Since I am leaving Vienna in two short months and June 1st seems an appropriate day to reflect a bit on awesomeness, tonight I’m briefly revisiting my “List of 100 Awesome Things” that I compiled way back in November, before I knew much about this city. I’ve also added stuff throughout the year, and I’ve been doing surprisingly well at crossing them off, despite being a horrible, life-long procrastinator.
This post also gives a pretty accurate picture of the smaller, and no less awesome, things that we do that I don’t have time to write about on most days. Please excuse me for taking a few liberties in interpreting these as “done” – after all, I’m not ruling out doing any of these again.
Try all the types of beer brewed at 1516 Brewing Company
I no longer work at 1516, due to getting hired as a copyeditor for a little while, but I spent a couple of months working with some great people there. It’s kind of cheating to say that I’ve tried all of the beer specially brewed here, since they change what’s on tap every once in a while and I haven’t been back since before I was in Strasbourg. However, I have tried all of the “staple” varieties of beer, and I have to say, I still like the regular lager the best. And it’s damn good. (Note to self: swing by 1516 someday soon.)
Hang out at Heldenplatz
While Laura and Julien were visiting, we spent an afternoon wandering Vienna in slightly chilly weather. We went to Heldenplatz and saw the epic statue (it is actually crazy-huge) in the center, the library, and the Hofburg Palace. We didn’t so much hang out as take a few pictures before moving on, since it was cold, but it was infinitely more pleasant to see this place in May than when I was wandering around Vienna in November.
Trivia at Billy’s Bones
We have (as of yet) neglected to go to Billy’s for trivia, but this weekend Mink and I met Peter and Mathis for some beer at the first bar Mink ever went to in her life, ever. And that’s saying a lot! It was really quiet, of course, it being Sunday night, but it was lovely to sit outside in the heart of Vienna and just chill out. After we were asked to move inside by the bartender because he was closing the patio, I was regaled by high school stories about Billy’s. It’s crazy that these three cats have known each other for half of their lives, and we were in one of the places that started it all… Trivia might still happen, if we ever get our acts together.
Take the tram around the Ring
I have not taken the “official” yellow tram that takes tourists around the Ring (which circles around the 1st district of Vienna), but the 1 tram goes on the same route and we take it regularly to get downtown. I admit, I love the trams, especially the old ones. Granted, the U-bahn is faster, but it smells of B.O. and it’s stifling now that it’s summer, and it is too beautiful in this city to be spending commuting time underground. Whether it’s during the day or the buildings are all lit up at night, it’s relaxing to watch the world go past the tram, regardless of any jolts and long stops.
This was drawn in 1873 so the Ring bears little resemblance to it now, but I just like old maps, so indulge me:
See Minkus’s childhood house in Grinzing
I won’t say too much about this trip, since I mentioned it in a previous post, and it was a lovely night to go to Grinzing, in the 19th district. We definitely have to go back during the day so I can see all of the little cobblestone streets and the many, many wine taverns…even the ones with creepy musicians.
Go to the Prater (amusement park)
One sunny Sunday at the beginning of April, our friend Anastasia did a photo shoot with Mink, Mathis, Peter, Lauren, Adi, and I at the Prater Park. (We’re all pretty adorable).
When we’d finished spending an afternoon cavorting in the sun and acting like idiots for the camera, Lauren, Mink and I convinced Mathis that he would actually enjoy a spinny ride with flashing lights. It was actually more like Lauren, Mink and I laughed for the entire time while Mathis feared for his life.
After that traumatizing experience, we couldn’t get him to go near any other rides, which was unfortunate. I’m going to tempt him with beer to ride the best ride there though – it’s called the StarFly, and it’s just a regular a swing ride, but it goes wayyyyy above the park and flings you around. That’s going to happen. Soon. I love peer pressure.
Take a turn on the zip line in Paddy’s Park
Again, I also mentioned this in another post, but it bears repeating that I almost died on this innocuous-looking children’s ride. I think it’s because Peter pushed me as hard as is humanly capable, with a giant running start to give him momentum. I think I went completely upside down when the zip line hit the end, but all I saw was flashing lights. It’s a survival tale, to be sure. A beer at Paddy’s afterwards helped, as in most survival tales.
White shirts. Highlighters. Road gin. Blacklights. Best Saturday night ever.
Hadn’t done this since my middle school days of sports team end-of-season parties or, to be honest, maybe sometime in high school. BUT, I had never ever before bowled with the ‘big’ balls before (for which I was appropriately ridiculed) and it took me a few rounds to get the hang of it. Once Anastasia told me the secret to bowling, however, it was a cakewalk. Unfortunately, though, I’d been way behind in the scores for too long, and Mink was displeased that she’d chosen me for a teammate (foolish choice, as I told her at the time).
The only downside to cosmic bowling was the price of drinks, which was a little steep. But the music was awesome, as was writing awkward things on people’s arms in yellow highlighter.
And those are just a few nights of awesomeness. Now that it’s summer, I feel like we should be out having crazy adventures all the time… Still, I don’t know whether it’s realistic to think that I can cross off all 100 Awesome Things on my list by the end of July, but I’m going to try!