Letter from the editor – May 2017
What is it with the comfort zone? It sounds pretty good, so why are we constantly told to get out of it?Whether we’re hurling ourselves out of airplanes, heli-skiing, flirting, gambling or pushing deadlines to the last minute, few of us seem to want to stay comfortable for long. These things can cause your pupils to dilate, your heart...
letters to the editor
Many thanks for your thoughts, ideas and insights! If you have something to say about Vienna or a story you read here, tell us all about it. Send an email to office@metropole.at. And check us out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.TO THE EDITOR:(In response to “Causa Cobenzl”) The same tragedy is happening on Leopoldsberg. The cafe and church have been...
Elfriede Jelinek
While others may debate whether art is, or should be, political, Austrian Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek has never been in doubt. Through much of her work, she has portrayed the pathologies she saw in post-war Austria, suffocating under a conspiracy of silence, an inability to confront its role in the horrors of National Socialism.She saw this as a society-wide denial...
European union
The centennial of the Great War is the clearest argument for why the European Union mattersIn May 1917 – 100 years ago this month – the first U.S. troops arrived in Europe to support the Allied forces in the Great War. Decisive to victory, their entry also sealed the fate of Austria-Hungary. American divisions tipped the balance on the...
Manner
Even the color is iconic: “Pantone rose” is a registered trademark for Austria’s signature snack – Manner Schnitten, the pink block of hazelnut cream wafers on the country’s candy shelves, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s legendary power food.Carl Manner, nephew of the founder and patriarch of the family company, who died April 19, 2017 at age 87, must have been a...
An unelected Prime Minister seeks a public mandate for leadership and her Brexit strategy.A big election year for Europe just got bigger. With France’s upcoming presidential election becoming a nail-biter and Germans preparing to vote in September, British Prime Minister Theresa May has now called a snap election for June 8. The outcome will have far-reaching implications not only...
Michael Häupl
Vienna’s eternal mayor Michael Häupl is under mounting pressure to step down. And the squeeze is coming from within his own partyThe basic chronology is easily told, an everyday drama of dinosaurs, foxes and family feuding. The stage is the Rotes Rathaus, the seat of Vienna’s city and provincial government and a bastion of the social democrats, as it...
austrian headlines
A quick and dirty synopsis of last month’s headlines in ViennaAustria’s Richest Man Seeks Truth Red Bull tycoon Dietrich Mateschitz is partnering with Michael Fleisch­hacker (former Editor in Chief of Die Presse and nzz.at), Niko Alm (former NEOs MP), Rainer Fleckl (formerly of News), Judith Denkmayr (formerly Vice Alps) to provide a “journalistic answer to the rampant culture of mistrust.”...
hermann hauser
We spoke to the Austrian-born serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist Hermann Hauser about betting on the market, reading a team and digging into new technologies.Hermann Hauser lost his first bet. He was a child in Wörgl, Tyrol and wagered one Schilling that the road between their suburban village and Wörgl proper would be lined with houses in 50 years....
Adrenaline
How Austria's taming the rush of death-defying adrenaline highs condition us to be more resilient.In just one tenth of a second your brain goes into fight or flight mode when confronted with danger. Repeated exposure is the key to focusing during adrenaline spikes, a skill that fighter pilots train for.Some experiences almost defy description. “Powder skiing is not fun,”...
war correspondents
Reporting from conflict zones is just as important as it is dangerous. Two women tell their stories.Barbara Schiavulli was in her room on the 13th floor at the Palestine Hotel in Iraq when she heard the explosions. In October 2005, Al-Qaeda members detonated three car bombs on the grounds of a hotel known to be frequented by journalists. The attack...
LTE
Austrian logistics giant LTE is making use of the new Silk Road and plans to have 4,000 trains transporting goods between China and Europe in five years time.Until recently, when a technology producer wants to move a new device from its factory of origin in Shenzhen to a car producer in Stuttgart, they had very few options.“Traditionally giant container ships with...
Gert krones
Aside from manual dexterity, facility with numbers and a polished appearance, croupiers need skill with people and a mix of both ease and reserve.On the way to Casino Wien in Vienna’s 1st district, I stepped aside for a modest motorcade and police escort, turning just in time to see a hand waving regally from the window and a tiny...
Alminko Dugic
The first time Alminko Dugic got in a 70-meter-high crane, he didn’t even know how to turn it on. Even though he had taken the requisite course for the job, it turned out to be “totally useless.”Due to safety issues, students were not actually allowed to do any practical training. So when they first step into the cabin of...
