The new director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York on diversity, connecting artists and putting discovery over instruction. “For me, it’s the most exciting cultural post,” said Michael Haider, the new director of the Austrian Cultural Forum. “Cultural work is important – and gives me real pleasure.” Haider is a soft-spoken, eloquent man. Having grown up in Vienna,...
How Austrians know who they are On November 18, the afternoon temperature suddenly dropped to an icy chill and the first flakes of snow began to fall. By evening in Vienna, there was a light dusting on the cars, and by early morning, a light blanket of white covered the shed roof below the window. On the early TV Weather...
Because Hungary’s Lex CEU forbids Central European University (CEU) to accept new students after January 1, 2019, CEU says, it is forced to announce that it will launch all U.S.-accredited degree programs in Vienna in September 2019. CEU is making the announcement now in order to guarantee that it can recruit students in time for the beginning of the next...
Cultural heritage is not just monuments, artworks, and great literature — it is, above all, who we are. To a newcomer, Austria may not seem like a strange country. Stunningly beautiful but with people who, at first encounter, can seem grumpy and downbeat. A melting pot of cultures for centuries, yet staunchly skeptical about everything new or foreign. A people...
Start with eating, end with drinking – and take in the Gemütlichkeit on the way Coming from a chaotic, colorful and noisy part of Italy, a little town close to Rome, makes Vienna feel like a serene and noble lady. Some Viennese seem to embrace melancholy, long for the “good old days” when musing about death was seen as time...
The surrounding cultural heritage invites us to take many pictures, especially in the smartphone age. Here what’s allowed and what isn’t. Austria’s cultural heritage is an important component of the country’s identity and a key driver of its strong tourism industry. In 2017, Vienna’s hospitality sector logged more than 15.5 million over-night stays. The city’s imperial past as the capital...
How an international NGO in Vienna provides a safe space for diplomacy on nuclear issues. “Diplomacy,” said Winston Churchill, “is the art of telling plain truths without giving offense.” Britain’s wartime prime minister understood better than most how diplomats frequently needed to avoid straight talk in order to maintain good relations. This is especially true when diplomacy and dialogue are...
Bosnians are still coming to terms with their wounds of war from a generation ago. But incredibly, they are now coming together to fight injustice. In March 2018, David Dragičević, a 21-year-old Bosnian Serb from Banja Luka, was found dead after being missing for six days. The police suspected suicide under the influence of drugs linking him to a burglary...
Vienna  is  a  city  full  of  stories,  secrets and  hidden  treasures.  Like an open-air museum,  the  city  is  full of  endless  attractions  one  can’t miss! But behind  the  scenes, in the hidden  courtyards  and  narrow  alleys, another  side  of  Vienna  can  be  seen  – a  secret  Vienna! Secret  Vienna  is  a  Viennese  tourism company  devoted  to  the  exploration of  the city’s  hidden  gems.  We  offer  a large  variety  of ...
The world has watched the US midterm elections spellbound. But for Europe, even the Democratic victory in the house of representative might not bring any relief The importance of American elections is always far beyond the national level. The whole world pays attention, watches, debates and vicariously participates in the unfolding political drama. This is hardly surprising: Everybody is aware...
Other  winemakers  may  follow  the méthode  champenoise,  but  the  aristocrats  of  bubbly  still  define  the  market.  Procedures  can  be  copied;  the  magic  is  more  difficult Crémant,  Sekt,  Prosecco,  Frizzante  –  as  long as  it’s  got  bubbles.  Well  perhaps.  But  no  one will  deny  the  mystique  of  real  champagne,  the roster  of  great  names  like ancient  royal  dynasties,  their  grand  labels unmistakable across  a crowded  bar.  Even  the  opening ...
“If we read people’s memoirs of the buildings important Jews lived in, a lot of them do not exist anymore. We are trying to tell the stories of what has been lost.” In 1995, as excavation work began on Judenplatz for the Shoah monument Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal had asked Austria to build, the centuries of old city streets were...
The Anglo-Austrian couple of Oliver and Petra Lucas offers seasonal casual fine dining “When Grace is open, I’m in the house,” said UK-born chef/owner Oliver Lucas one recent Wednesday afternoon in his restaurant. It’s quite refreshing to meet a “chef” with a small “c,” a master behind the stove rather than a brand. “I make a point of serving the...
