Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Born and raised near Basel, I moved to Zurich at the age of 20 to study. As a teenager I discovered my love for Britain, which led me to spend a few years working in sunny Manchester after graduation. You could say I’m proper Switish!
These days I’m back in Zurich, working in communications and enjoying (small-scale) urban life to the fullest. Last year I became a Spotter and look forward to discovering and sharing many more brilliant places in and around Zurich with you all.
What do you know about Zurich that no tourist will know?
If you wish to start a vivid conversation with someone living in Zurich, it’s wise to talk about rent. Coupled with mentions of how impossible it is to find affordable accommodation in the city, this should keep you going for at least an hour, and you’ll get to hear some real-life horror stories about flat viewings with people queuing four stories down to the street to boot.
There really is a shortage of affordable housing in Zurich, and to a growing number of people here it seems that the council, investors and property owners have been asleep all the while for a rather long time.
What is the most popular neighborhood to live in Zurich at this moment?
It depends on what you’re after. If you fancy yourself part of the boho tribe, look no further than Districts 4 and 5, especially anywhere in close, but not too close, vicinity to Langstrasse. Lots of bars, clubs and small boutiques are waiting to be discovered there.
District 3 offers an abundance of cafés, bars and more small shops DINKs and pram-pushing No-Longer-DINKs alike. It’s got some rather pretty streets, squares and corners which adds to the latent smugness detectable in everyone living there (myself included, of course).
For the more affluent, Seefeld (District 7) is still where it’s at. Lots of restaurants, bars and on the border of the lake, which is a sprucy bonus.
Which prejudices about Zurich are true? Which ones are not?
It’s true only to some extent that staying in Zurich comes with an eye-watering price tag. If you avoid eating out in the evenings, prove deaf to the siren calls of shops, stick with public transport, remain tee-total and seek out some free or inexpensive activities (walks, visiting museums and galleries) you’ll manage to get by on a shoestring, albeit a rather posh one. You will also miss out on some of the greatest spots Zurich has got to offer, so some compromise will have to be fought out between you and your budget.
Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
The fun would start with a late breakfast at Z am Park, followed by a long walk through the neighborhood, during which I would convince myself that a swift visit to Pile of Books was in order. This swift visit would turn into an hour of staring at book shelves and trying to remember what novels I wanted to read next, followed by the sudden realization that the list was non-exclusive, and walking out with five new oeuvres under each arm.
As the afternoon would be sunny, with temperatures around 28°C, I would then head to one of the “Badis” along the river for a swim, some sunbathing and a chin wag with friends as well as an extended reading session, seeing that I need to get through all these new books in this lifetime.
In the evening I would meet all my friends (erm – all three of them) at El Luchador and eat my body weight in guacamole and ceviche. Thus prepared, we would head to Bar 63, Total Bar or some other watering hole nearby, and would end up in Gonzo where, since this is my perfect Zurich dream day, Pulp would be playing a secret gig.