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Life Ball

11 Jun

Vienna, as I have mentioned before, has a full ball season. Technically, this starts on November 11 (St. Martin’s Day) and ends on Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday) although it really gets going on New Year’s Eve.

There are a few balls that take place outside of this season and the Life Ball, started in the 1980s as a way raising awareness for homosexuality and AIDS, is one of these. This extravaganza took place last night, but the related events have been going on for a while.

Last year, for example, the City of Vienna progammed its pedestrian traffic lights not just to show the usual green or red man for go and stop but homosexual couples holding hands. Below is photo of the rainbow flags that adorn the streetcars for the first half of June as a symbol of solidarity and for tolerance: ​

I love Vienna.

Pets in Austria

10 Jun

It took two tries, but I finally managed to buy train tickets for Maylo and me from the machine. I was a little surprised that Maylo (all 5 kgs or 11 lbs of him) cost 30 cents more than I did. I felt somewhat better when I realized that the person at the next machine was having some trouble as well. I mentioned in the face of his sounds of frustration that I had had some difficulties, too, and added that my dog had actually cost more than me. He thought for a moment and replied that pets in Austria are highly valued. Even more than people, I pointed out.


30 May

It’s currently almost 30°C (about 86°F) in Vienna. All the benches in the shade are taken and all the benches in the sun are free.

Watch “🇦🇹 ❤️ HOW TO SPEAK VIENNESE USING ONLY ONE WORD. Video Tutorial” on YouTube

25 May

Except for the vocal fry, which shows she’s spent too much time in the U.S., this short video is amazingly accurate and quite funny.

Empress Maria Theresia

12 May

Wow, I have been busy and keeping my head down. Today celebrations for the 300th anniversary of Empress Maria Theresia’s birth are starting and I’ve missed the whole run up. I think of her as Austria’s equivalent of Queen Victoria, strong woman, deeply in love with her consort, with many children (one of whom was Marie Antoinette).


25 Apr

This is a 200-year-old Judas tree (direct translation because my usual Wikipedia method didn’t work this time) on the grounds of the Old General Hospital (now the university campus). For many years it has been part of my spring celebrations to visit and admire it. Finally, I am sharing it with you, too.


23 Apr

Near perfect weather for the Vienna City Marathon today–cool, dry, and hardly any wind. 🙂