The vineyards in Vienna

29 Jul

Vienna is officially the city worldwide with the largest area within city limits devoted to vineyards. Just one of the many reasons I live here! 🙂

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Heatwave

28 Jul

It’s going to be hot the next few days. Here are a few tips from today’s Kurier on how how to stay cool in a city that until recently has largely eschewed air-conditioning.

1 Follow the heat-crazed tourists to the bars and restaurants of luxury hotels. Guaranteed temperature 19°C.

2 Go to a fishmonger’s. Hopefully, everything there is on ice.

3 Churches, basilica, and cathedrals. Now is the perfect time for appreciating art history and quiet reflection.

4 Cinema. Go to one matinee after the other.

Finally, you could get into your car, turn the air-conditioning on full blast, and drive for hours around the block.

I hope some of these tips help you enjoy the weekend.

Wien ist ein Dorf (Vienna is a village)

25 Jul

This evening I decided to try out a pizzeria, highly recommended by friends, near Maylo’s vet. The head waiter came to take my order and opened with “Hallo, Nachbarin!” (“Hello, neighbor!”) I looked up and saw the man who was my neighbor for a number of years before moving out a few years ago without a word to me. Vienna is, as people keep telling me, a village.

A scene from the World Cup

16 Jun

Since neither Austria nor Italy are in the World Cup (which in the case of Austria is not so surprising) this is the only flag I’ve seen so far. (The Pride flag wasn’t there yesterday. I assume that is because of the Pride Parade today.)

More or less unheard of in Vienna

28 May

Generally speaking, you can drink alcohol where and when you like in Vienna (and you don’t need a brown paper bag). However, there has been so much violence at Praterstern recently, much of it alcohol-inflamed, that alcohol is now forbidden there. Drastic times, drastic measures.

New Mayor

26 May

I just feel I should report that after 23(?) years Vienna has a new mayor. Dr. Michael Häupl departed on Thursday and the new mayor, Dr. Michael Ludwig, has taken up the reins. Just FYI: It’s not a pre-requisite that you be called Michael to be mayor of Vienna. The one before Häupl was named Helmut … However, it does seem to help if you have a PhD.

Pentecost Monday (holiday)

21 May

I found myself early-ish this morning, about 20 minutes on foot from Stephansplatz, the heart of the city, walking along in peace and quiet with a thrush singing from a rooftop on my right and a dove cooing in the park on my left. My heart sang along.