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The Topography of Post-war Blues

The Topography of Post-war Blues

It has been snowing in Vienna and the temperature is probably ten below zero. There is a place on Prinz-Eugen-Straße – a guitar pick’s throw south of Schwarzenbergplatz – where the bass, electric guitar, harmonica, and the scratchy, deep voice of a blues singer can warm up the air inside and out: This is the […]

Oriental Pagentry in Timeless Form & Color

In Herbert Rosendorfer’s curious but gentle novel Letters Back to Ancient China, a tale of the adventures of a Mandarin Chinese aristocrat transported to present-day Munich, one thousand years into his future, the protagonist describes his first hearing of the music of “Master Vay-to-feng” (Beethoven): “It goes without saying that I could not appreciate this […]

The Pleasures of Excess

It’s Carnival in 16th-century Florence, so for Stefan Bachmann’s production of Alfred de Musset’s Lorenzaccio, the Duke Alessandro di Medici (Nicholas Ofczarek) trundles up onto the Burgtheater stage wearing a nun’s costume, with his cousin Lorenzo (Michael Maertens) hobbling on in a trench coat, drenched in night sweat. Musset, perhaps too famous for being a […]

The City’s Own Strand of the River

As we walk along the southern bank of the Danube Canal, I am reminded of how important this park-lined waterway is to the natural balance of life in Vienna; how integral it is to the city, while remaining a world apart. I turn to my companion Franz Essl, an ecologist with the Austrian Environment Agency, […]

Brennan Update

“When the actual day comes around, I’ll be staring at my watch,” says Brennan with unease, referring to the upcoming anniversary. “It’s not the kind of thing you forget overnight.” On Feb. 11 last year, at around 2:30 in the afternoon, two men Brennan had never seen before bundled him to the ground without warning, he […]

Time to Lose Face(book)?

Finally it is my time to brag about Facebook! Our love relationship has turned into a love-hate relationship. I like(d) social networks: I am home in two different countries. I went to an international school and then an international university. Later, I worked in international business, so my friends are scattered all around the world. […]

Eacho on Obama’s First Year

The most heralded U.S. leader in decades has completed his first year in office – and many have been put to the task of assessing his progress; indeed, to offer an appraisal of the “change” that has been delivered so far. U.S. Ambassador William Eacho did exactly that in a speech to students and faculty […]

Call of The Wild

For snow lovers the call of the wild is getting ever louder as more and more of us seek respite from the madding crowds. During the upcoming high season of the Austrian ski winter, congestion on the groomed ski pistes can sometimes resemble rush hour in Tokyo. That’s not what we have been sold on […]

HypoAdria Nightmare

When the 39-year-old farmer’s son Wolfgang Kulturer took over as managing director of the Carinthian Hypo Bank, he formulated the bank’s destiny as follows: “Expand or die.” In order for the institution with 220 employees and total assets of €1.9 billion to balance the books, the Carinthian regional government had to take over. Three employees […]

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