Vienna is a romantic Libra city. Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke fell in love in Vienna in the movie Before Sunrise. Was it true love or romantic love? Was it the ambience of art & culture, street performers and cafes, cobblestone streets and breathtaking churches? Maybe a boat ride on the Blue Danube River or an Einspanner coffee shared over a Sachre torte at daybreak? What makes a city romantic? I pondered this question last night in an open air café, where we ate bio salads. (We think ‘bio’ means organic which goes to show you, you can take the person away from California, but you can’t take the California out of the person.), John ordered spelt wheat beer and when I couldn’t decide what to order, the kind waitress took one look at my bleary face and asked, would I like her to make me a special drink? Examining my bleary eyed disposition, she knew a coconut, guarana and rosemary concoction would improve my concentration. I laughed at her good call. Sipping on its sweetness, I notice a high-heeled woman struggles to navigate the deeply grooved cobblestone streets. (A personal shout out to all the gorgeous worldly women who walk around looking beautiful and unhappy – it’s probably her shoes.) Perking up, I asked my husband his opinion on the romance of the city. The lighting, he replied. Ahhh, lighting is romantic: sconces, distinctive streetlamps, well-lit shop windows, spots on art and sculptures, cathedrals ablaze with light and the small flickering candle at our table. On the kind, sweet mannered people we encounter here, we both immediately agree. There’s no catcalling, foul language, roughshod street talk or skirmishes. Everyone is immensely polite, friendly, helpful and gracious. At breakfast we receive a United Nations ‘Good Morning’ from everyone who walks in – in the native languages of neighboring countries – French, Italian, Deutsche and German. It rubs off. Just like the Libran golden rule, if you want to receive something, give it, the welcome feeling we receive is mirrored right back at ‘ya. We smile warmly, “Good Morning,” “Guttentag”.

Yes, here in Vienna we encounter something distinctly different from our Aries San Francisco home city of impatient drivers and too-hurried-to-bother with-one-another-vibe. Here we are treated as equals, as honored guests. In this Libra city, I see a peaceful, easygoing attitude on the face of Vienna. The energy is amazingly peaceful and calm amidst normal big city people in transit hubbub. As a woman, I feel completely safe walking the streets alone. When I stop to consult my map I’m consistently asked where I’m trying to go. Just like a Libra friend, the MO of the city is accommodating, overly concerned for my well-being. They seem to know what I need or they spend a good deal of energy to find out what that might be. That’s what makes Libra so wonderful to have around. And why marriage itself, over which Libra presides, only really works if you’re regarded as your partner’s equal in all ways – and slightly better than in most (Librans love to put you on a pedestal). Romance is inevitable in a Libran partnership… and in this Libran city.