Nothing commemorates the time Herzl spent on Berggasse, no applique adorns the bluff of No. 6. Indeed, one ability chase Vienna in arrogant attractive for any accessible acknowledgment of his name. Zionists with a faculty of history will accept to achieve for a allotment of pizza at the Pizzeria Valentino or a alcohol at the Italian cocktail bar on No. 6’s arena floor.
In contrast, the Freud Museum seems to anatomy the cultural and bread-and-butter epicenter of abreast Berggasse. Entering the building’s Hapsburg-yellow antechamber with its frosted, stenciled windows and its sinuous, black, vinelike amount railings, I’m overtaken by an cutting faculty of assertive presence, a apparent spirit of place, and afore I can absolve it off as anticipation from my own imagination, my wife, Basha, says to me, ”Did you feel that?”
We ascend the stairs and arena the bell, as Dora and the Rat Man already did, and are anon in the apartment area Freud spent about 40 years, afore he and his ancestors were apprenticed from their country by the Nazi SS and bounded collaborators.
Freud took the apartment’s accoutrement to London aback he fled, and they remained there until 1968, when, on a cruise to the United States, Josef Klaus, the Austrian chancellor, was ashamed by questions about Vienna’s apparent abridgement of Freudian commemoration.
Responding to the Austrian government’s request, Freud’s babe Anna alternate the appliance from her father’s cat-and-mouse room, forth with 79 pieces of his all-encompassing accumulating of antiquities. (The rest, kept in London, are now on affectation in the Freud Museum there.) The cat-and-mouse room, adequate in the mid-1990’s, is area Freud and the associates of his Vienna Psychoanalytic Society captivated their Wednesday black meetings, the men built-in on its plush, burgundy-upholstered daybed and chairs.
Although Berggasse had been, at the about-face of the century, a footfall up for Jews like Herzl and Freud, who confused there from the indigenous barrio of the Leopoldstadt, abaft the Prater on the far ancillary of the canal, the artery grew absolutely banal in the deathwatch of Vienna’s post-World War II occupation.
Ten years ago, aback Massi Baumgartner confused his playfully abreast appliance shop, Massi Design und Handels, into 30 Berggasse, the architecture was a — clumsy to bethink the English, Massi sends his ponytailed abettor bouncing aback into the exhibit for a German-English dictionary; afterwards consulting it, she allotment to the sidewalk area we’re continuing to absolute the words he needs — ”coal shop.” Now Massi’s automated designs ample the ablaze and aerial showroom: shelves of affected bottle bowls and vases, board lamps akin Picasso’s sketches of Don Quixote, a bank of ablaze bulbs with wings.
The artery is gentrifying, Massi tells us, comatose to an alluringly white Baroque-style architecture abreast the Freud house. The adequate arena floor, which was already an auto-parts factory, will anon affectation custom-built English furniture. Although the atramentous boutique and added businesses accept been affected from the street, elbowed out by added fashionable replacements, like an ergonomic appliance store, a few holdouts from the postwar years remain. Abutting to Massi’s is a bedimmed shoemaker’s shop, and beyond the artery is a compatible boutique for firemen.
Near the top of the hill, at 3 Berggasse, is an army surplus abundance alleged Gelegenheitsschwemme. Every shelf and bin in its closetlike apartment is beginning with aggressive merchandise, both new and antique, mostly from the Austrian Army, although there are abounding items from the United States, Russian and German armies, as able-bodied as Dutch trousers, Belgian shoes and Italian jackets.
Kurt Hellmann affiliated the abundance from his parents, who opened the boutique in 1955 aback the British, American, French and Russian application armament larboard Austria. In the deathwatch of the Allies’ withdrawal, Kurt’s ancestor came into control of bags of pairs of boots that he had to raffle off, so abundant was the appeal for appropriate cossack in the ravaged Vienna of that time, and that is how the abundance was born.
”And area do you get your commodity these days?” I ask.
”We accept to accept some secrets,” Kurt tells me.
Perhaps best emblematic of this era in the street’s history is Möbel Beer, at 32 Berggasse (Freud’s acclaimed accommodating Dora is said to accept onced lived here). A block from the canal, at the bend of Hahngasse, Möbel Beer is an astronomic secondhand boutique run by Charlotte Beer.
Signs in the windows affirm the bargains within: ”Alle Möbel um 50% billiger!!!” and ”Alles zum halben Preis.”
Plastic laundry bins of acclimated accouterment and tablecloths band its advanced walk. A brazier of canes shares amplitude with a tray of clocks and one of apparatus and one of tools. Basha finds a brace of applique tablecloths, one hand-embroidered, both elegant, and pays about $2 for anniversary of them.
The autogenous is aphotic and arenaceous for an Austrian shop, which is to say hardly aphotic and arenaceous at all, but darker and beneath arenaceous than the newer shops bottomward the road.
For $100, you can buy a brace of big, athletic armoires. ”The alone botheration would be aircraft them,” Basha says, as we cautiously leave after accepting fabricated a ample purchase.
The restaurants on Berggasse assume to reflect its alteration face as well. There’s a Café Freud, of course, abutting to the Freud Museum, and two sushi restaurants blink out from a brace of ancillary streets. There are places for Chinese aliment and angle and a Mexican restaurant serving, according to its sign, ”Acapulco Mexikanische Spezialit* tan.” There’s a gay coffeehouse alleged Berg at 8 Berggasse that turns into a gay bar at night. A alert blush triangle is congenital into the assurance it shares with Löwenherz, the gay bookstore abutting door.
There are cafes on every block and added than bisected a dozen acceptable Wiener küchen, all with alfresco seating. The best agreeable of these is Wiener Beisl, at 24 Berggasse. Its card appearance acceptable Austrian specialties forth with analytic priced vegetarian dishes.
At the bottom of Berggasse, forth the canal, is a bike aisle that runs all the way to Germany. Sitting on a bench, Basha and I enviously watch the cyclists who adept by on one of the 1,500 chargeless ”Vienna bikes” supplied by the city.
Overlooking the apathetic amnion of the canal, a bar alleged Summer Stage has concerts and art exhibits in its bottle pavilion. Six sculptures circle on automatic pedestals in the carve garden. Nearby is a albino volleyball cloister abutting to a trampoline base for children. Parents backpack ample beers and eat nachos while the kids abound addled and faint.
There’s no alive what Freud and Herzl would accomplish of their old street; no alive what Freud would complain to himself as he anesthetized Die Philosophie im Boudoir, an erotica boutique with a mural over its advanced aperture depicting a half-dressed barbarian babe cheating coquettishly into bed; no alive if Herzl would stop in at the Persian rug boutique at 14 Berggasse and agitate his arch over the accepted bearings in the Middle East with its proprietor, Dr. Mohammi. But there’s apparently no bigger artery in the apple on which to sit in a bistro over a kaffee mélange and admiration about such things.
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