Leaving New York for another city isn't easy, because no matter where you end up you'll inevitably start comparing everything to New York and then nobody likes you and you have no friends and...ahem. Anyway, I feel that I've reached a point here in Vienna where I can really and truly appreciate some of the finer aspects of Austrian culture. They like to brag about their pastries and their Sacher Torte, but I'm not a sweets and cakes kind of guy (please never let this get back to an Austrian, I may lose my visa). What I do like is their longstanding love affair with specialized artisan work - there are cordwainers and milliners and all these other occupations that make it sound like I'm living in King's Landing, but one Austrian artisan in particular has made his craftsmanship world famous by keeping his manufacturing process as detail-oriented as the other old-timers without his product being, well, old-timey. His name is Andy Wolf, and he designs eyewear. His frames aren't for those of us who might misplace or step on our glasses and just head out and grab another pair, no, they're made to last, to be cherished as much by their wearer as they are by those who make them. Each individual pair is meticulously manufactured over the course of several weeks and must meet the highest of quality standards before being given the final O.K. His collection has been featured in Italian Vogue and can be found at fine eyewear retailers across the globe. Because eyeglasses tend go way beyond being simple accessories to practically become part of the wearer, I can appreciate the effort being put into making a beautiful, long-lasting frame – and even if it costs a few extra bucks, this is your face we're talking about here. Stop buying all those bland strudels and Sacher Tortes and really treat yourself for once. (Disclaimer: All views expressed regarding sweets and cakes are the views of New York Kaveh and do not necessarily express the views of Vienna Kaveh nor those of his affiliate organizations in Austria)
This week ITS is being curated by [KAVEH TABATABAIE]. Kav is a New Yorker currently living in Vienna, a move which has made the mispronunciation of his name considerably funnier. A writer, cook, translator, and contributor to VICE Magazine, he has a crippling fear of speaking German, but manages to get by on his dashing good looks and immutable charm [sic]. He spends a great deal of his free time yelling at fully-grown adults riding scooters past his apartment, a public service which has become his greatest motivation for improving his spoken German.