Thursday, July 27, 2006

Utopia on the Danube

While I'll try not to regale you with too many tales of my travels, I would like to share one important Eureka moment I had while in Vienna.

There's just something strangely familiar, yet not recognizeable at all about that city. I spent my three days there trying to lay my finger on exactly what it reminded me of. For sure, it wasn't any American city. Nowhere in the U.S. can anyone find such a confluence of friendly, well-educated and happy resisdents; excellent public transport via bus, tram, subway and commuter rail; and such clean, well-maintained streets and buildings.

I was mulling all this on the morning of my second day in town as I walked past the entrance to the Schwedenplatz U-Bahn station. I happened to look up and saw a small, but wide pedestrian street named Hafnersteig. I immediately took a picture, thinking there could be nothing cooler than a street, no matter how inconsequential, named for Travis Hafner. I thought to myself If I were mayor, I'd totally do that. Wait a minute: If I were mayor ...

It hit me. Vienna was just a real version of every town 've ever been happy to have created in SimCity. Of course. It all made sense now. The excellent transit. The joie de vivre (OK: Lebensfreude) amongst the populace. A bigass park. Things named for shit I like. Vienna is what I've had in mind any time I've Goldie Wilsoned a city of ones and zeroes.

I continued walking along the Ringstrasse, giddily satisfied to have solved the mystery, hoping Michael Hรคupl set disasters to "off," lest my vacation be marred by a totally preventable UFO or Godzilla attack.

1 comment:

Tommy O said...

Re-elect Mayor Flop, progress is his middle name.