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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. 🙂

Marathon world record in Vienna Prater

12 Oct

Eliud Kipchoge did it! He ran the classic marathon distance in under two hours (1:59:40). And he did it in the Prater in Vienna. I’ve never seen him so happy. 😁

https://sport.orf.at/stories/3054515/

Wien ist anders (Vienna is different)

10 Oct

“Wien ist anders” was a slogan of the City of Vienna, highlighting the fact that Vienna was a major city but still different from the others. Today I’m using it to mean that Vienna is different from the way it was when I arrived. The photo is an illustration for me of how the city has changed–new next to old, the White Hair Salon next to Haus Neubau (the retirement home for people in the 7th district).

I spent the morning at a dynamic event launching a new endeavor (FuturAbility) to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It was held at one of the now numerous co-working spaces, this one on Lindengasse in the 7th district.

I was amazed at how the area (not that far from my flat) has changed without my noticing–many new buildings, many of them very stylish apartment houses that do not exactly look Viennese (more Italian somehow).

As I was pondering the changes, I arrived at this corner and thought this about summed it up. Old (at least 20th century) Vienna is still there in the form of a humane solution for older people who no longer can or perhaps no longer want to live on their own (made possible by Red Vienna). Alongside it is a modern building in which a trendy hair salon with an English name. The old and the new.