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Posts from the ‘Philosophy’ Category

WOMEN AND WILD SAVAGES PRINT VERSION NOW AVAILABLE

You asked for it – Women and Wild Savages, the print version, hot off the presses! Hold it in your hands. Feel the sleek, smooth surface of real paper. Revel in the smell of fresh ink. Dog ear it. Marginalia it. Mark it with an R for Reader and Me.

Romance, love, betrayal, poetry, friendship, horse-drawn carriages, coffeehouses, wineries, death, tragedy and hope – all wrapped up in the story of a young, aspiring actress and her marriage to the world-famous architect and designer, Adolf Loos. Because you deserve to spend some quiet hours in Vienna’s coffeehouses.

Women and Wild Savages

Women and Wild Savages is the first book in the Vienna Muses series

Women and Wild Savages at Amazon – print version

E-Book Versions are Available too

Women and Wild Savages at Amazon for Kindle

Women and Wild Savages at Barnes and Noble for Nook

Women and Wild Savages for Kobo

And Don’t Forget to Download the Free Readers Guide

Women and Wild Savages Readers Guide

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SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC CITY CROWNED WITH TOP QUALITY OF LIFE 7th (!!) YEAR IN A ROW

Seriously America? We didn’t manage one city in the top 10?!

For the 7th consecutive year in the row, Vienna has been voted number one city in a quality of life survey of folks who work and live abroad. It doesn’t surprise me. I’ve written many a post about Vienna and her virtues and even one about her selection to this supreme place of honor but given the current climate in the US primaries, I think now is the perfect opportunity to delve a bit deeper.

Why? Because the city voted world’s most livable is the capital of a…wait for it…wait for it… social democratic country. Yep. There’s that word again.

Austria 101 in three paragraphs

First a bit of a background so that you don’t get any wrong ideas. John Oliver can attest to the fact that many of my fellow Americans are woefully ignorant in geography. In fact John Oliver might say something like, “Austria, that country in the Alps somewhere with raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and Terminator.”

Following WWII Austria found itself geopolitically situated as a neutral nation wedged between the countries of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. For decades Austria negotiated its precarious stance between two highly belligerent neighbors with diplomatic grace and finesse. Unlike Germany, after WWII Austria was spared a division of the country into east and west. It also managed to escape, unlike its neighbors to the north and east, decades of occupation by foreign powers. Unlike Switzerland, its likewise neutral neighbor to the west, Austria has become an active member of the European Union. Austria is a place where Russians, Americans, Israelis and Saudi Arabians can bump elbows at the Park Plaza buffet table and politely engage in chit chat. (http://www.kcblau.com/spy-capital/)

Austria is not capitalist, communist, socialist or corporatist (shops here are still closed on Sundays and I have come to believe that that’s something positive). It is a social democracy and has been since the end of WWII (that’s over 70 years).

Social democrats and social democracy have become buzz words lately and since I currently live in a place organized under these principles, I thought I would share some firsthand, frontline thoughts about what that means exactly.

Yes, taxes in Austria are high but…quality of life is too.

Life in the USA as Harry and Louise 

I don’t know about you but my name isn’t Walton, Koch, Goldman, Rothschild or Bush. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon dangling from pouty lips and though I loved my high school green and gold, the sports fields were baseball and football, not rugby and tennis.

My father grew up in a part of Pittsburgh where every man either worked for the steel mill or joined the military to escape it. Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and John Cougar Melloncamp – those were the guys who sang from the soul of my roots – roots that could be like those of Harry and Louise.

Life in a Social Democracy as Harry and Louise

So what will you, Harry and Louise, find in a social democratic city?

Universal public health insurance – this means that you are not one cancer diagnosis away from personal bankruptcy or uninsurability. People search for jobs based on salary and job satisfaction, not benefits. No deductible payments for treatment and no exorbitant fees for medications (I think I pay a flat fee of about 5 bucks per prescription here).

Private health insurance: Don’t like sharing a hospital room with a snoring neighbor who has fifty relatives visit a day? Want to have a posh hospital with display cases of swords donated by former patients who happened to be sheikhs? No worries, Harry and Louise. You can get that here too. No one is going to forbid you from buying private insurance coverage.

Sick leave: Austrian law forbids firing an employee because of illness – a novel idea – you get sick or have an accident and don’t have to worry that it could also be a financial death sentence for you and your loved ones.

Maternity Leave: a year or more of paid maternity leave and what is becoming more and more common is that mom and dad split the “time off” so both get the joys of diaper changes and “Mein Pipihendl” rounds. And what does that look like back home in the US? John Oliver on Paid Family Leave.

