bohemianism of the best bits of Paris, the beautiful old buildings
you find everywhere but maintained with Germanic sensibility, a
vibrant art scene, the nightlife of Madrid, and terrific food. Oh, and
GREAT coffee. Mmmmm, coffee. And the Austrian sense of humor is much
drier and British-like than the German sense of humor (which is pretty much non-existant), so I am enjoying laughing a lot.
After the first 24 hours I was ready to move there. Beautiful buildings, nice people, clean and tidy, parks, thriving arts scene, and it's more liveable (read: cheaper rent) than San Francisco. My friend Rob the Rockstar took it upon himself to show me everything we could pack into three days, and he said it barely skimmed the surface. We were out every night to several clubs (they don't close until 5 or 6am) and then sightseeing all day.
It rained on Saturday but we went to the Nachsmarkt (Noshing-Market) anyway and got a bunch of yummy antipasto for dinner. On Sunday Rob had to work at the theater (he works backstage at Vienna's oldest Cabaret, called Simpl), and during the day I went to a museum with one of his roommates and one of his girlfriends (of which he has many; it was so funny to watch the girls literally throw themselves onto him in the clubs, and, well, everywhere!).
The installation was really interesting, the artist had taken a bunch of the museum's permanent collection and arranged it as a collage interspersed with her own paintings (all of which had texts written on them), photographs of her with the museum pieces, a video installation, painting on the museum's walls…she really turned the museum/art show structure inside out and to be inside of it was almost surreal, since the exhibit was made for that museum, and it was HUGE, it took up an entire floor. We were in there for almost 3 hours and I could have done with more but it was time to go to the theater.
I got to hang out backstage for the end of the matinee, and met all four of the actors (supposedly the most well-known comedians in Austria, although Rob says there aren't many!), one of whom was voted the "Second Most Handsome Man in Austria" by a women's magazine. I don't know who the #1 was but it was probably either Arnold Schwarzenegger or Rob. It was fun seeing everyone rush around for their costume changes and see the crowd and the stage on the monitors backstage, then get to sit in the sound and light booth and watch the cabaret at night. Although truthfully I only understood about half of what was going on, because so much of the humor was accented. I thought I was fluent in German and then I went to Vienna and felt like a doofus because I kept having to ask people to repeat stuff.