Tag: graffiti

Vienna Diary, July 17th

The streets of Vienna are graced by the works of a particularly distinguished graffiti artist. Their work is immediately identifiable. It isn’t the usual typographical fare, nor the sweeping lines and sharp angles of spray can work, nor even the uniformity of stencils. With nothing more than a thick black permanent marker, the profile has become the stand out feature of the city floor gallery, with all the ligne claire flaire I’d hope for from a European.

I’ve been photographing as I stumble across them. The typical canvas is the metal cover of what I guess is electronic plumbing and possible electric meter in the entrance ways to apartment complexes. Two portraits I have found have had words put in their mouths: nicht unser kreig — not our war. Presumably a statement against European support and involvement in Ukraine. I don’t believe they were the sentiments of the original artist. Nor reflective of the general mood on the street. I saw plenty of Fuck Putin stenciled about.

Returning to Montreal

The first overcast sky I’d seen in quite a while.

I set off from Haifa just as the first rain since the start of the summer started to fall. On arrival in Montreal the shorts and T-shirt I had set off in became insufficient to the demands of the local climate, so I had to switch into warmer clothes and revive myself with Tim Horton’s hot chocolate.

Two years had passed since I was last in Montreal to defend my thesis — the morning after the 2016 election. It was interesting to see what had changed. Cannabis was about to be legalized. The building work on McGill/Sherbrooke had been completed. The math department was full of unfamiliar faces. Many restaurants had closed (no more SmartBurger). Murals commemorating the late Leonard Cohen had appeared across the city. Poutine was pretty much as I remember it, though.

Montreal is now also home to the world’s largest permanent barbie exhibit. Which is completely free to access.

One among many of the Barbies on display.

Canadian Thanksgiving took us all by surprise, so I gave my McGill seminar talk earlier than expected. It was the first outing of the talk I’m touring while I’m out here in North America, presenting my new proof (and generalization) of Leighton’s graph covering theorem. The seminar went well, but I feel like I’m going to be experimenting a little to find the best way to explicate the coset summation argument I use. Piotr appreciated the fact that I was able to give the entire proof within the hour.

I was also able to do quite a bit of math. A fair chunk of Thanksgiving was spent discussing math with Dani and scrawling our ideas all over my notebook.

Don’t read too much into anything going on here…

I also took pictures of new murals I spotted around this city: