Wednesday, February 28, 2007

guardian angel IV

Angela in Nice might appreciate this. You may remember that I posted a picture of Niki de Saint-Phalle's Guardian Angel in the Zurich train station a few weeks ago. I had gone inside a Fasnacht tent to seek shelter from a sudden rainstorm, when I spotted this woman sporting a Guardian Angel costume. These aren't necessarily my best or most eye-catching pictures of Fasnacht, but I just had to post this because I've always liked that angel. I think she deserves some sort of prize for the best costume ever. She nailed every detail, down to the colors on the angel's outfit. (her wings were feathers, and she was carrying them around in a plastic bag to protect them from the rain).

More pictures of Fasnacht here.
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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

post-parade bratwurst

I guess parading around town and playing guggenmusik in funny costumes can make you hungry. After the parade, most participants assembled at a square to eat some bratwurst.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

confetti witches

Last week Z in Villigen posted a series of pictures of Fasnacht in her area and in Baden. Zurich celebrates Fasnacht one week later. Not quite sure why, but Zurich is Protestant, and their calendar is slightly different. Fasnacht festivities took place all weekend, culminating in a parade yesterday, which was a bit of a wash because it was cold and dreary. I took a ton of pictures, but haven't had a chance to go through them all. I'll try to post some more over the next few days, assuming everyone hasn't OD'd on Fasnacht yet. I'll start with these two little witches who were thoroughly enjoying throwing confetti at the spectators. They had fallen behind because they were busy throwing confetti around, and were running to catch up with their group in the parade.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

sliver of a face

Last week for graffiti Sunday, I showed you lots of faces. This week, I bring you just... a sliver. For some reason I was really drawn to this face. I found it in an empty lot near the Schiffbau building in the Zuri West district.
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Saturday, February 24, 2007

grossmünster sunset

This is the view from one of the windows at my office. As you can see, I work practically in the shadow of the Grossmünster church, and sometimes we get amazing sunsets.
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Friday, February 23, 2007

herren salon

I'm not a guy, but I don't think this ratty looking clump of 'hair' (or is it some sort of animal fur? a 'pony tail,' perhaps??) would convince me to get a haircut at this 'Men's Salon' or barbershop.
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Thursday, February 22, 2007

mannequin on the move

I was on my way to work on the tram yesterday when I saw these two girls at a tram stop with a dressmaker's mannequin and a sewing machine. Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough with my camera and my tram started moving, so the picture didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. I like to think that they were fashion design students or something cool like that, and had to lug their equipment across town for a class project or something. It would have been an even more interesting picture if they had boarded my tram with the mannequin and all, but alas, we were going in opposite directions.
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

the train station and the castle

Pictured here is the Zurich Hauptbahnhof (main train station), seen from across the Limmat River. I took this picture from the bridge near the Central tram stop. The fairy tale castle on the right is actually the Landesmuseum, or the Swiss National Museum, which is devoted to Swiss history and culture. In the summer the museum hosts a concert series in its courtyard, and there really is no better setting for an outdoor concert. In December the courtyard comes alive with Christmas lights, an ice-skating rink, and stands serving gluehwein and hot chocolate.
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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

early bloomers

We haven't had much of a winter this year, and flower shops everywhere are already selling spring flowers, like these tulips. And yes, the price tag for the larger bunch is 75 francs (approx. $60)!
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Monday, February 19, 2007

birthday present

Today is my brother's birthday, and since he's crazy about cars, I'm posting this picture of a Porsche. There are plenty of wealthy people in Zurich, so it's quite common to see flashy Porsches and Ferraris zipping around town, but it's usually too hard to take a picture because they zoom past me before I have a chance to whip out my camera. I saw this Porsche when I was out looking for graffiti. It was parked in an alley, of all places, in one of the seedier parts of town (well, as seedy as Zurich gets).
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Sunday, February 18, 2007


