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An Interest in Things Viennese

Frank Calberg, who has an enormous interest in all kinds of research, tweeted the following question to me: “What in particular makes Vienna livable for you?”

Rather than repeating the clichés that we can find in all those city rankings, I decided to make Frank's question a topic in one of my conversation classes. members helped me formulate an answer:

The idea that the spirit of Vienna's former creative and intellectual elite has manifested itself in the outstanding architecture and cultural heritage of the city, including its music, theatre, paintings, psycho-analysis, coffee, cake, and a lot more, makes daily life here very special.

Actually, Vienna's rich, diverse and also tragic history presents itself as an emotional cocktail that once in a while can make you feel tipsy while walking through the streets. Indeed, Vienna is full of complex poetry - a mix of former imperial pride, elegance, arrogance, multi-cultural stubbornness, at the same time melancholy and sadness, almost despair, and more recently also a lot of materialist comfort and platitudes.

"If a visitor goes to Vienna for a day and would like to chat with people who live there, what should she / he do?" Somehow, while Vienna's beauty is so obvious, it may make you feel rejected easily. We think that visitors are well advised to take the initiative and start the conversation, rather than wait for Vienna to open up and entertain them.

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