“In war, culture is anything but irrelevant. Destroying someone’s cultural identity is just as painful as any physical wound.” Friedrich Schipper often travels without insurance – the destinations are considered too high risk. The places he and his colleagues travel – Syria, Libya, Mali, Lebanon – are not exactly holiday destinations. Schipper works for Blue Shield, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to...
Bosnia and Herzegovina was severely tested in the 20th century and is still finding its way back to prosperity and internal stability. There has never been an army or a political movement that wanted to create Bosnia ,” writes novelist Dževad Karahasan, “but Bosnia created a culture.” Too often the country has been a pawn in the hands of the powerful:...
Honu serves fresh, healthy Hawaiian-inspired bowls with regional ingredients Only open since June, Vienna’s first Hawaiian bistro, Honu Tiki Bowls, already has a reputation for long waiting lines. “I didn’t even think that people here were so hungry for something new,” notes 30-year-old Viennese native and owner Kaspar Kunz, a graduate of Vienna’s Tourism College Modul. He was inspired by...
Channeling imperial indulgence, Meissl & Schadn’s riding dinners are all about good taste – in both senses Close your eyes: Imagine, you’re in a horsedrawn Fiaker, dressed to the nines, leaning back on the leather seats with a glass of bubbly in your hand, gazing into a pair of bright eyes as all Vienna lies at your feet… As...
“Coffee culture is booming. Which also means that these days, we even have to compete with the fancy espresso machines people have at home.” Café Weidinger is off the beaten path, a corner café on the far side of the Gürtel in the former working class district of Ottakring. It’s a place that’s easy to miss from the outside. It’s...
I often spoke to my friends about our wartime memories. I felt that it was something people had an urge to talk about. I can picture him. Sitting in the room staring at the keyboard. Recalling wartime memories. I can picture him trying to figure out if those are actual memories or if he has recreated in his mind stories...
Stepping out to Warda Network's rooftop balcony reveals a panoramic view of Vienna's picture-perfect 8th district. This, apparently, is the city from the perspective of a self-made man. Eugen Prosquill, CEO and founder of the company wears a black jumper bearing the hashtag #fightsugar (a new project, he later explains). Not at all the tailored-suit-and-tie entrepeneur one would expect. Thinking outside...
The Mystery Makers challenge you to experience the KHM in a different light Behind the ornate facade of Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM), an ancient mystery awaits. As our team of intrepid explorers hurried down black and white marble-tiled halls and through elaborate gilded archways, we were issued a challenge: Solve the riddles of the Sphinx, and we would be allowed...
Fieberbrunn's fortunate microclimate makes it a powder hound's paradise There comes a time in every avid skiier’s life when the thrill of the pistes wears off and even steep black runs lack that certain rush. Accustomed to the relative safety of prepared slopes, the eye wanders longingly toward the untamed depths of powder, and the call of the great white...
Particularly during the holidays, it’s impossible to avoid the hustle and bustle of the 1st district – from Schottentor to Stubentor, you’re bombarded by sights, sounds and noises. Yet, nestled between the busy Graben and the majestic Hofburg the quiet streets of the Dorotheerviertel beckon, their subtle charm offering nearly as much as flashier areas. Despite the posh environs,...
The OSCE in Vienna monitors elections around the world. Its report on the US midterms found the elections to be just as fair as those in the ex-Soviet Republic of Georgia It may seem arrogant for an organization operating out of little Austria to be monitoring the US midterm elections. Is Austria, an absolutist monarchy until 1918 and a fascist...
Vienna’s biggest stages have myriad secrets the audience never gets to see It’s remarkable how daunting, yet fascinating, a few old, chipped wooden boards dangerously inclined toward the audience can be. Crisscrossed with a mosaic of colored tape that indicates positions for props, actors and dancers, it’s baffling for the uninitiated but an open book for the performer who learned...
For many music students from around the world, Vienna is the place to be. They honor the traditions of the past and invent new ones In Japan, Vienna is the Ongaku no Miyako , “the capital of music,” and that’s where Mayu Kotari wanted to be. A pianist from Tokyo, Kotari has been living, studying and performing in Vienna for...