Simon Ballam

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English, studied in NY and worked in London, Düsseldorf, NY, Fankfurt, Prague and Vienna. This covered stints in market research and the film industry, international advertising coordination and strategic planning. Currently business school lecturer and journalist.

Exhibition Review: Elitist Populism

Art pressed into the service of political persuasion is rarely convincing. This exhibition proves a point. The online blurb is refreshingly honest: POLITISCHER POPULISMUS, the striking title of the exhibition, leads you expect to a lot. So what do you get for your pilgrimage to the avant-garde shrine of the month? The spacious assembly hall-like […]
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Wines

On the Vine: Burgenland – A Thousand Wines a Day

It’s one of the miracles of Vienna – most of Austria’s greatest wines grow right nearby. ON THE VINE will guide you through our wine regions, wines and some of the growers behind them. Burgenland is first on the tour. Traveling south-east out of Vienna, once past Schwechat, the Pannonian plain is flat to Budapest – […]
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Art for Arms

From antiquity to today, looting art for the black market remains big business There is nothing new about plundering antiquities for money. In 1869 the Ottoman rulers criminalized the unauthorized export of cultural treasures from Syria, Iraq and their other territories. It didn’t help then and helps little now – except against the occasional hapless […]
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Be My Guest: Chef Denis König

Chef Denis König of Le Salzgries: The brasserie reloaded – a French treat for your special guests Denis König came to Vienna to study structural engineering, but (luckily for us) he opted for the culinary arts. In 2000 he took over an old café on the Marc Aurel Straße, to the irritation of the regulars […]
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On the Menu: Gustl Kocht – The New fusion

With Pierogis for Grown-ups and a Kindergarten with French Fries, this is a neo-classical Wiener café with a special heart for children. Neo classical café – what´s that? A café trying to upgrade itself to smart eatery? Or a Beisl massquerading as a café? Manager Robert Sulzer describes his new (since August) Gustl Kocht as a “café […]
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Scenes of Vienna: A View from the Street

It’s surprisingly difficult to give stuff away. Busy city people don’t expect anything offered on the street to compete with what they know, and visitors assume you’re trying to sell them something they don’t need. Location: Mariahilfer Straße, on a wet and windy afternoon two days before the Gemeinderatswahl, the Vienna State elections. A volunteer […]
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