J. Sydney Jones: Walls Became Windows
The American author J. Sydney Jones spent many years in Vienna. Amongst others, he wrote a crime series set in the Vienna at the end of the 19th century, as well as factual books on the topic, such as "Hitlers Weg begann in Wien. 1907–1913" and several city guides. Jones also worked as a correspondent and freelance publicist in Paris, Florence, Molyvos and Donegal. Nowadays, he lives with his family on the Californian coast.
Walls Became Windows
It was the time of the big change in Vienna. The fortress mentality, bred into the populace for centuries as the outpost against eastern invasion, was being traded in for openness and inclusion. Vienna was no longer a bastion but a window on the world. By imperial decree, the city’s medieval walls had been razed, the Glacis, a no-man’s land formerly separating the city and its suburbs, was being developed in one of the biggest, most grandiose real estate development schemes the world had yet witnessed. Emperor Franz Joseph officially opened the boulevard on May 1 of that year.
Meanwhile, my forefathers were battling seasickness and fleas as they voyaged across the Atlantic from Wales and Norway, making their way to the Midwest, where they settled for several generations. And then my immediate family later finished the journey, trekking all the way to the limits of the continental U.S. to a tiny beach town in Oregon.
from: 1865, 2015. 150 years of Vienna's Ringstrasse. Thirteen observations.
192 pages, Metroverlag, Vienna 2014 (ISBN 978-3-99300-175-9), €19.90
J. Sydney Jones
Audio sample: J. Sydney Jones "Walls Became Windows"