Sunday, May 22, 2016

Welcome to Hipsterplatz

May is a month filled with family Birthdays and school holidays in our neck of the City.   I decided that a Mother-Tween Son road trip to Graz would be a fun getaway, since it was a regular work week for UN employees.

On departure morning and in fine tween form, I was reminded that the coming years will be tricky:

"Do I really have to go?  Why don't you just go by yourself and I'll stay here."

Really? Uh, NO.

After some age appropriate bribes and threats (I'm Italian, for crying out loud!) we were on our way to Graz, 120 miles southwest of Vienna.  Graz is the capital of Styria and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage and City of Design.  In the spirit of mixing old world and modernity, we stayed at the Schlossberg Hotel.  Maybe it was the Oscar Wilde quote on their webpage that hooked me, "I have a simple taste.  I am always satisfied with the best."  Bwahahahahaha!  Of course I booked it!  In addition to its excellent location, the hotel is really spectacular; filled with antique furniture and modern art in the rooms and public spaces.  I highly recommend.  So does the tween.

And then we wandered.  There is a great visitor center with a booklet of mapped walks and recommended stops.  And the City Tourism website here.  Graz is gorgeous and walkable, with plenty of options for architecture, art, culture, shopping and eating.  The Rathaus square was filled with music and artisans.  The cafes and restaurants were loaded with smiling people, relaxing and enjoying some much needed sunshine.  Best of all, the tween started to loosen up.  Graz is a place to stroll and just be happy.

And then.......this conversation:

Me:  So, what do you think about Graz?
Tween:  It's great, but......well......have you noticed that we don't fit in?
Me:  What do you mean?
Tween:  We're not Hipsters.

I looked around.  Man buns, dreadlocks and beanies.  Peace signs, pedal (petal) power, plaid and patchouli.  No wonder we felt so relaxed.

Yep.  Graz is the "Portlandia" of Austria.  Put a Bird on It!  See you at Hipsterplatz.

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