In the book, you talk a lot about the Austria’s café culture. Why do you think we don’t see that here in America as much?
It’s all about history. We didn’t know about coffee before the Turks came to Vienna in 1600. When the Turks came, we fought them back and then they left us the coffee. And it took time for us to figure out what do with it and so we invented the coffeehouse. In the 1800s and 1900s, all the artists used to work out of the coffeehouses so they became a meeting point for interaction and to hang out and work together. It became this culture of sitting in a café all day long and you have snacks and coffee and cakes. It’s a very Central European mentality that you also see in Budapest and around Eastern Europe.
Kurt Gutenbrunner, Harvey Sachs and the Ensemble for the Romantic Century will all be at 92YTribeca on November 13 for Eat, Drink & Think Like...Beethoven. This will be an in-depth look into Beethoven and his world. Listen and watch as musicians and actors from the Ensemble for the Romantic Century bring his story to life. Learn about Viennese Kaffeehaus culture as you taste historically accurate pastries and drinks.
Whether you’re seeking a literary conversation, stimulating analysis of current events or an evening of sing-alongs, this 137-year-old organization has you covered. Offerings at the 92nd Street Y’s younger sibling, 92YTribeca, are typically quirkier and cheaper and often include a beer. Three cheers for uptown and downtown culture.
Time Out New York‘s “Best of NYC 2011” is on newsstands now. See it all here!
One of the greatest songwriters of all times is Bruce Springsteen. I still remember the first time I heard his classic song “Born To Run”. It hit me very powerfully with it’s theme of journey. That is how I feel when I hear the opening of this weeks Torah portion Lech Lecha.
Lech Lecha tells the story of the rather unusual birth of the Jewish nation. In Bereishit/Genesis 12:1, God commands Avram (Abram, who will eventually be known as Avraham/Abraham): “Go for yourself (Lech Lecha) from your land, from your relatives, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” We read no theology, see no miracles and receive no proof of God’s existence. God simply tells Avram to go on a journey. The command itself is also unusual: Lech Lecha, “Go for yourself.” The Torah could have simply used the single word Lech, “Go,” and identify where Avram was coming from and where he was headed. It is unnecessary to add the word Lecha, “for yourself.” The word Lecha seems superfluous and somewhat awkward. It is more logical to say, simply, “Go.” Why Lech Lecha? Perhaps because the Torah teaches us that Avram’s journey is a journey of self, not simply of geography. God does not just tell Avram to go on a physical journey, but commands Avram to go on a spiritual journey as well. When God says Lech Lecha, “Go for yourself,” God commands Avram to begin a journey to try to understand God.