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Cathedrals of the Working Class: Rabenhof in Early Spring

After the devastations of World War I and facing huge societal and economic challenges the people of Vienna craved for change. A special problem were the poor living conditions of the working class, which very often lived in large tenements without warm water and communal toilets on the corridors. Large families lived in small apartments and very often they had to accomodate additional roomers to afford the overpriced rent. For these and other reasons the Socialist Party of Austria (SPĂ–) was voted into power and planned a radical rethinking of the city in the 1920s. Large and modern communal building called Gemeindebauten were to be built with large inner yards for the workers to gather and thick walls to protect them. Among the first ones to be built was the Rabenhof in the 3rd Viennese district. Today known among Austrians mostly for the theater with the same name, which is located at the spot were the gathering hall for the workers used to be. The rent in these buildings was much lower and affordable, at the same time though the standard of living was much higher with private toilets, launderettes, private parks and a kindergarten. The same is true today as every 4th Viennese of different economic backgrounds lives in a Gemeindewohnung, around 3.500 of them in the Rabenhof building.

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Urban Discoveries: Karma Ramen

Asked about a common Japanese dish most people would say Sushi instantly. Travelling Japan though you notice that Sushi is not as prevalent as you would think (though when you get it it’s so much better! A must at the fish market in Tokyo) and you learn that the true Japanese national dish is something else and it is called Ramen. Japanese people really love Ramen.

Basically Ramen are noodles in a bowl. They are sold in small restaurants specialised just in this particular dish. These places are very cozy and often run by families. Sometimes you pay at a machine and make your order there handing the receipt from the machine directly to the cook. Better known in the West is the instant variation of the dish: Instant Ramen.

But the real thing is so much better. In Vienna you can try them at Karma Ramen close to KettenbrĂĽckengasse (subway U4). Not only you get delicious food there but also a nice atmosphere. The place celebrates Japanese influenced pop culture with posters and Godzilla. Because there is never enough Godzilla. Right?

Karma Ramen is open from Monday to Saturday from 11:30 am to 14:30 pm and from 18:00 pm to 23:00 pm and Sunday from 11:30 am to 16:00 pm.

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