Morning photo: Streets of Vienna

In the city …

By and large, cities aren’t exactly my thing. But there are a few metropolitan areas where I’ve always thought I could live — for example L.A. and San Francisco, because they’re just so damn cool, or Munich (where I did live for a while) because it’s really more of an overgrown village than a city. Vienna, the capital of Austria, is definitely one of the places I could hang my hat.

I hadn’t really spent a lot of time here up to know, just a few visits as a tourist, but even during those short trips, I had the feeling that, beneath the urban hustle and bustle was a city with heart and soul. I felt some of that a few weeks ago, visiting during a huge demonstration and march in support of humane refugee policies. Since then, I’ve had a chance to start exploring the city along the Danube just a bit more, and even better, getting to know some of its people. I’ve only scratched the surface, but what I’ve found so far is a place that values art and community deeply and deliberately fosters a culture tolerance and openness. Vienna has a collective conscience, in contrast to the dog-eat-dog mentality that marks so many modern urban agglomerations, and there are killer coffee and pastry shops on nearly every corner — but that’s another story!

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