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Showing posts from June, 2010

Grab a Paper, Spend the Day (Cafés 2)

Other places have clubs or pubs, trattorias, bars, bistros; Vienna has coffee houses. The rules are simple: find a seat, order a cup of coffee, grab a newspaper, then another one, talk to a friend, spend the day - without placing another order. The server will let you be. He might replace the glass of water that comes with the coffee with a fresh one every once in a while, but he will not bug you. When you decide to leave and ask for the check he might take his time, showing you that he couldn't care less. It's a game, it takes practice. Vienna's coffee houses are the L.A. antithesis: they are slow and they have no regard for those who seek to produce themselves. Pictures: seating area and newspaper rack at Café Zentral

Europe at Our Doorstep (This I Will Miss 3)

Europe has been at our doorstep these past two years. Last weekend we visited Paris, the City of Light. This may surprise but in a sense Paris is an American city: it was constructed according to plans, is not organically grown like other European places, which spread from a medieval core of small, narrow streets, in some cases from a handful of cores. Paris once had a heart like this, but the old Paris was razed in the 19th century. Modern day Paris is a wide expanse of tree lined boulevards and monuments, beautiful to behold and majestic, yet sterile, accessible to the mind, but not to the heart. Compare this to Rome, willing, sensual Rome which lays itself at the feet of its visitors. Compare it to London, crazy and eccentric, a free for all (or at least for those who ask). There are a number of cities on my "Places to see before we move back to California"-list, but time is running out. We'll have to come back - to visit. Should we ever live in Europe again, let&#

And After College? The Female Vanishing Act

Last week the Ministry for Women presented its latest report on the situation of women in Austria . The good news is education: Women constitute slightly more than half of all people with college degrees. Gender equality at last! Let's get out the champagne, sisters! Should we? Here are some other facts: Only 7.8 percent of women with college degrees hold leading positions in the workforce, but every fourth man with a college degree works in a leading position. Women are less likely to make it into the echelons of publicly traded companies. In the year of 2008 (the last year for which data are available) there was not a single woman leading a large company in Austria. Representation among board members was six percent. Women are less likely to hold high positions in universities. Only 15.8 percent of professors are female. I find these numbers sobering enough, but what really gets me is that for the same work, women in Austria earn less money than men. In addition, the gender