Cornelia Dworak
When someone asks Cornelia Dworak to jump, she answers, “How high?” – literally.StuntwomanWhether it involves bungee jumping, parachuting, scuba diving or sword- play, over the past 10 years, Dworak, 36, has learned that choreographing stunts for films and TV requires a combination of preparation and on-the-spot adaptability. With experience, she has realized that this last is the most crucial...
jim libby
We’ve all had the nightmare: You’re on stage in a dark theater in front of a packed house; the lights go up and suddenly you realize, you have no idea what you’re supposed to say... For Jim Libby, this is not a nightmare, it’s reality: For the last 20 years, he and his troupe have been getting up in front...
urban zen
Finding ways to take it easy in the city bustle can give you new strength in health and spiritIt’s Monday; you wake up to a leak in your kitchen and a panicked email from your boss. Your heart rate escalates, your mind clouds over… and it’s only 7:30 AM. The melee of modern life rarely slows long enough for you...
Superhero 
The fight-or-flight response is designed to prepare us for danger, but what really happens, when the adrenaline kicks in?On a bright sunny morning, you are walking down the street, minding your own business, when suddenly you come face-to-face with a hungry lion. Your heart starts pounding; your mind fires to attention.  It’s the biological equivalent of revving an engine:...
Masters of Dirt
So what's wrong with dirty money? Founder Georg Fechter has perfected the art of banking on fuel, fire and adrenaline.Motors roar, flames blaze, music blasts, whipping up the crowd – and then they come: Shooting out of their stalls like a swarm of wasps, they jump over one another, taking the “Ooos” and “Ahhs” of the audience as encouragement...
mountain biking
Trail blazers have made biking in the Wienerwald more accessible. In the freshness of spring, the Vienna Woods are a paradise for mountain biking. There’s luminosity in the young leaves and between the trees, the pungent wild garlic is like a rich carpet of emerald. If you pedal your way over to  the forest above the village of Weidlingbach near Klosterneuburg,...
wurstelprater
Carnival for all SeasonsAt the Wurstelprater, it’s always show time. Through the quaint grandeur of the entrance arch, its Grand Square spreads out in a comic masterpiece of faux-baroque and terraced cafés, paint box theaters and a generous use of trompe-l’œil. The atmosphere is almost dreamlike, preserving the quality of yesteryear in a stage set for diversion. It’s all...
Between the talks and networking, try these lunch spots, museums and sights you should visit while attending the Pioneers Festival 2017.First mentioned in 1279, the Hofburg was originally a castle and part of the city’s fortifications. With 16 wings, over 2,600 rooms, the former seat of imperial power and winter residence of the Habsburgs is a city unto itself. With the...
Pierre Boulez
Composer, interpreter and conductor Pierre Boulez is unquestionably the most important “serious” musical figure of the last seven decadesNo one ever accused Pierre Boulez of being easy listenin’. Despite that, the French composer, interpreter and conductor remains arguably the most influential figure in modern classical music of the entire post-war period. His significance continues still today, deep into the 21st...
terry and gyan riley
Seminal composer-pianist Terry Riley and his virtuoso guitarist son Gyan pair up for a rare intimate performanceOften mentioned along with contemporaries Steve Reich, La Monte Young or Philip Glass, American minimalist composer -Terry Riley holds pride of place as a pioneer of 20th-century music.  From its first performance back in 1964, his driving, methodical work In C commanded attention, emerging...
Wiener festwochen
The Wiener Festwochen push the envelope with a new co-director setting the toneBeing voted “most-livable” city can be a double-edged sword. Every metropolis has its charms – a heady mix of unique tastes and memorable experiences. Living up to such an accolade isn’t easy.What sets Vienna apart is the sheer number of world-class events, many of them offered for...
Hell or High Water
A worthy entry to the genre, David Mackenzie's gun-slinging villains are unforgettably epicAmerica loves its underdogs. Deeply ingrained in the national psyche, the archetype is a mainstay, offering social commentary as the heroes fight corrupt, repressive authority, be it the government or capitalist robber barons. And with the subprime mortgage crisis ravaging the heartland as much as any carpetbagger,...
austrian american film
Bruce Jenkins, professor of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Alexander Horwath, Director of the Vienna Film Museum discuss the Austro-American avant-gardeA ballet dancer in the woods lifts his leg with light-footed grace, making a circle. His body taught with tension, he bends backwards, arms outstretched. When his foot touches the ground again, he’s suddenly inside...
Anoka Faruqee
Faruqee’s pulsating compositions make their solo debut in EuropeMost revolutions turn stuffy with time. But the Secession certainly tries to cultivate its reputation for unconventional contemporary art it has enjoyed since its foundation in 1897, even installing a temporary swinger club in its basement (next to Klimt’s Beethovenfries) for Swiss artist Christoph Büchel’s exhibit in 2010.Yet sometimes, understatement is...
Edward Burtynsky
Mankind’s effect on the mother nature captured by the renowned Canadian photographerIn a journey of seven years that spanned five continents and numerous adventures on the Yellow river of China, the Ganges of India and the mesmerizing Ölfusá river in Iceland, Edward Burtynsky’s first solo exhibition in Austria majestically captures water in its natural course and under man-made influence; an endeavor...
