Part One: some sculptures and their dubious interpretations.
May 2007 and a beautifully warm but rainy Spring day. We (a coworker and I, photos and names left out to protect the innocent) just arrived from the US. We need to stay awake, so we take a walk in the heart of Vienna and are captivated by trees, flowers, and some rather silly (to us in our sleep-deprived state) sculptures that, no doubt, have serious meaning in myth, but instead of seeking out mythological explanations for what we saw, we just made up stuff.
If you are offended by partial nudity on mermaids and mermen made of stone, or if you are offended by total cultural ignorance (as Americans from Nevada, we reserve the right to be in that condition on specific days known only to us), perhaps you ought not further peruse this page?
So we arrive and it rains some, but we take the U-bahn (station seen in the distance across the Alte Donau/Old Danube) in this photo (with one of the lower bluish/white curved buildings of the Vienna International Centre, where we will work all this week, in the background):
and So, one U-bahn (Metro) and a tram later we find ourselves in a nice garden between the fronts of both the natural history and cultural museums, and what catches our attention? The wondrous architecture? No, the mer-man in the foreground! What is he doing to that poor woman seemingly trying to get away from him?
Why he is smiling at her and trying to give her a gift, but she is apparently not impressed with his offering of a string of pearls:
The look on her face is one of incredulousness, he is apparently trying to convince her of something she is wary of:
Maybe what it is, is that he is trying to convince her that this kid that sprang up from her after their last date really does not have his hairdo and smile? "Trust me, I had nothing to do with it," he is saying, "let's go out again! Here are some pearls to make you happy." She ainít buying it.
As soon as we understand what is going on here we come to a very different scene: this time it is a man being convinced he ought to be a part of this mermaid's life, and he seems to be wondering what she is after since he is obviously old and she is not:
On top of it all, she is the one bearing the gifts! This is really puzzling the old man.
Finally he thinks he has it figured out and points to her boy and asks if she is simply looking for a father to make her child legitimate. The real father is obviously the scoundrel from the above sculpture. But all he offers is smiles and promises, this guy has more substance.
We wish them all well in their family-making negotiations and turn to yet another display in the series.
This time the lady is turning away a suitor trying to buy her with a fish of all things! She knows her worth and it is certainly greater than one dead fish!
Her boy is also the obvious product of a date with the dude with the curly hair and smile above, but she is tired of men and turns this suitor away: he seems a bit too fishy for her tastes.
Finally we come to a very happy scene with a woman and her children and their father happy and well adjusted. Even though they are already a couple, and made these two happy children together:
Or he thinks enough of her to bring her a whole basket full of treasures from the sea!
There was one other statue in this square between two museums. This one is of a queen looking regal, and not nearly as much fun to interpret.
Now it is time to continue our walk, and see some more of beautiful downtown Vienna (aka Wien) in the rain.
Go to second Whimsical Wien Walk page.
Go to third Whimsical Wien Walk Page (a look from the 25th floor).
Join me on a trip to Semmering in the mountains.
Jon me on a trip to Eisenstadt (where Haydn lived and worked).
Go back to Heaven in 2007 Yearbook page.
Go to Austria page.
Go to Thoughts and Places Home Page.