Five weeks paid vacation by law for everyone: I swear it’s true, even for the “wage slaves” (more details here: http://www.kcblau.com/five-weeks/).

Affordable housing so well planned that there are no ghettos because

Hundertwasser housing in Vienna's 3rd district

Hundertwasser housing in Vienna’s 3rd district

subsidized housing complexes have been strategically spread throughout the city in all districts – some have even been designed by some of the city’s most famous architects – functional and livable – check out Hundertwasser’s housing for example.

Public transportation for less than a dollar a day (365 Euros a year!) that will allow you to ride all of the city’s public transportation (buses, subways, trams) and will get you anywhere you want to go in a timely and reliable manner. Like to party on the weekends? No worries about drinking and driving because the Wiener Linien always picks the short straw and will happily play designated driver and see you home safe and sound. Public transit is so popular that in 2015, 700,000 annual tickets were sold. In fact people are so in love with public transportation here that a woman from Manchester, England wrote the Vienna Public Transit a love letter when she moved away from Vienna complaining about the overpriced and unreliable transit system back in her hometown in England: Thank you for a fantastic, affordable public transport system. I miss you every day and I know someday we’ll meet again.

Free Higher Education: Can you imagine graduating from college with absolutely no debt? None? Zip? Zero? Or changing your major without having to consider the financial consequences? Vienna might not be completely made of milk and honey but this really, truly exists here. Seriously. But hey! If you want to pay and ensure that special one-on-one professor mentoring time – there are Private Universities here too. Don’t believe Harry and Louise if they try to tell you otherwise.

Pedestrian Shopping Zones: no cars and in the warm months – outdoor cafes, dining areas and plenty of room for street artists to do their thing. Because there is more to quality of life than money.

Karmeliter Market

Every Saturday you will find young and old shopping at the second district open air market, Karmeliter Market.

Parks, green areas, flowers, trees: Yes, all here. Vienna is a very “green” city.

Museums free for those 18 and under: culture and education for the kids – something we could only wish for with our 9/11 Memorial Museum.

(http://www.kcblau.com/nyc-national-september-11-museum/)

Minimum Assistance

(Mindestsicherung) – people who don’t have more than about 4000 USD to their name and can’t work because they are disabled or too old are automatically insured and entitled to financial help from the government – about 800 USD a month total. The idea is to catch disadvantaged members of society in a social net before they fall into extreme poverty. It’s called brotherly (or sisterly) love, Harry and Louise, so deal with it.

Required civil or military service: giving back to Uncle Sam (or Onkel Franz?) 6 months military or 9 months civil service. Young, able men serve their country after graduating from high school. It’s a few months in which all male members of society are equalized – regardless of the pedigree of your background. Where and when do we have that in the US? And let’s face it, many 18-year-olds could benefit from a year of figuring out what they really want to do with their futures before diving head first into the next (often expensive in the US) chapters of their lives.

Services for the elderly and disabled: transportation to the hospital for treatment, food delivery, as well as care and workshops for the mentally disabled.

Humane prisons with lower prison terms and strict regulations regarding length of solitary confinement and conditions of cells and fewer prisoners. Prisons here are not privatized because let’s face it – should someone be increasing his or her wealth based on the number of people we lock up and how long they are kept there? Kind of a scary, Orwellian idea that a rational person may have been tempted to believe would have ended with the “Cash for Kids” scandal in 2009. And one last question on this – are we truly, seriously convinced that we have the most misbehaved, criminal human beings in the entire world who would justify us having the highest number of our own citizens locked up behind bars (followed by China and Russia)? Or is $omething $eriously amiss? And don’t just take my word for it, check out the World Prison Brief numbers for the extremely depressingly, dismal reality.

High life expectancy (higher than US) (http://www.kcblau.com/usprogress/)

Water so Good it’s Constitutionally Protected

Private property – you can certainly own land, houses and apartments here but many folks choose to rent because rent prices are highly regulated and therefore renting is an affordable option.

Private businesses – your can found and run your own business here too

Life in a Social Democracy as a Property Mogul

Karmelitermarkt

High quality of life doesn’t have to be about money

I am not going to lie to you. I don’t know whether or not a Donald Trump could have made his billions here (though Richard Lugner apparently managed). At the same time, and I’m going to quote The Guardian for this: “In the mid-90s the property mogul hoped eminent domain would help move out a widow who stood in the way of a planned limousine parking lot.” Said property mogul would have not  harbored such hopes in a country where the rights of the so-called “little people” carry equal weight as their wealthier fellow countrymen.

Worth here is not based on wealth. And who of us normal mortals really believes it should be?  It would be like saying Ebenezer Scrooge in the beginning of the Christmas Carol is a far more worthy individual than Bob and Timothy Cratchit.