Maria Lassnig
The celebrated Austrian artist is shown in a new light with many previously unseen worksSomewhat ironically for an artist of such renown, Maria Lassnig claimed she was “a researcher, not a painter.” It makes a great deal of sense to bear this in mind as the Albertina presents a retrospective of around 100 drawings and watercolors to commemorate the...
escape games
Being locked in a little room with nothing but your wits to save you. What better way to spend a Saturday?Some may scale cliff faces to get their kicks, but as I found out, getting an adrenaline high is as easy as being locked in a tiny room. First surfacing in Japan around 2007, room escape games offer a different...
the revenge of analog
The desire for real things in real time lies deep in the human psyche argues David Sax in The Revenge of Analog.Evenings, after supper, my father loved to listen to music. Gently removing a record from the sleeve, he would place it on the turntable and, equally as tenderly, place the needle carefully in the groove.  I would wait,...
The Vanquished
In The Vanquished, Robert Gerwarth attempts a more nuanced look at WW1 and why the carnage didn’t end in 1918.On September 11, 1919, Gabriele D’Annunzio, one of the most brilliant Italian poets of his day and a decorated war hero, drove to Fiume in a bright red Fiat. Leading an army of 2,000 irregulars, formed ad hoc, he set...
pamela forster
From the moment her feet hit the pavement, Pamela Forster took the streets of Vienna by storm.She joins the Red Bull Art of Motion competition every year to exercise her freerunning skills. Her talent has taken her around the world, doing stunts for movies and commercials. The sky is her limit.Vienna’s first parkour training center Ape Academy, was the perfect...
Brands to know
When it comes to stress, there is nothing like a getaway to soothe the nerves. No hotel, no taxis, just a tent and a backpack can suffice. Staying in town? We found the perfect e-moped for an urban staycation.Dakine If you have ever stood on a board – whether surfing, snowboarding or skateboarding – you have probably heard of this...
Vienna's Best Boutiques
They go unnoticed by many and are treasured by a chosen few. Vienna’s best boutiques are on the rise and we chose a select sample to get you through May.VIU The frame designs for this eyewear brand come straight from Switzerland. Their classic collection is assembled in the Italian Dolomites and the titanium frames are manufactured in Japan. But this...
il bio
The darling micro-eatery Il Bio is Italian home cooking at its Austrian best.In the 7th district set on a little slice of Burggasse stands a well-kept Viennese secret.Since 2009 Andrea and Roland Prinz have been running Il Bio to the delight of its loyal patrons, many immortalized in the countless picture frames on the dining room walls. A small...
home cafe
Nordic charm and a living-room atmosphere are a welcome addition to Vienna's international collection of cuisines.While Austria undoubtedly has a lock on gorgeous alpine scenery as well as prime meat, dairy and produce in abundance, the one sore point is a marked lack of fresh seafood. While not surprising for a landlocked country, it is nonetheless trying for those who...
kosher wine
After eons, kosher wine finally maturesWine in the Levante may date back to pre-biblical times, but until recently, Israel was not producing much you would actually want to drink. Journalist William Echikson writing in the Wall Street Journal recalled the obligatory ritual wine at Pesach in his youth, a kosher NY State Concorde: “Sickly sweet, like alcohol-tainted grape juice.”No...
Red Bull Skydive Team
Red Bull gives a fearless troupe wings to become mile-high paragons of their sportHigh above the Austrian Alps, a trio of professional athletes prepare their gear. Helmet? Check. Gloves? Check. Airplane? Check. Red Bull and parachute? Double check.Young and full of vigor, Marco Waltenspiel, Dominic Roithmair and Marco Fürst are no ordinary sportsmen: They’re professional skydivers, part of the Red Bull Skydive...
rafting
Rafting in the Mostviertel may be a thrill, but to Rudi Scheiblechner, it’s business as usualBraving the elements armed only with a paddle, every year countless people take the plunge down the playful and turbulent waters of the roaring Salza river in an inflatable raft. “They come back often,” said river guide Rudi Scheiblechner – rafting can be habit-forming. Along...
vienna on demand
A new collection of globally-minded hotspots and shops to discover! To advertise please contact ads@metropole.atYummyaki – Takeaway 1060 As part of the ra’mien-ShanghaiTan group, Yummyaki has been a welcome addition to the homemade Asian food landscape in Vienna since opening in 2013. If you’re craving Japanese-style curry or gyoza, you should give this place a try. They also serve hand-pulled noodles and a...
last word nervenkitzel
To be truly integrated in Vienna there are certain terms no dictionary or Deutschkurs will properly explain.But you’re no stranger, so here’s this month’s cheat sheet:   NERVENKITZEL   lit. “nerve tickle”; an informal German expression denoting the thrill and rush of adrenaline-inducing activities. While anglophones can have their fancies or funny bones tickled, German speakers are content with it being done to...
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