Today we have an interview with Luc Berthoud, Spotter for our Geneva Cityblog.
Can you tell us a bit about who you are, and what you do?
I’m a 31 year old Swiss guy who left the office life (working 3 years for Citibank) to the adventure one 3 years ago: I travelled 2 years in South America until February 2008.
Now I work in the big family of Les Bains des Paquis (see this article) serving beers and fondue… and substitute German, Business & Economics at the secondary school.
Which prejudices about Geneva are true?
There are a lot of bank employees in Geneva! Yes this is true! But there will be less and less because of the actual crisis!
There are a lot of foreigners in Geneva. Yes this is true! About 50% of the population has a foreign nationality!
Any prejudices that are not true?
Everybody is rich in Geneva… No… Not me! Lol
There are no “real Genevois” in Geneva. Yes, this is almost true. There are few people which origin is Geneva! The real Genevois is something special!
How to impress a local as a tourist? What do you know about Geneva what no tourist will know?
I can only impress a tourist that doesn’t know Spotted by Locals! Lol
Anyway, I know some nice view points and I’m aware of some nice parties, events that are organized at the last minute (eg. unofficial open air electronic parties that are organized, birthday in a bar…) using my network and Facebook. Tourists can always contact me to know if something special is going out or not!
What is the most popular neighborhood to live in Geneva at this moment? The liveliest and my favourite neighbourhood is Les Paquis. A little red light district with old prostitutes waiting at each corner, a lot a bars, snacks at night, the lake and Les Bains des Paquis nearby, this area has an interesting atmosphere!! I love going out in les Paquis. You will see there people from all different nationalities what makes the place really colourful!
Les Paquis is fun but has now the reputation to be a bit noisy and not as secure as before since drug started to be dealt there. If you seek more tranquillity and enjoy having nice popular bars and clubs in the neighbourhood Plainpalais is the best option! This is the student and old student area.
Which time of the year you like most in your city and why?
No hesitation at all, summer is the best time to visit Geneva!!
During this period you can swim in the lake and jump from the bridge into the River, or just lie on the grass of one of the numerous Geneva parks… Nature is all around.
Moreover, summer is really lively with people drinking in the terraces, music festival of all types. Open concerts in Le Parc Lagrange (see this article), electronic festival on a boat, amazing fireworks and food stands during the fête de Genève are some examples… There is always something to do! Unfortunately, winter time is quite different.
If you can only stay for two more days in your city, which Spots would you definitely visit?
I would definitely go to les Bains des Paquis (see this article), have a fondue after a sauna and a quick swim if it is winter or attending the 6 AM dawn concert enjoying the sunrise in July or August.
In summer I would attend a free concert in the Parc Lagrange (Wed & Frid, see this article), while picnicking, play chess at Les Bastions and would try to party at Le Bateau (see this article)!!
I would jump from the bridge into the water or at least visit the junction of le Rhône and l’Arve, a spot that the “Genevois” like quite a lot!
I would visit some interesting buildings in Les Grottes
I would spend a night in the Paquis area and party at Le Palais Masquotte if you like old French tunes or at l’Usine (see this article) if you like alternative places!
Read all of Luc’s articles here.
Check out the other interviews with our Spotters.