Worth based on honest values is a sentiment I could swear would appeal to all my freedom-loving, flag-carrying American compatriots who’ve heard the story of Abraham Lincoln’s humble beginnings since the time they could pledge allegiance to the flag. It’s what is preached in the churches that are still overflowing in the small towns every Sunday from sea to shining sea.

Glock sign

You can get a Glock in the land that makes them but you will have to undergo a psychological test first and store it under lock and key. So I can’t lie that it boggles my mind that in the US, we as a people can nod and hail “hallelujahs” as our preachers, ministers, and priests instruct us to love-our-fellow-man while we don our WWJD bracelets with the same hand clutching the 45 special under the pew, just in case that brotherly love takes a temporary hiatus.

There was a time in history when only the off-spring of the privileged elite could afford tutors and thus receive an education; a time when we packed up our undesirables and shipped them to distant shores and unknown futures; a time when where you sat on the bus or at a coffee shop depended on the color of your skin; a time when your right to vote was determined by the M or F on your birth certificate. Thank God those days are behind us.

We’ve moved to a better place since then and ensured more rights for more people. Let’s not stop now.

Part of the reason so many people fear “social democracy” is that they don’t understand what it means in day-to-day life. Fear-mongering media outlets funded by companies holding big-billed self-interests inundate the public with opinion-swaying “Harry and Louise” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_and_Louise) ads that skew the real issues. It’s simple. Should health care be a profit-oriented business? Are profit-oriented businesses the ultimate means to create a civil, socially humane nation? Do we want to live in a society where money just doesn’t talk, it talks the loudest and mutes all others from even having a voice? Is that the kind of democracy we think of when we proudly wave the stars and stripes?

As Americans isn’t it time we pause long enough from the selfies to soul-search and ask ourselves: why are so many others in the world living such a high quality of life and none of our cities have even managed the top 10 (despite our bagels, pulled porks and reubens)? Yes, let’s come together (and stop bickering) and make America great again. But let’s not do it based on hot air and empty promises. Let’s start by seeing how others have obviously managed it elsewhere.

And one last thing: Dear Harry and Louise, When you go to vote, vote based on what’s best for you and Larry and Marlene next door and your parents, and your kids and your kids’ kids, not the property moguls, bankers and opportunistic politicians whose greatest objective is to park their limos in what used to be the sweet-old-widow-down-the-street’s living room.

What the US could Learn from a Place like Austria: http://www.kcblau.com/usprogress/

Mercer Website with Survey Results: https://www.imercer.com/content/mobility/quality-of-living-city-rankings.html

Wiener Linien (Vienna Public Transportation): http://www.wienerlinien.at/eportal3/ep/contentView.do/pageTypeId/66526/programId/74577/contentTypeId/1001/channelId/-47186/contentId/82733

The Guardian article about Donald Trump’s Eminent Domain Battle:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/19/donald-trumps-eminent-domain-nearly-cost-widow-house

Forbes list of America’s Richest Families:

http://www.forbes.com/families/

Super Pacs undressed: New York Times article (“The Families Funding the 2016 Presidential Elections”) on the 158 families who are funding half of the US political campaigns in the early stages: “They are overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male.” Read it and weep for our American “democratic” system: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/11/us/politics/2016-presidential-election-super-pac-donors.html

Article from the New York Times in Oct 2001 about Bin Ladens liquidating their holdings in the Carlyle Group (where Pres Bush worked as an adviser and former Sec of State James Baker as a partner) so as not to give the appearance that they would be profiting from the War on Terrorism that would ensue after 9/11: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/26/business/bin-laden-family-liquidates-holdings-with-carlyle-group.html

In case you missed the link above: Economist article from 2003 (!) about the Bush family and their link to the Carlyle Group http://www.economist.com/node/1875084 – “At a time when America is aggressively promoting democracy and capitalism abroad, including by military means, it would be helpful if its politicians and businesses were regarded as cleaner than clean. Shrouded in secrecy, Carlyle calls capitalism into question.”

Private vs. Public – what is good for the general population is not always good for private industry – let us not forget history and why many US cities no longer have the public transportation options that a city like Vienna does:
Documentary Taken for a Ride Part 1, Taken for a Ride Part 2

Schoenbrunn Park in Vienna

Schönbrunn Park in Vienna

 

 

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2015-2016 VIENNA BALL CALENDAR

Oh, well, what’s a royal ball? I suppose it would be frightfully dull, and boring, and completely… completely wonderful.”
– Cinderella (film, 1950)

If you missed my post about the balls – check it out here: Time to Have a Ball — Vienna, World Capital of Balls. Here I am posting a comprehensive list of the balls in Vienna — not all but most (at least I will try, there are MANY and this is taking me quite a while).

