last night with Indi, one of my new friends from the bass studio. I met Indi through one of my other Eastman friends, Bobby, with whom she went to highschool at Interlochen with. En route, I caught my first glimpse of the Opera House...where I may be going tonight. I'm certain there will be more stories soon!

Friday, September 14, 2007

2 Days Before Leaving!!!

Well, I figure I should attempt to get comfortable with the blogging thing before I leave and have a million new concerns:)

I just arrived back home in Libertyville after the last 2 days of driving. It is Friday now, and I leave on Sunday, so its really down to the last minute preparations. Leaving Rochester, and 111 East Ave. was actually quite difficult. It wouldn't be so hard if this wasn't my last year in Rochester. I am happy to be leaving Rochester, but it was really difficult mainly because of my friends. They are definitely what I will miss the most, and look forward to coming back to. I had amazing help moving out of my apartment. And of course we put on quite the party in the empty space as I was moving out. So many people came. We ended up on the roof of the building of course. I think everyone had a great time.

Some scenes from the party:

Becky, me, and Cody

On the roof: Becky, Evan, and Justin

My last obligations in Rochester also included a Wilco cover concert, that Justin and myself organized for the first day of classes in Barrett Place outside Javas.

We performed the first disc of Wilco's 1996 record, "Being There."

The concert was another huge success, especially for not being very well advertised, as we succeeded in drawing quite a crowd essentially closing off Gibbs St. Not a bad note to exit on.

The next 2 days will surely be filled with friend and family time, including a Saturday matinée of "Wicked" and certainly a few amazing meals. Also in the plans is the LHS vs. VHHS homecoming football game tonight. Back to high school, should be fun...

I leave at 4:45pm on Sunday from Chicago O'hare directly to Vienna. I can't wait.

More to come soon, although from another continent next time...