Two weeks and two days since I arrived here in Vienna to spend my summer here, and this is my first blog entry on this beautiful city that I’ve wanted to visit for many a year now. I haven’t been waltzing yet in this city that invented or at least made famous this beautiful dance (which, according my favorite Georgette Heyer novels, caused high scandal in Regency England – Imagine! Ladies exposing their ankles!! How shocking!), but somehow after a small sampling of what the city has to offer I feel like I have been on a waltz around this grand ballroom of a city. I’ve roamed some Austrian palaces – Belvedere, the Palais Coburg (courtesy of Ravi Khanna), and the Albertine – and their grounds, heard Mozart’s Requiem performed at Karlskirche , flitted with the butterflies at the Burggarten, nibbled bites of open sandwiches at the famed Black Camel’s buffet, and scarfed down hot-dogs from wurst-stands, and even watched a couple of Fußball matches (ok this does not sound classical but in the summer of 2008 the Eurocup is the reason most people have come to Vienna). So anyway, this whirlwind of activity makes the dance metaphor just right (and its alliterative to boot).

Somehow the city has eluded me until now, but now finally I’ve made it!! And in such style! Thanks to the incredible kindness and hospitality of Marie-Therese Leger, the mother of Sebastien (and mother-in-law of Vittoria), not only am I here at last but here in a lovely apartment, right in the heart of the city. Truly they’ve given me the schussel to Vienna. Seconds away from the celebrated Karlsplatz and scant minutes away from the Belvedere Palace, could I ask for anything more? Well romance maybe, but right now I feel as though the city itself is the romance. A toast then, to the good life – Prosit!