From New York to…Vienna

Cities can be gross, crowded places to live. Because of this, we sometimes forget to well…look up. The amount of effort and planning that went into the buildings around us is often lost when we’re caught up in the rush of getting to work or class. This is especially true in New York, where I’m usually too concerned with the location of the F train to look around and see some of the huge, insane works of art that skyscrapers and other buildings are. Another place I found this to be true was Vienna, home to some of the most glorious architecture I’ve ever seen.

https://www.manhattandigest.com/

https://www.manhattandigest.com/

Taken by Jainita Patel.

Taken by Jainita Patel.

If you have a minute to stop and look up, here are a few of the things that might surprise you:

 

Places of Worship.

As a means to preserve culture, centers of worship tend to be some of the most intricate works of architecture in the world. Since both New York and Vienna are mainly Christian, most of these places tend to be cathedrals. In New York, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and St. Patrick’s Cathedral spring to mind immediately as extremely impressive buildings that stand out in the urban streets. In Vienna, Votivkirche is a well-known cathedral with a breath-taking exterior. Karlskirche in Vienna on Karlplatz is not so impressive from the outside, but the baroque architecture inside is sure to stun you—if you go, be sure to take the elevator all the way up to see the fresco ceiling up close. In both New York and Vienna, however, cathedrals are not the only houses of worship with impressive architecture. If you’re willing to make the trip, the Hindu Temple Society of North America has an extraordinary Ganesh Temple (or Mandir) in Flushing that is built in the traditional Hindu architectural style. In Midtown, the Central Synagogue looks as stunning form the inside as it does the outside and it’s hard to miss even if you’re in a hurry to catch the next train. In Vienna, there is a Shaolin Temple Culture Center (Shaolin Tempel Kultur Zentrum) built in a traditional fashion with gorgeous gardens. Also in Vienna, the Islamic Centre of Vienna (Islamisches Zentrum Wien) lies just beyond the Danube and is worth the trip.

http://assets.atlasobscura.com/

http://assets.atlasobscura.com/

Votivkirche Taken by Jainita Patel.

Votivkirche
Taken by Jainita Patel.

 

Skyscrapers.

New York is known for its tall skyline. The Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower are some of its most famous structures, but if you get a chance, feel free to swing by 8 Spruce St. for it’s mesmerizing exterior or 56 Leonard St. which looks like a precarious game of Jenga. In Vienna, the Millennium Building towers over downtown, mixing the old and the new. The IZD is also an interesting building, even more so once you realize that the U.S. NSA has an office at the top of this famous skyscraper.

 

Palaces and Castles.

This might be one place New York falls a little short. New York is old, but it cannot even be compared the age of the older European cities. There is, however, one building in New York that looks a bit like a castle. The Park Avenue Armory looks like a fortified castle from the outside—it even has turrets. The outside of this building is of architectural interest, but the inside is even more so. In Vienna, there is no lack of royal residences, but my favorite is Belevedere, a palace built in the same baroque style as Karlskirche. Now an art museum, the slightly expensive price (€22 for all 3 sections) to enter the museum is worth seeing the works inside—including The Kiss by Gustav Klimt—and the gorgeous gardens and architecture.

 

Odd, Secret Spots.

Sometimes in city life you need a slightly idyllic respite from the rushed life style. Luckily, there are two spots in Manhattan that provide a few seconds of breathing room on your way to that important meeting you just can’t miss. As most NYU students know, Washington Mews with its cobblestone road is a cute little spot to just take a stroll and some silly pictures. The old-style architecture of the building on the Mews will just take you back in time for a brief minute. Another secret street in NYC is Pomander Walk. Located on West 95th St. between Broadway and West End Avenue, Pomander Walk is surrounded by gorgeous Tudor-style buildings. In Vienna, though I don’t know any secret walks like the Mews or the Walk, there is Hundertwasserhaus, an apartment building that is designed and painted to look like an expressionist piece of artwork. It’s a bit of a surprise to see that walking down the streets of Vienna so it will certainly catch your eye. There are a few expressionist buildings in Vienna so keep an eye out.

Pomander Walk http://daytoninmanhattan.blogspot.com/

Pomander Walk
http://daytoninmanhattan.blogspot.com/

Hundertwasserhaus http://photos.wikimapia.org/

Hundertwasserhaus
http://photos.wikimapia.org/

So take a minute and look around you and soak it all in. Cities are beautiful (most of the time). And who knows? Maybe if you like New York for its architecture, you’ll get to see Vienna’s some day or vice versa.

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By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 

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