Traveling through Vienna with Raquel Lesser


Photo Credit: Raquel Lesser

by Raquel Lesser, Food Critic

The carvings in these buildings, the structures are “rich” in history like the pastries they serve. I look around to see these vast buildings and, as they stare back at me, I could feel the seriousness they intend to give. On these streets, Mozart once stood.  I fade back into reality, as I realize that my tour guide and my family are wandering off. I follow them into the great streets of Vienna, Austria.

On the streets of Vienna, one could bump into to all kinds of wonders: like Lady Gaga arriving at the Imperial or a girl selling picked roses from the garden, begging you to by the flower. Either way, always be prepared for the unexpected.

As I walk around the streets with my family, I hear German words flow from the peoples’ mouths. The words sound soft and gentle.  The enunciation is unlike the German language I know, loud, vibrant.

German culture is incorporated in Vienna’s everyday life, whether it’s the food, the language, or even the culture. The food and the buildings, even though they have German style, have a little twist. Each building has its own distinct signification of its Vienna heritage; whether it’s from the color or the atmosphere it gives, each is unique. The food (such as the sweet sentimental pear ice cream) is not something one can get in Germany.

As I looked at the ground, I saw a line circumscribing the Holocaust monument. Little did I know the importance of the line. The momentous line was what used to be a synagogue, and as I looked up at the big monument, I saw people sitting on it, eating their lunch as if they were eating on a picnic table. It seemed disrespectful but also synchronistic — as if both the mundane action and the sanctity of the sight were intertwined.  I, too, had sat on the stone monument: it made me wonder how many people thought deeply about the Holocaust and its extant presence.

Such was the taste of Vienna; rich in history, uniquely palatable, and reflective all at once.