By Claire Hobden
Ok, here’s the truth: I can be a bit grumpy if I haven’t had a good meal. But otherwise, I’m a pretty good girl with a big heart, strong social conscience, sharp tongue, and an exacting eye. (Who also loves food, wine, music, art and travel… but that goes without saying, right?)
Born in New York City, but planted in Geneva at age three, I call myself a third generation expat: my grandparents on both sides moved to Geneva in the 1950s (ish), and the family has been here ever since. This makes me part of a small group of people in Geneva who genuinely have one foot planted on each side of Geneva’s own little iron curtain that divides the Swiss and international communities. After spending my university years in New York City, I came back to Geneva and used my Swiss roots to show my more skeptical friends how brilliant Geneva really can be. Inspired by the locavore and Slow Food movements, I motivated my peers to discover the food and wine scene, and thus my blog, the Green Gourmande, was born.
Along the way, I’ve meandered between the city that never sleeps and the city that always sleeps, with many cities in between – often jet lagged, always loving it, always trying to squeeze just one more meal into the day. But nothing quite makes me happier than when I discover an old spot that still has that feel of the Geneva my parents and grandparents knew; those portals to another era, etched right into the cartilage of the heart of the city.
At least one person in my life likes to call Geneva that city that always sleeps – unless you know the corners that are awake. Another way to put it is this: Geneva is pristine beauty, with raw nature within and around it, and even a little urban grit.
Its size makes it easy to navigate, to feel at home in your neighborhood, to get from one place to another, and for folks to feel safe. But if you scratch beneath the glossy surface, you find flashes of a cosmopolitan city, like a vibrant bar and restaurant scene, an embrace of music, art and history, and, if you know where to look, you’ll even find a youth and underground culture, wedged there between the cracks.
Where can you find me online?
The Green Gourmande