Faces like these have been popping up all over town--mostly on lamp posts and the backs of signs. Sometimes city workers will paint over them, and the graffiti artist/tagger will come back and put up a new face.
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Saturday, February 17, 2007

lunch in the sun

It's another unseasonably warm and sunny day in Zurich, and people are enjoying the sunshine at outdoor cafes. This particular cafe/restaurant is the Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten, and it sits on the Limmatquai, which runs along the Limmat river. Just on the other side of the railing in the picture is the river, and the the houses pictured here are actually on the other side of the river.
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Friday, February 16, 2007

watch dog

I always see this dog on top of this high yellow wall across the street from my office. He just sits there and observes the activity on the street below.
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Thursday, February 15, 2007


Zurich has two football ( clubs. One of these is Fussballclub Zurich (FCZ), and the second one is Grasshopper Club Zurich (GCZ). I really love the fact that this club decided to call itself the Grasshoppers--such a fun name for a football team! This sign hangs outside a Grasshopper Club office in the Old Town.

For official websites (in German):


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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

voodoo love doll

This is Swatch's idea of a perfect Valentine's Day gift: a special edition Valentine's Day watch that comes with a voodoo doll so that you can stab or skewer your sweetheart into loving you back. How romantic...Who would have thought that Swiss watchmakers would come up with something so...sneaky?...manipulative...?

It really was not my intention to post twice in the same day, but I just saw this today and was quite pleased with the way the picture turned out, and it really wouldn't make much sense to post this picture on any other random day...

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guardian angel III

This sculpture by Jacques Lipchitz stands near the entrance to the Kunsthaus Zurich. I walk past this piece almost every day and it turns out that what I always thought was an angel, is acually a cubist harp called "Le Chant des Voyelles," several versions of of which are scattered throughout the world. Oh well, I'll just keep pretending it's an angel that sings vowels and protects the museum.
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

guardian angel II

Every single day, this little old woman stands in the exact same spot at the Zurich HB (train station). I've heard that she goes there to pray for all travelers and to send out her blessings to passers-by. Most people don't even notice she's there. Every once in a while a well-wisher will stop by and give her a small gift, like a flower, some chocolates, or a jar of jam, as a token of appreciation.
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Monday, February 12, 2007

guardian angel

This huge angel by Niki de Saint Phalle protects all travelers passing through the Zurich Hauptbahnhof (Zurich main train station).
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Sunday, February 11, 2007

rocket mermaid

I found her on the underside of an overpass near Hardbrucke. Like some other DP bloggers, I'll be posting pictures of graffiti on Sundays. However, I've started with my favorite piece so far, so hopefully it won't all be downhill from here...
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Saturday, February 10, 2007

catching some rays

Yesterday was unusually bright and sunny for winter in Zurich (usually it's gray and dreary). So these teenagers just plopped themselves down in the middle of the street to enjoy the sunshine, and everyone had to walk around them.
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Friday, February 9, 2007


Any Zurich hipster or wannabe hipster has to have a Freitag bag. The Freitag brothers started making these messenger bags in the 1990's by doing what the Swiss do so well: recycling and design. Made from recycled truck tarps and seatbelts, no two are alike. The bags quickly caught on, Freitag soon became synoymous with urban cool, and the line expanded to include bags of all styles, shapes and sizes, wallets, and of course, i-pod cases. Even their flagship store in Zurich is made from a stack of recycled shipping containers. Can't make it all the way to Zurich to pick up one of these trendy bags? You can design your own and have it shipped to you in no time.

*for non-native English speakers unfamiliar with the term: TGIF = Thank God It's Friday
for non-German speakers: Freitag = Friday in German
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Thursday, February 8, 2007

blue light bike

I saw this bike right outside the Zurich HB (train station), leaning against the stairwell to the underground shopping area, and just had to take a picture.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

street pencil

The paper supply and card shop on the left has appropriated one of the street posts.
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Tuesday, February 6, 2007


This little kid was so enthralled by the brightly-colored, moving, spinning toy contraption in the shop window, that he didn't even notice me taking his picture. If you enlarge the picture and zoom in to his reflection in the window, you can see his mouth hanging wide open.
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