Contemplating Austria

Contemplating Austria

Understanding the Viennese Paradox Anticipating a visit to Vienna, I am trying to understand the place, its past, its present. Mention Vienna and pastries come to mind along with classical music. Austria as a nation is a bit more confusing,…

Austrian Anomalies


Looking for Understanding in France and New York I don’t know much about Austria beyond the Sound of Music. Little makes sense to me about Austria despite my efforts to understand. How could the homeland of Marie-Antoinette, who herself struggled…



Great Value Vacations


American Red

A bust of Vladimir Lenin in the Moscow subway Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

A Romance with Revolution Rewatching the 1981 Warren Beatty film Reds, about journalist and eventual collaborator John Reed’s coverage of and interest in the Russian revolution, I remember that Reed is buried at the Kremlin, a point that I neglect…

Celebrating Louis XVI

Excess at Versailles Photo credit: L. Tripoli

Accomplishments besides Marrying Poorly Louis XVI, king of France, was born 261 years ago on August 23, 1754, and what many seem to remember about him is his wife, Marie-Antoinette, originally of Austria, and his general ineffectiveness in leading his…