Don’t have a man? Get one here: Taxi Dancer – Rent a Man … to Dance

Good Advice for Balls and Sex: http://www.kcblau.com/balls-and-sex/

Things to do in Vienna – Waltz: http://www.kcblau.com/vienna-waltz/

I tried to make this list as accurate possible but please check out the websites of the organizers for the most up-to-date info. I tried to provide up-to-date links.

2015-2016 VIENNA BALL CALENDAR Print This Post

NOVEMBER

Saturday, November 28, 2015

9th Annual Moscow Ball

Who/What? Ninth Annual Moscow Ball – “A gala night of the Russian business community and a ball”
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 9 pm (although the website states 7:30 pm for those combining the gala night with the ball, I believe), begin: 9:30 pm,
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown or knee-length cocktail dress; smoking, tuxedo, gala uniform or dark suit
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, and more
Ticket price: with table: 100 €  / without table: 50 €
website: http://www.moskauball.at/vienna/de/der-ball/

DECEMBER

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hofburg New Year’s Eve Ball

Who/What? Hofburg New Year’s Eve Ball
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 6:30 pm is entrance for those having dinner, 7:30 is entrance for tickets over the “Feststiege” and 9:15 pm entrance over Heldenplatz (a bit confusing, I know – when purchase tickets, inquire).
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown; smoking, tuxedo, gala uniform
music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, disco and more
Ticket price: range from 70 € per person for students and go up to 470 € per person for a ticket including the gala dinner
Tickets are also available for a waltz lesson at 2 pm for 38 € per person
website: http://www.hofburgsilvesterball.com/

JANUARY

Friday, January 8, 2016

Styria Ball/ Steierball/

Who/What? The Ball of the Austrian Federal State of Styria

Steirerball Poster

Steirerball Poster

Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: festive traditional Austrian attire (Tracht: Dirndl, Steyr Suit) or formal evening wear
Music: traditional Austrian, brass band, waltz, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 75€ (students 40€) / ticket
At the door: 85 €
website:  http://www.steirerball.com/

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Boogie Ball/ 6th City Dancing

Who/What? Rock-n-Roll Boogie Dancing
Where? Stadion Center Vienna, U2 subway station Stadion (directly by entrance to Stadion center)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 2 am
Attire: dancing without tux or ball gown – modern, well-dressed and ready to move in Boogie outfit
music: standard, Latin, boogie, twist, mambo
Ticket price: 33€ ticket plus 6 € per person for seating, includes 3 hrs free parking.
website: http://www.city-dancing.at/ballabend.html

Lower Austrian Farmer Union Ball/ Niederösterreichische Bauernballbund

Who? 73. Annual Lower Austria Farmer Union Ball
What? Ticket sales support over 300 students from agriculture and forestry fields
Where? Vienna Austria Center (http://www.akademikergruppe.at/bauernbundball/willkommen/)
When? entrance: 7 pm, begin: 8 pm, end: ? am
Attire: festive traditional Austrian attire (Tracht: Dirndl, Steyr Suit) or formal evening wear
Music: classical, disco, traditional Austrian, brass band
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 35€ (students 20€) / ticket at the door: 40 €
website: http://www.akademikergruppe.at/bauernbundball/karten/

Ball of the Vienna University of Economics and Business / Wirtschaftsuniversität Ball

Who/What? The Ball of the Vienna University of Economics and Business
Where? Hofburg Palace, Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo, black suit with bow tie or class A uniform
Music: waltz and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 95€ (students 30€) / ticket at the door: 110 € / alumnis 60 €
website:  WU Ball Website

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Confectioner’s Ball/ Zucker-Bäcker Ball/

Who/What? 115th Confectioner’s Ball
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo or uniform
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, Latino, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 90€ (students 45€) / ticket at the door: 100 €
website:  http://www.zuckerbaeckerball.com/
For 15 € a limited amount of “Cake Guarantees” (Tortengarantie) can be purchased in advance only to ensure that you will leave the ball with a cake from one of the confectioners when you buy a raffle ticket and did not manage to win a cake. But the amount is limited and usually sold out before Christmas. If you missed it this year, mark your calendars for next.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Flower Ball of the Vienna City Gardens/ Blumenball der Wiener Stadtgärten

Who/What? 94th Flower Ball of the Vienna City Gardens
Where? Vienna City Hall (Rathaus), 1010 Vienna
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown; dark suit
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, Latino, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 90€ (with reserved seating) 57 € without reserved seating  (students 37€) / ticket
website: http://www.wiens-gartenverein.com/

