Fear of Big-Data snoops sifting through your chat history, photo streams, and following your private trips across town? Greta Garbo understood about privacy: She didn't want to "be" alone, as the Hollywood myth-makers would have it. “I want to be left alone," she insisted – a  request that is becoming harder and harder to satisfy in these days of data-hungry apps. Thankfully, there...
Editor's Letter
Trust me, I know all about you. When talking about data privacy it’s easy to get philosophical. As we researched this issue, we found ourselves discussing online behavior, our perception of how cookies had changed the user experience and what “identity” and “anonymity” mean. We were shocked at how many ways people are recording and dealing in our personal information....
Whatever Happened To The U5? The Vienna subway network is fast, safe, and clean – but something has been missing.  The lines are U1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 – but no U5. Now that transport is incorporated into City Councilor Ulli Sima's infrastructure portfolio (and after years of party infighting), detailed route planning for the U5 is moving ahead...
letters readers october 2015
To All Our Readers: Thank you so very much for your support and comments over our social media channels and in person for our first three issues! METROPOLE is a product that is created for expats by expats, and incorporating your feedback into our monthly ­publication makes our final product that much better. If you haven’t ­already, sign up for...
Closing Europe’s borders is not the solution to the refugee crisis, but it might help open a real discussion about it. by Dardis McNamee and Gregory Weeks On January 18th, the eve of the EU Asylum Summit in Vienna, Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann announced that Austria would be suspending the Schengen Agreement and policing its borders again. It has been an agonizing turn-around...
How Europe’s economic and demogrphic choices made in 2016 will impact the economies of Europe and the U.S. In 1973, US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, following a period of American preoccupation with Vietnam and China, declared a “year of Europe.” More recently, after President Barack Obama announced a US strategic “pivot,” or rebalancing, toward Asia, many Europeans worried about...
From the internet to the bedroom, Austrians care about – and protect – the personal sphere. It’s a cultural thing. On a cold, grey day in January, a security camera suspended from a bouquet of colorful balloons was bobbing on a long cord over the Austrian parliament – a protest by AK Vorrat to highlight the imminent passage of the...
The countries of Europe are faced with tidal waves of newcomers, bringing with them different values, unfamiliar cultures, and untried skills that must now be factored into daily life Picture a room: Twenty-two young men, six chairs, four whiteboards, no desks. And a young woman. The men, aged 16 to 25, are from Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria and Pakistan, Iran and Morocco. The woman,...
It’s no secret that Austria values its privacy.  We spoke to several people for whom the defense of privacy has become a way of life. And luckily for us, they were willing to talk about it – through their examples, illustrating the various ways in which this city’s culture of discretion affects our everyday lives.   Sofia Ivanova Private Escort “Most people think...
Fear of Big-Data snoops sifting through your chat history, photo streams, and following your private trips across town? Greta Garbo understood about privacy: She didn't want to "be" alone, as the Hollywood myth-makers would have it. “I want to be left alone," she insisted – a  request that is becoming harder and harder to satisfy in these days of data-hungry apps. Thankfully, there...
It took four years for the EU’s twenty-eight member states to pass the new law on data protection. Now companies are bracing themselves for high stakes and citizens hoping for more control. If you don’t have the data, you don’t have the oil.” The voice-over resounded, in a North Carolina accent, through the speakers of the Filmcasino. It was the Austrian...
Open source genomics raise enormous challenges when protecting patient identity Over the past decade the genomic revolution has taken off in spectacular style ushering in the potential for truly personalized medicine. At the same time, genome sharing websites like openSNP now provide a platform for uploading -personal genomics. Companies including -- Ancestry.com and 23andMe are offering kinship and limited diagnostic services...
  Few questions are left unanswered in the pictograms and statistics collected in these two volumes.The second, on Vienna, was just published in 2015 and will give you the inside advantage on local trivia Did you know that only one in thirty citizens of Vienna owns a car, that in addition to the eighteen United Nations’ organizations, seventeen more international organizations are...
A master of the feuilleton, the author’s virtuosity is on full display on every page of this collection of newspaper essays about people and politics in Europe in the 1920s and 30s Joseph Roth was a master of the feuilleton – or “saying true things on half a page” as Roth himself defined this form of short personal essay. His virtuosity...
With a fascinating cast of characters, Philipp Blom’s engaging history of  the inter-war years stages the glories and agonies of these troubled times.  The legacy of World War I was one of disillusionment, even betrayal: Four empires were destroyed and Europe’s economy devastated, the creative energy, pride and optimism that had come with technological progress came to a grinding halt. ...
Discretion and privacy are paramount at the Hotel Orient – Vienna's time-honored institution of lust and debauchery   Walking downhill from the Freyung, the elegant Jugend-stil entrance of the Hotel Orient at the bottom of the Tiefer Graben appears out of the shadows. You ring the bell; the door opens. Before stepping inside, you scan the sidewalk hoping no one notices –...
The magic of a masked ball and cabaret at the Volkstheater’s Rote Bar Pushing through the double doors onto the balcony of the Volkstheater, I pulled a pack of cigarettes from my pocket and fished for my lighter. Despite the bracing wind, I leaned out against the wide balustrade. The world was at my feet, a vast widescreen view stretching...
The adventures of a flatlander surviving in the Alps Despite the 6 a.m. train, we planned to hit the slopes the moment we arrived in Oberndorf in Tirol five hours later. The excitement of a ski trip is palpable and quite contagious; even beginners can look forward to a few days in the mountain air. I started learning this alpine sport...
