Monday, January 26, 2009

Some day I want to go back. On the weekends, we walked across Mariabrucke into the city centre, hopping on the trolley that followed Ringstrasse. Our favorite stop: Stadtpark.

Packed with rolling landscape, aged trees, winding sidewalks, thick, crisp patches of grass, and lots of people, Stadtpark was the perfect place to spend a summer evening in Vienna. We'd find our place on the grass and enjoy eating the sandwiches or slices of pizza we picked up from a street vendor along the way.

Dusk is when it would start. The Vienna Orchestra would start playing their stringed instruments at a place called The Kursalon, which had a wide veranda outside. On nights when the humidity was low and summer air didn't make you sweat out your dinner, we would sneak up as close as we could, sit in the grass below the hedge surrounding the veranda, and watch the dancers waltz into our evening of bliss. The women wore elegant ball gowns, and the men wore suits and tuxedos.

We spent hours there getting to know each other. I was mostly with my friend Anne, and we made plans for the future, talked about frustrations, longed for things American, and relished in the dream we were living. It was a mixture of longing, and belonging.