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A Ballroom Reborn

A Ballroom Reborn

On 16 August, 2001 a fire broke out on Marxergasse in Vienna’s 3rd District. Allegedly caused by a careless workman, the flames raged for eight hours. Only when the smoke cleared could the damage be assessed: The legendary Sofiensäle, once Vienna’s most beloved ballroom, was a smouldering ruin.   Bath to ballroom The story of […]

Wasted Youth

Wasted Youth

“Waste your youth” (dj, ) is the fitting motto of this monthly tongue-in-cheek event, dedicated to new wave music and its German-language cousin, Neue Deutsche Welle. Conceived as a deliberately cheesy answer to the up-and-coming rave scene in the ‘90s, Iceberg remains both an ironic and defiant statement, combatting mass market beats with synthesizer-fuelled pop. […]

I’m Chicago, Hear me Roar: The Allure of the 1920s

I’m Chicago, Hear me Roar: The Allure of the 1920s

There is something about the roaring twenties that beguiles trend-stragglers; it’s hard not to be captivated by its lawlessness and sense of freedom, the lure of shady extravagance. Speeding down an empty highway, hopping a freight, all that matters is a good time and staying out of jail. It’s all so far from the conventional […]

Weißgerberviertel: Strolling Through the Centuries

Weißgerberviertel: Strolling Through the Centuries

Urban waterfronts are hard to find in Vienna. The Kaisermühlen section of the 22nd District immediately springs to mind, but it’s the downtown Weißgerberviertel that boasts a richer (even violent) history, hundreds of years worth of buildings and pockets of interesting storefronts that just can’t be found in the outer districts. The No. 1 tram […]

The Dance of Diversity

The Dance of Diversity

The subway doors opened at Landstraße as passengers stepped out, and headed up the dusty stairwell toward Maxergasse. Construction at the Wien Mitte U-Bahn station had been going on for a decade, and jackhammers still echo off thick concrete walls. On this hot day in late May, they were swallowed up by the energetic drumming […]

O’Connor’s: Pub Grub For the Refined Palate

O’Connor’s: Pub Grub For the Refined Palate

What are the things you associate with a typical Irish bar? A selection of quality beers on tap, including Murphy’s and London Pride? Check. A range of single malt whiskies behind the bar? Check. A friendly staff and a welcoming atmosphere? Check. But when you’ve also got a kitchen turning out restaurant-grade food, you know […]

Dining on the Wienfluss

Dining on the Wienfluss

For a restaurant, being number 11 in the world must be tough. For starters, you’re not in the top 10 club, and people are obsessed with top 10s. Top 10 songs, top 10 travel destinations, top 10 funny cat videos. Nobody cares about the 11th of anything. Except, perhaps, restaurants. Particularly when it’s an 11-place […]

Carl Djerassi: The Poet of Progressive Science

Carl Djerassi: The Poet of Progressive Science

Chemist, novelist and playwright Carl Djerassi arrived at Café Schwarzenberg by tram from his apartment on Reisnerstrasse in the 3rd District. Although an injury six years ago requires him to walk with a cane, he goes where he wants, still a commanding presence at 88, with thick, snowy white hair and sharp eyes that miss […]

A Portrait of the Artist as Diplomat

A Portrait of the Artist as Diplomat

Three strapping guards in trim blue uniforms stood chatting outside the gate to Haus Wittgenstein at Parkgasse 18 in the 3rd District. It was a balmy evening in late April, but happily still well ahead of the appointed hour, and the magic word Vernissage brought a friendly smile and a wave even before the invitation […]

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