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Ball of the Viennese Pharmacists / Pharmacie Ball

Who/What? 74. Ball of the Vienna Pharmacists
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: tail coat, tuxedo or black suit with bow tie (no tie)
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price:advanced: 75 € (students 32 €)
website:  http://www.pharmacieball.at/

Ball of the Vienna Boys Choir

Who/What? 1. Annual Vienna Boys Choir Ball
Where? Vienna Kursalon Hübner, Johannesgasse 33, 1010 Vienna (Kursalon Vienna)
When? entrance: 8:30 pm; 9 pm ball opening end: 3 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: orchestra music, waltz, disco (Vienna Boys Choir)
Ticket price: adults 80 €, students: 25 €, table seat: 40 €
website: http://ball.wsk.at/

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Estate Ball / Immobilienball

Who/What? Ball of the Vienna Real Estate Agencies
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, Latino, disco and more
Ticket price: tickets available beginning with 10 € donation >> all proceeds from the ball will be dedicated to the charity project “Adapt a bathroom for cancer-striken refugee children” — no sale of tickets at the door
website: http://www.immobilienball.at/

Vienna Philharmonic Ball / Wiener Philharmoniker Ball

Vienna Philharmonic Ball Poster

Vienna Philharmonic Ball Poster

Who/What? 75th Ball of Vienna Philharmonic
Where? Musikverein Building, Bösendorferstraße 12, 1010 Vienna (http://www.musikverein.at/)
When? entrance: 9 pm, begin: 10 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie or uniform
Music: ball orchestra, jazz, waltz, modern, and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 170 € (students 60€) / ticket
At the door: ? €
website: Vienna Philharmoniker Ball
Most expensive box price (for 8 people) 12,500 € (at 1562.50 € (or 3.72 € per minute) per person I would be afraid to leave for fear I wouldn’t be getting my money’s worth)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Mechatronics, Automation and Robotics Ball / Ball der Mechatronik

Mechatronik Ball Vienna

Mechatronik Ball Vienna

Who/What? Ball of the Mechatronics, Automation and Robotics
Where? Grand Hotel, Kärntner Ring 9, 1010 Vienna (http://www.grandhotelwien.at/?)
When? entrance: 7 pm, begin: 8 pm
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: waltz, orchestra, string quartet, piano, live bands
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 96 € (includes seat at table, meal and drink), 60€ (reduced ticket w/o table), 30€ student,
website: http://www.balldermechatronik.at/ballkarten/

Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Ball / BoKu Ball (Bodenkultur Ball)

Who/What? Vienna University of Technology Ball
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: tail coat, tuxedo or black suit with bow tie (no tie)
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price:advanced: 60 € (students 25 €) / ticket; at the door: 70 € (students 30 €) / ticket
website: http://www.bokuball.at expected guests: 3700

Vienna Police Ball / Wiener Polizeiball

Who/What? Vienna Police Ball
Where? Vienna City Hall (Rathaus), 1010 Vienna
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown; dark suit, uniform
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 45 € (students  and uniformed personnel 35 €) / ticket
website:http://www.polizeimusik.at/

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Croatian Ball / Wiener Kroatenball / Hrvatski Bal

Who/What? 69th Ball of the Croatians in Vienna (from the Austrian Croatian Society)
Where? Parkhotel Schönbrunn, Hietzinger Hauptstr. 6 – 8, 1130 Vienna (http://www.austria-trend.at/Parkhotel-Schoenbrunn/en/history.asp)
When? entrance: 7.30 pm, begin: 8:30 pm
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: Croatian music, waltz
Ticket price: Advanced sales:  € (€ / student), at the door:  € /  € (student)
website: http://www.hrvatskibal.at/index.php?id=109

Imperial Palace Ball of the Viennese Businesses / Hofburg-Ball der Wiener Wirtschaft

Who/What? Imperial Palace Ball of Vienna Economy
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 7 pm, begin: 8 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, Latino, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 85€ (students 40€) / ticket
At the door: ? € Package deals including hotel room for 2 nights, public transportation ticket and ball tickets are available: http://www.hofburg-ball.at/rahmenprogramm/
website: http://www.hofburg-ball.at/

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hunters Ball/ Jägerball des Grünen Kreuz

Who/What? 95th Annual Ball of the Austrian Hunters of the Green Cross
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm
Attire: festive traditional Austrian attire (Tracht: Dirndl, festive hunting attire, uniform)
Music: traditional Austrian, brass band, waltz, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: ? € (students ? €) / ticket
website: http://www.verein-grueneskreuz.at/Reservierungen.82.0.html#c734
5200 people expected – tickets usually sell out!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Vienna University of Technology Ball / Ball der Technischen Universität Wien

