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Will the ante be upped?

19 Mar

There was some question today whether the parks would be closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. A friend of mine was quite worked up about it because–as so often happens–the people who were behaving carelessly were ruining things for the rest of us. (She said people had been partying in the park near her.)

Given that this was hanging over our heads, I checked the news especially before going out with Maylo this afternoon and saw that the Minister of Health had specifically said that parks were not (yet) going to be closed. Nonetheless, it was hard to miss the police present in one of the parks we often walk in. Three police officers just keeping an eye on the distance between people and occasionally speaking to pairs or trios, asking them to move farther away from each other.

Because I was alone with Maylo they didn’t say anything to me. We even were able to sit in the sun a bit. Then there came the announcement over the bullhorn, “Hier ist die Polizei. Bitte gehen Sie nach Hause.” (“This is the police. Please go home.”) Slowly, reluctantly, people got up and started to shuffle, more or less, home. It was only when Maylo and I were about halfway home that I realized they were almost certainly talking to a specific group of people, no doubt behaving carelessly. They only said it once and did not do a tour of the park.

We shall see where we go from here.

What some Viennese choose when they have three wishes

4 Mar

This, too, is a side of life in Vienna. The good fairy offers the Viennese man three wishes. First he asks for a soft liver. And then for two more beers.

Political colors in Austria

8 Jan

I may have written before about the colors of Austria’s political parties–black used to be the color of the ÖVP (the conservative party), turquoise is the color of the new ÖVP under Sebastian Kurz, red is the color of the SPÖ (the social democratic party), pink is for the NEOs (the neoliberals), blue is the color of the FPÖ (the right-wing nationalist party), and green is, I believe, self-explanatory.

Commenting on the new coalition government, formed by the turquoise and green parties, President Alexander van der Bellen (formerly of the Greens now an independent) said he hoped for a red-white-red government. Nothing to do with political parties this time. Red-white-red are the colors of the Austrian flag.

Servitengasse 3

30 Dec

Over 30 years ago, I spent my first two months in Vienna in student housing (a “Hochschülerinnenheim”) on Servitengasse. Today I was in the neighborhood again to pick up some fresh pasta for New Year’s Eve dinner and saw that two floors have been added to the building and it has been turned into luxury flats. Things are changing …

Holiday haiku

24 Dec

Wishing all my readers a very happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year!

The view from the 2nd district to the 22nd

6 Dec


The photo didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted, but I found the view an interesting representation of some of the major changes in Vienna over the last 100 years or so with one of the original Gemeindebauten on the other side of the U2 tracks and the UN and everything that has grown up around it in the background. On the right you can catch a glimpse of the Danube.

NYTimes: ‘The Hare With Amber Eyes’ Comes Home

14 Nov

‘The Hare With Amber Eyes’ Comes Home https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/arts/design/hare-with-amber-eyes-vienna-edmund-de-waal.html

And I’m going to the exhibit at the Jewish Museum in Vienna on Sunday with the friend who recommended Edmund de Waal’s book. Lucky me. 🙂