Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I didn’t grow up in Zurich but I studied at the university here and moved to Zurich in 1999. Aside from being a spotter I’m a text producer for a large Swiss magazine and a freelance journalist the rest of the time. One of my jobs involves a weekly newsletter about what’s going on in Zurich so I tend to think that I’m on the pulse of the city. Which is one of the reasons why I became a spotter – to share my view of a city that I like very much.
Which prejudices about Zurich are true? Which ones are not?
Prejudices are that Zurich is clean, small, safe and boring. The first three points are true. I especially notice cleanness of the city after large events such as Streetparade. The next day its already spotless again. I’m also not aware of any areas in town that are unsafe. Only my bikes tend to get stole. Even when locked. I had about ten bikes stolen in my life so far. And yes, Zurich is very small, when you compare it to other cities worldwide. But it’s the largest town in Switzerland and therefore is a hub for entertainment as well as the creative and cultural scene. Oh, and the most common misunderstanding: Zurich is a city in Sweden, this is Switzerland.
What do you know about Zurich what no tourist will know?
I know where to go if you’re looking for a good electro party where the audience is over thirty on average. But there is some inside knowledge you can see for yourself at the main station. There you’ll get protected by two guardian angels. One is by Niki de Saint Phalle , suspended from the ceiling. The second is much more human. If you’re a bit observant you’ll see an elderly woman standing in the hall with her wheel chair. She blesses – quietly – all travellers. She is know amongst most commuters and locals, so you’ll often find her wheelchair decorated with roses that she received.
What is the most popular neighbourhood to live in Zurich at this moment?
It’s difficult to say where people would like to live, probably as central as possible. But there is a massive shortage of flats to rent that are affordable. But to go out, district 4 and 5 are the place to be with various bars, clubs, restaurants and galleries. Myself I live in district 3. This area combines everything I’m looking for: it’s close to everything but quiet at the same time.
Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
In winter you should go skiing, so let’s pretend we have a hot summer day. I’d start with a decaf at Plüsch, one of my regular bars close to where I live.
After catching up with the local news, I’d cycle to Bäckeranlage with a book and a blanket to enjoy some sun. Towardslunch, I’d head over to Für dich for some lunch and shade.
In the afternoon I’d head over to the river to Untere Letten. Arriving at the river, I find the perfect spot in the half shade, warming up before jumping in the river to cool off. The afternoon will be spilt up between swims and reading. Towards the evening I head up the hill to Nordbrücke which has a great terrace to chill out in the summer where you get a great BBQ in the summer.
Later I’ll meet some friends at Obere Letten for some beers and to catch the last sun rays. Cycling home, I’ll either stop at La Catrina, if there’s a band playing I’d like to see or at Zum Guten Glück für a night cap.
Is there something else you want to share?
Switzerland got a lot of bad press over the last months for being racist in regards to current voting. The outcome of the past voting doesn’t represent all of Switzerland. Especially in the cities, as well as the French part of the Switzerland, people are more open-minded than the press indicates.