Who/What? Vienna University of Technology Ball
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8:30 pm, begin: 9:30 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: tail coat, tuxedo or black suit with bow tie (no tie)
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price: 90 € (students 35 €) / ticket
website: http://www.tu-ball.at/en/karten/

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Medical Doctor’s Ball / Wiener Ärzte Ball

Who/What? 66th Annual Ball of the Vienna Medical Doctors
“The last Saturday of belongs annually to thousands of dancing doctors”
This year’s there: “Sigmund Freud – Belle Epoque”
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9:30 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: waltz, orchestra, jazz, live bands, Italian, Austrian, “Med Clubbling” (DJ from the Passage Night Club),  New Orleans Dixie Band, Burlesque – Cabaret
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 120 € (students 50€) / ticket
website: http://www.aerzteball.at/english.htm

FEBRUARY

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rose Ball / Rosenball

Who/What? Ball of the Roses – Hollywood Films
Where? Vienna Kursalon Hübner, Johannesgasse 33, 1010 Vienna (Kursalon Vienna)
When? entrance: 10 pm; Begin: midnight
Attire: glamorous costumes or elegant evening wear
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, Latino, disco and more – Conchita Wurst and Special Live Appearance by Austria’s Eurovision Song Contest Nominee
Ticket price: online: 63 €, Under 26 with ID 55 € Usually sell out
website: Rosenball

Vienna Opera Ball/ Der Wiener Opernball

Who/What? Vienna State Opera Ball
Where? Vienna State Opera House, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8:30 pm, begin: 10 pm, end: 5 am
Red Carpet entrance
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: coat and tails
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price:  (range from basic for 250 € – 18,500 € for stage boxes) Usually sell out (also tickets to the rehearsal usually go quickly)
website: http://www.wiener-staatsoper.at/Content.Node/home/opernball/Allgemein.en.php
Legend has it that the ball dates back to the Vienna Congress (1814 – 1815).  The emperor finally allowed the ball to take place in the Court Opera in 1877 but forbade dancing. Viennese blood managed to abide by the prohibition until midnight — then their dancing feet couldn’t stand it anymore and they danced. Here a quote from the Opera House website which provides a brief history of the event: In 1877, the Emperor finally gave his consent to a “soiree” in his opera house. However, dancing was not officially allowed at this celebration on the night of the 11th to 12th of December. However, the “Vienna Tourist Journal” stated the following day: “…it was initially quite difficult, but Viennese blood and Viennese courage withstood… after midnight there was the first proper dance in the ballroom of our opera house.”

Friday, February 5, 2016

Bon Bon Ball/ BonBon Ball

Who/What? 67th Annual BonBon Ball
Win a Carribbean Cruise & elect Miss Bon Bon 2014
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm
Attire: full length ball gown, tuxedo, tailcoat or black suit
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, disco and more
Ticket price: 99 € (students 48€) / ticket
website: Bon Bon Ball

Vienna Coffeebrewers Ball / Kaffeesiederball (LOVE THIS BALL BECAUSE IT INCLUDES MOST OF THE ROOMS OF THE IMPERIAL PALACE AND THE KAFFEESIEDER KNOW HOW TO PUT ON A GOOD SHOW )

Who/What? 59th Annual Ball of the Vienna Coffeebrewers
Motto: “K & K – Coffeehouse and Artists”
Ticket sales support cultural activities offered in Vienna’s coffeehouses
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 7:30 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: waltz, orchestra, jazz, live bands, Italian, Austrian
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 135€ (students 55 €) / ticket
website: Kaffeesiederball Website
amount of guests expected: a whopping 6000!

Monday, February 8, 2016 Carnival Monday “Rosenmontag”

Rudolfina Redoute Masked Ball / Rudolfina Redoute

Who/What? Rudolfina Redoute Ball in the spirit of Fledermaus
All women, whether they are accompanied or not, are obliged to wear a mask. “Redoute” means “masked ball” and only ladies who wear a mask can invite a gentleman to dance. After the de-masking at midnight, a Quadrille is danced and then men and women can invite one another to dance.
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9:30 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: tail coat, tuxedo with bow tie (no tie) – sadly kilts don’t qualify – I think they should re-think this policy – a kilt is bound to spice up any party.
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price: 90 € (students 40 €) / ticket
website: Rudolfina Redoute

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 – Faschingdienstag / Fat Tuesday

