Given my part-Austrian background, you might take this with a pinch of salt but there really are few better places to spend New Year’s Eve than in Vienna. At the stroke of midnight, you will find the Viennese – literally – waltzing in the streets (together with tourists who can get free lessons on one of the central squares earlier in the day) to the sound of “The Blue Danube”. It’s a rather wondrous moment that will take you back to a forgotten time of glamour and tradition.
If you weren’t able to make it this year, might I recommend that you awaken from your late-morning slumber (and probable hangover) to a new-year concert at the Vienna Philharmonic, an annual tradition that you need special connections to see in person but is watched by millions around the world every year. It starts, helpfully, at 11.15 Vienna time; I still only usually make it for the second half. It’s a soothing background for your reflections on the year gone by and resolutions for the one to come.
Whatever your traditions for New Year’s Day, we could all use a bit of soothing reflection after a tumultuous and divisive 2019. I’m sure we can all agree that politicians and citizens on both sides of the aisle should resolve to step back from the brink and explore ways to put some civility back into politics.
Over the next three days, we’ll be giving you a snapshot of some of the most pressing problems and opportunities facing Europe, Asia and the Americas. We’ll be back to our normal routine on Monday when we hope you’ll check in for another year of Monocle Minutes to brighten up your morning routine. In the meantime, frohes neues Jahr!