The first apartment is situated in the Innere Stadt, right in one of our favorite neighborhoods. This place is all about location. It's central to the Opera, the Kärntnerstrasse, the Graben, Café Frauenhuber, Das Kleines Café, and is only a short 2 or 3-minute walk to Café Diglas, Kaffee Alt Wien, some our favorite shops on the Wollzeile, and a minute or two from the Stadtpark. It is exactly where we want to be: in the thick of Viennese city life. The only time we would need a car is, well, never. And if we did, our friend Niklaus is a professional driver (when he's not teaching history or traveling).
- Location, Location, Location
- The master bedroom has its own full bath and a walk-in closet
- Did I mention location?
- Kitchen has no windows
- 1 bath and 1 guest WC
- No musical staging area for our soirées
- 1 less room than I'd like to have
- When the kids come home for holidays we'll have to put them up in a hotel
Apartment number two is the one that I've been slavering over for months now. It is in the Taubstummensgasse in the 4th district (Wieden) just southwest of the Innere Stadt. Going to our favorite places within the city would mean a short hop on the U-Bahn, but it could also be walked if I were in the right mood. It's a nice walk to the Naschmarkt and around the corner from the Belvedere, which would be nice for house guests. It also has a loggia that's large enough for al fresco dining, plants, a fountain -- all that good stuff. That's a plus. I've lived in a city building with no private outside space and, being an American who's used to having a yard and garden, I had a difficult time just sitting in an open window when I was to lazy to dress for encountering people in the street.
- Size. This place is huge
- More than enough rooms
- Baroque stove
- Architectural details throughout
- 2 full baths
- Musical staging area
- Less city noise
- A little further out than I'd like
- Cost. The monthly rent is at the top of our budget
- Less city interaction
- Going anywhere would mean using public transit
And now for apartment number three. I love this apartment. Why can't it be closer in? Why?? It's located in or near the Schottentor in the 9th district (Alsergrund). It's a literal stone's throw from the Donaukanal (Danube canal), has a beautiful view of the city from the balcony and lots of room for those times when the kids come home for holidays. It's the perfect place for our soirées and in-house concerts and the kitchen is to die for, with wing doors opening out to a small courtyard balcony. I love the kitchen. I can imagine the cabinets topped with copper pots, plants, and my cobalt canisters.
- Incredible music salon with perfect staging area
- Park and city view
- The kitchen is a dream
- Beautiful old building
- Near the Danube - great place to walk one's dog
- Needs a lot of work (that's why the rent is as low as it is). It would probably take a year to restore the ceilings, change the lighting fixtures, etc., which result in...
- Restoration costs
I'm not counting on any of these being vacant when it's time for us to move (although two of them, numbers 1 and 2, have been vacant for a year), I'm using them as guidelines to help us to establish what we need and want, and exactly where we're willing to compromise.
So, as Suzanne Whang would say,
"Which Viennese apartment will Steph and Lynette choose? Will it be the in-town with a great location but small on space, the roomy classical building with the sun loggia and Baroque features, or will they take the fixer-upper that has everything they need except an easy walk into the city?"If it was your choice, which would you choose to live in, and why?
UPDATE 1:53 a.m. Thursday: Through much web research I have discovered the exact location of apartment #3. It is on Roßauer Lande, facing the Donaukanal and just south of the Roßauer Steg (that's a footbridge that crosses the canal). I have also discovered that there are a number of identical apartments in that building, except that they don't need any work done.
(!!!) Just now, "An der schönen blau Donau" (The Blue Danube Waltz) by Johann Strauss came on the radio. A sign! A sign!