Elmayer Dancing School Ball / Elmayer-Kränzchen

Who/What? Ball of the Elmayer Dance School
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 5 pm, begin: 6 pm, end: midnight
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: tail coat, tuxedo with bow tie (no tie), uniform
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price:advanced: 70 € (students 30 €) / ticket; at the door: +15  € (students +15 €) / ticket
website: http://elmayer.at/baelle/elmayer-kraenzchen/

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Johann Strauss Ball / Johann Strauss Ball

Who/What? Johann Strauss Ball
Where? Vienna Kursalon (Kursalon Vienna)
When? entrance: 6 pm (dinner guests), 7:30 pm (guest without dinner), 9 pm ball opening
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: orchestra music, waltz
Ticket price: 137 € per person includes 3 course meal in Strauss Hall
website: http://www.soundofvienna.at/sound/48.0.html?&L=2 

Druggist Ball / Drogistenball

Who/What? Vienna Druggist Ball  (from the Austrian Druggist Union)
Where? Parkhotel Schönbrunn, Hietzinger Hauptstr. 6 – 8, 1130 Vienna (http://www.austria-trend.at/Parkhotel-Schoenbrunn/en/history.asp)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: orchestra music, waltz
Ticket price: 45 €
website: http://www.drogistenverband.at/faktuell.htm  

IAEA Staff Association Ball / International Atomic Energy Association Ball

Who/What? 59th International Atomic Energy Association Ball
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 7pm
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, Austrian, disco and more
Ticket price: SOLD OUT
website: http://stylearts.eu/iaea/

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Vienna Fire Department Ball / Wiener Berufsfeuerwehrball

Fire Department Ball in Rathaus in Vienna

Fire Department Ball in Rathaus in Vienna

Who/What? 64. Ball of the Vienna Professional Firemen
Where? Vienna City Hall (Rathaus), 1010 Vienna
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown; dark suit, uniform
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, disco and more
Ticket price: 50 €
website: http://www.firefighter.at/site/sportkultur/article/938.html   

 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Vienna Techno Ball / Wiener Techno Ball

Who/What? 7th Annual Vienna Techno Ball “Walzer Meets Beets”
Where? Pratersauna, Waldsteingartenstrasse 135, 1020 Vienna (subway U2, Messe Prater)
When? begin: 9 pm
Attire: anything you’d wear at a ball from formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo, black suit with bow tie or class to traditional Austrian, to uniforms to fantasy costumes to a mix of all of the above is welcome
Music: techno, electronic
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 17€ (students 14.50€) / ticket
At the door: 20 €
website: http://www.technoball.at/
Watch the cool video on their website

Juristen-Ball / Lawyers Ball

Who/What? Lawyers Ball
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna (http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9:30 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown, tailcoat, tuxedo with bow tie
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, Austrian, disco and more
Ticket price: 135 € entance
website: http://www.juristenball.at/

APRIL

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Vienna Polish Spring Ball / Polnischer Frühlingsball

Who/What? 14. Polish Spring Ball (sponsored by the Polish-Austrian Society)
Where? Ferstel Palace, Freyung 2, 1010 Vienna
When? entrance:
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown; dark suit, uniform
Music: waltz, polish music, disco and more
Ticket price:
website: http://taktkultur.at/bal/

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Dancer against Cancer Spring Ball /

Who/What? 10th Annual Dancer Against Cancer
Where? Hofburg Palace,  Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna(http://www.hofburg.com/)
When? entrance: 7:30 pm, begin: 8:30 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: ladies: long evening gown, men: tail coat, tuxedo or black suit with bow tie (no tie)
Music: waltz, brass band, jazz, salsa, disco and more
Ticket price:advanced: 59 € (students 39 €, school age: 22 €)
website: http://www.danceragainstcancer.com/

MAY

Saturday, May 31, 2014
Ball Organizer Gery Keszler is taking a much-deserved break this year to “re-think” the ball – but it will be sadly missed and as not-to-be-forgotten is posted here still

Me and my friend at the Lifeball 2014

Me and my friend at the Lifeball 2014

Vienna Life Ball/ Life Ball

Who/What? 22nd Annual Life Ball – Fighting AIDs and celebrating Life
One of the world’s biggest AIDS charity events and perhaps Vienna’s craziest party with internationally famous guests flying into the city to attend. Kick off is the opening ceremony in front of the Vienna City Hall with a colorful red-carpet entrance of celebreties where over 500 international media crews and 60 TV teams are present to capture the event.
Where? Vienna City Hall (Rathaus), 1010 Vienna
When? entrance: 8 pm, begin: 9 pm, end: 5 am
Attire: see pix from previous years — too hard to explain
Music: waltz, jazz, and everything
Ticket price: Registration for tickets takes place from March 21 – April 2, 2014 with a drawing for randomized opportunity to puchase tickets
website: http://www.lifeball.org/?lang=en

