Archive for March, 2007

Discovering Produce

Here is an article I wrote that was published in the Santa Fe New Mexican yesterday.

An American Cook in Europe #2
by Christopher J Kolon
for the Santa Fe New Mexican

Discovering Produce

Wandering into the produce section of an American supermarket is like entering a virtual reality world. The real world, along with any acknowledgement of date or place, is left at the front door.

Watermelon in January? Asparagus in September? Why not? Grapes and cherries shipped 7,000 miles to the high desert. Who cares?

And everywhere there is the stunning perfection of the fruit and vegetables: hefty, purple eggplants; fist-sized, bright red tomatoes; enormous romaine; petite haricot verts; perfect peaches and plums. The list goes on and on.

Not so here. The produce section in the average Austrian supermarket is more a reflection of the season and the locality.

Don’t get me wrong. There are places here where you can buy out of season produce: big supermarkets almost indistinguishable from those in the States. There, in February, you can buy peaches from South Africa, strawberries from Egypt, avocados from Israel, and, yes, grapes from Chile.

But these markets are uncommon and, for us, prohibitively expensive.

Multiple Choice Quiz

Here is a list of years.

1784, 1809, 1811, 1839, 1899, 1912, 1963

And here is a list of events.

What happend when? Do you know?

— The hospital of the province of Styria is opened, then the largest and most modern in Europe.

— Abortive siege of the Citadel by French troupes and Napoleon. The citadel has to be dismantled. The “Uhrturm” (Clock Tower) and the Bell Tower are salvage by the citizens of Graz for 2.987 Guilders and 11 Farthings and thus evade destruction.

— Archduke Johann found the “Joanneum” and places his private collection at its disposal; today’s Technical University also originates from the Joanneum.

— Foundation of the Academy of Music and Performing Arts with University status.
The citadel is turned into a park.

— Completion of today’s Opera house.

— Graz is among the first European cities to raze its fortifications; the glacis is planned with trees.

City # 54

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Diagonale 2007

today ist the first day of the 10th DIAGONALE at graz…


it´s the festival of austrian film. during this week the city itself seems to be the cinema.
from tomorrow on i´ve to work four days in one of the cinemas where they show the films,
let´s see what will happen……..


i can´t believe it, but i see it with my own eyes…

it started snowing a few minutes ago,
last week i was sitting in the park in the sun and i think it had 20 degree celcius
the bushes started to bloom and the birds were singing…….
and today it´s winter again……..

very strange world.

flea market

if you need nothing special but love to finde crazy things you have to go to the flea market

this is what i´ve found, it´s a pepsi add button and it says

“doctor, is the devil in you?” (something like that)

it´s today and tomorrow, enjoy…………

save the augarten-cinema – sign the petition

a little late, but still important: some advertisement for a good cause. the augartenkino (the cinema in the augarten, also known as KIZ) is threatened. still this year the very charismatic house could be replaced by a new office and apartement building.

the augartenkino is one of the best cinemas in town. they show a lot of european, arthouse and independent movies. it is also one cinema of the austrian filmfestival diagonale, which will start on the 19th of march. let’s hope that this is not going to be the last diagonale with the augartenkino.


you can support the petition here (sorry, only in german). right now, already more than 8000 people signed it.


this coltsfoot just wanted to come to the light……….


looks like he had a wild party yesterday night.

The first time I’ve been impressed by Chinese Food in Graz

Naturally, being Chinese-American, I’m quite picky with Chinese food. And since I’ve been here, most experiences have been horrendous. I’ve since learned to lower my expectations. Friday night, after discovering Teranga was closed (the 3rd closed African restaurants I’ve tried to visit), we trotted over to Midori, the new place on Sackgasse.
Running sushi never appeals to me, but they had vegetarian dishes that I was keen on trying.

See this?
Vegetarian "meat"

That was utterly delicious and better yet – it was made from soya. Soya “meat” is the Buddhists’ greatest invention to pacify a vegetarian’s childhood tastes for meat. Highly recommend this dish: schweinsribbchen (at first I thought it was a mistake in the menu to have that listed under “vegetarian dishes”) What was also nice was the side dish called “zongzi”. It’s a little sweet rice/bean/peanut clump wrapped and steam in lotus leaves – one of my favorite flavors. I think I saw them on the running sushi line too.


now the time had come,
the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the birds are chirping, the air smells of flowers…
and it´s sunday, so what should you do…….?


just go to the parkhaus, it´s in the middle of the stadtpark and the good thing is…
you can spend the whole spring, summer and autum there, sitting around drinking coffee
meeting people or just watching……………….. i love it.

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