The Servitenviertel is almost hidden, with countless side streets and cobblestones walks inviting you to a leisurely stroll. It’s almost impossible to rush anywhere here.   Just off the Ring opposite the old Stock Exchange (Börse), the “D” tram leads you quickly across the Berggasse and into an- other world: The Servitenviertel. With the pedestrian Servitengasse itself peeling off to your...
A luscious but flawed exhibition bridging the Northern and Mediterranean streams of the Romantics at the Albertina Ninety years before the Secessionists, a first group of young men made an attempt to burst the confines of Viennese academic art and strike out on their own. In 1809, inspired by German Romantic philosophers, they rejected the neoclassical emphasis of the day...
An exhibition of iconic photographs from the revolutionary camera that made them possible – the legendary Leica The sailor kissing a girl in Times Square, Che Guevara in heroic pose, Vietnamese children running screaming from a napalm attack – indelible images of the last hundred years. And all captured by a revolutionary concept from 1914, the Leica compact camera. A...
René Clemencic and his Consort celebrate half a century of early music concerts at the Musikverein What do we know about European music in 1492, the year Columbus was busy voyaging – he thought – toward Asia? We might have a Hollywood impression. But how garish it is, and how brutal the amplification. At that time the world was a...
Showing off the instrument’s versatility, this international festival offers a month of squeezebox fever.   Featuring both regional and international acts, the brainchild of local impresario Friedl Preisl (who also organizes the Klezmer festival Klezmore each November) goes into its 17th year, continuing to promote this traditional folk instrument’s use in both traditional and new, innovative approaches. Their special theme this year...
A darkly relevant play about a clash of disparate cultures with more in common than first meets the eye.   With Vienna in a mood of high alert after the deadly Islamist attacks in Paris on November 13, and the violent sexual assaults on hundreds of German women by alcohol-fueled migrants at the Cologne Train Station on New Year’s Eve, relevance...
Middle-age melancholia takes center stage as Vienna’s English Theatre puts on Arnold Wesker’s ultimately optimistic play about life after 50.   With a plot that initially sounds like a psycho-thriller – woman stalks celebrity and insinuates herself in his life against his will – Groupie instead goes the other way, exploring the loneliness, hopes and dreams of the autumn years. Matty...
Melodramatic yet engaging, this period piece is both a lesson in oft-overlooked history and a case study on domestic terrorism   The first thing to get smashed in Suffragette is their misconceived Mary Poppins image as tea-sipping socialites. Barely a few minutes in, angry activists yell slogans and break high street shop windows, showing that this film aims to set the...
The Coen Brothers write a love letter to the golden age of Hollywood   Set in the 1950s, the days of omnipotent studios, red scares and aquatic musicals, Hail Caesar! follows Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), a long-suffering fixer for Capital studios, as he tries to keep movie stars happy – and out of the gossip columns. When the star of their...
Pinochet’s thugs are the least of Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl’s problems as they relive the bad old days of the 1973 coup in Chile   Part political thriller, part torrid love story, Colonia follows Lena, a young Lufthansa stewardess, as she visits her lover Daniel in Santiago on the eve of Pinochet’s putsch. Caught in the crossfire, Daniel, an ardent...
Tom McCarthy’s acclaimed drama pits the power of investigative journalism against the catholic church’s child abuse cover-up   Drawing comparisons to All the President’s Men for its no-nonsense depiction of newsroom minutiae, Spotlight steers clear of sensationalism as it follows the Pulitzer prize-winning Boston Globe reporters who uncovered rampant child abuse in the archdiocese of Boston, prompting similar investigations elsewhere. With...
Vienna for Lovers: From the amorous to the apathetic – there is something for everyone this February 14th   Valentine’s Day stirs the romantic in all of us, with even the most blasé taking their turns as Romeo and Juliet. So unless you’re a hopeless cynic who associates the day with Al Capone’s little redecoration job, or plan to drown your...
The Beaver Brewing Company brings craft beer and American classics to Alsergrund   From the outside, the Beaver Brewing Company is just another bland masonry façade on the Liechtensteinstraße, washed smooth with new stucco, in a glow of evening light. Inside, though, is another world, a wave of sensory indulgence: the savory aroma of burgers, pastrami sandwiches and fried chicken tenders coming...
This celebrity chef from Israel has opened another of his Miznon civilized street food restaurants in Vienna   “It’s the entire world on the plate,” gushes Israeli chef Eyal Shani, serving his guests in his newly opened street food restaurant, Miznon, on Schulerstraße in central Vienna. In sharing his recipe for one of his renowned pitas, you can now bring the...
Nothing says “be mine” like giving your sweetheart seductive, sticky confections in a fancy box. Luckily for you, this city understands luxury candy better than most   A dollop of dark chocolate filled with velvety nougat and topped with caramel crunch will surely make any valentine weak in the knees. On the search for the perfect delicious decadence, you’ll find a...
ON THE VINE guides you through our wine regions, wines and some of the growers behind them. This month we look at the Wagram region.   This is the second in our series of day trips for wine people. Wagram/Kamptal is the heartland of Austria’s classic Grüner Veltliner, just a 40-minute drive from the city. Today’s vines flourish on the ancient...
Cares unravel in the pristine alpine stillness of Upper Austria’s Grünau im Almtal   Cascades of snowflakes thick as the Milky Way tumbled down the ski slope, erasing the trails made by the few other skiers. We had the piste, framed by snow-clad conifers, all to ourselves. At the end of a blissful Thursday – unencumbered by ski-lift queues, inept snowboarders or...
We asked the U.K. Ambassador to Austria, Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque, to tell us what differences she sees between British and Austrian views on privacy.   19 January 2016 Dear Metropole, ensuring we can both protect our privacy and keep our countries safe is a challenge the UK, Austria and many other nations face today. Privacy and data protection are big concerns for...