Some charmingly mischievous Lifeball Guests

Some charmingly mischievous Lifeball Guests

Guests expected: 3,780

JUNE

Friday, June 17, 2016

Concordia Ball / Pressclub Concordia Ball

Who/What? Ball of the Concordia Pressclub
Where? Vienna City Hall (Rathaus), 1010 Vienna
When? entrance: 9 pm, begin: 10 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown; tuxedo, tails, dinner jacket or military uniform
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 95€ (students  40 €) / ticket
website: http://www.concordiaball.at

Friday, June 24, 2016

Fête Impériale Summer Ball

Who/What? Fête Impériale  Summer Ball
Where? Vienna Spanish Riding School, Michaelerplatz 1, 1010 Vienna (http://www.srs.at/en/)
When? entrance: 8:15 pm, begin: 9:45 pm, end: 4 am
Attire: formal evening wear: floor-length evening gown; tuxedo, tails, dinner jacket or military uniform
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, disco and more
Ticket price: Advanced sales: 120 – 180 € (students  50 €) / ticket (VIP Loge for 12 people 7,200 €)
website: http://www.fete-imperiale.at/

SEPTEMBER

Friday, September ??, 2016 – I never get tickets to this thing and my Dirndl is so desperate to be worn

Almdudler Austrian Traditional Clothing Pair Ball / Almdudler Trachtenpärchen Ball

Who/What? Almdudler Ball
Where? Vienna City Hall (Rathaus), 1010 Vienna
When? entrance: Details to be announced
Attire: girls in Dirndls and guys in Lederhosen (see website for examples – the left side which shows things like super geek and Jesus and super heroes are the no-goes category in case you don’t speak German and don’t understand “So nicht / So not”  https://www2.almdudler.com/#/at/trachtenpaerchenball/dresscode
Music: waltz, jazz, orchestra, disco and more
Tickets: Advanced sales: beginning in April
website: https://www2.almdudler.com/#/at/trachtenpaerchenball/tickets

Saturday, December 31, 2016 – New Year’s Eve

AND THEN IT STARTS ALL OVER AGAIN

 

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THE FREEDOM OF ART IS THE ONLY GUARANTEE FOR THE FREEDOM OF HUMANKIND

Art is a metaphor for immortality. – Ernst Fuchs

After 31,315 days on this earth, Austrian artist Ernst Fuchs passed away at the age of 85. Over a year ago, some friends and I visited the Fuchs villa where the artist lived and exhibited his work.

Professor Ernst Fuchs was one of the leading figures in the Viennese School of Painting ”Fantastic realism.“ For him art was more than a way to creatively expressive oneself, it was an essential power of peace and liberation:

Art is, despite its dynamic and that of its supporters’ own egocentricity, always a peacemaking power. We know it, we’ve learned it and from this knowledge we exercise the liberating, the healing power of art. It is exactly for this reason that all craziness has to become art, all politics and every intention that is focused on improving the conditions of human existence, should manifest itself artistically. The only positive revolution that has a chance to permanently liberate humankind and to stimulate is the works of artists. The freedom of art is the only guarantee for the freedom of humankind, this freedom is therefore also the first, which a populace is forced to sacrifice, when a tyrant comes and wants to rule.

Jesus Ernst Fuchs Painting

Jesus Ernst Fuchs Painting

(translation: KC Blau)

German original:
Kunst ist trotz ihrer Dynamik und der ihren Trägern eigenen Egozentrik immer eine Frieden stiftende Kraft. Wir wissen es, wir haben es gelernt und wir praktizieren aus dieser Kenntnis die befreiende, die heilende Kraft der Kunst. Darum muss aller Wahnsinn Kunst

Ernst Fuchs Room in Villa with Paintings and Designs

Ernst Fuchs Room in Villa with Paintings and Designs

werden, alle Politik und jeder Wille, der sich auf die Verbesserung der Daseinsbedingungen des Menschen richtet, sollte kunstvoll sich manifestieren. Die einzig positive Revolution, die eine Chance hat, permanent den Menschen zu befreien und zu befruchten, ist das Wirken der Künstler. Die Freiheit der Kunst ist der einzige Garant der Freiheit des Menschen; diese Freiheit ist daher auch die erste, die ein Volk gezwungen wird aufzugeben, wenn ein Tyrann kommt, es zu beherrschen.

Read more about Ernst Fuchs at my post about a visit to his museum: Are you are Lebenskünstler? Or just a Connoisseur of the Art of Living?

RIP Ernst Fuchs – indeed, art is a metaphor for immortality and you will surely continue on in your art.

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