Friday, August 31, 2007


A capoeira class practicing in the park behind the Landesmuseum

Thursday, August 30, 2007

walking heads

According to legend, siblings Felix and Regula, along with their servant Exuperantius, were Roman Christians who fled to Zürich from the massacre of their legion in Valais in the third century AD. They were decapitated at the site of the Wasserkirche on the Limmat River for refusing to pray to the Roman gods. Following their execution, the martyrs picked up their heads and walked up the hill to the spot where they wished to be buried. Centuries later, when Charlemagne arrived at the gravesite of the three martyrs, his horse suddenly went down on its knees in deference to the saints buried there. Charlemagne then decided to found a church, which later became today's Grossmünster--one of the city's main landmarks.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

playing with fire

Street performer at the Zürcher Theater Spektakel, which runs until this Sunday.

Monday, August 27, 2007

la locura

There was definitely no shortage of events, street parties, neighborhood festivals, and outdoor concerts in town this past weekend: Dörflifäscht in the Old Town, Röntgenplatz Fest in Kreis 5, Limmatschwimmen, Zürcher Theater Spektakel, and not to mention the wonderful last blast of summer weather we just had this weekend (after weeks of rain). This partly explains my lackadaisical posting recently--I've been so busy outside enjoying the city and the weather, that I've hardly been home long enough to download, sort and post pictures. (yeah, I cheated a bit and backposted a few). Pictured here is a Swiss band called "Fiji" performing at La Locura festival by the lake in Wollishofen-- an alternative arts event that ran parallel to the larger scale Theater Spektakel, featuring theatre and dance performances, street performers, art activities for kids, outdoor concerts, DJs, food stalls and vendors.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

legalize it!


found on the ceiling of an underpass at Wollishofen train station.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Saturday I participated in what is supposed to be an annual swim down the Limmat River. The event was cancelled the last two years due to cold water temperatures, rain, and rough currents. This year we finally lucked out with the weather and we had beautiful 26C degree temparatures and plenty of sunshine. However, the usual 2km route was cut short because of some construction further downstream, and this year the swim started at the Frauenbadi, down 1,330 m, under 6 bridges, past the Hauptbahnhof (Zürich's main train station) and ending at the Landesmuseum (usually it goes to the Oberer Letten, further down). Most people don't actually swim, an instead hold on to a floatation device provided by the event organizers, and simply let the current carry them down. Some people, like the guys above, bring their own dinghies. It's really fun and relaxing to float, swim, and play around in parts of the river that are usually closed to swimmers. However, after about 25 minutes in chilly 22C water, people start to get cold. So at the end, participants are treated to some hot tea, bratwurst and Rivella (Swiss soft drink).

Friday, August 24, 2007

karl der grosse

This image of Karl der Grosse, the German name for Charlemagne, sits above the entrance to the Zentrum Karl der Grosse, a restaurant and cultural center sitting in the shadow of the Grossmünster. According to legend, Charlemagne decided to found the Grossmünster on its current site, when his horse fell to its knees over the tombs of Felix and Regula, the city's patron saints, who had deserted their Roman legion and were later decapitated at the site of the nearby Wasserkirche.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Every evening during the month of August, the Landesmuseum hosts The musuem's courtyard becomes a popular, though temporary, outdoor bar/radio station where people meet for after work drinks, grab something to eat, sit by the Limmat nearby, dance on the dance floor under the tent, or just hang out and listen to the DJs spinning chillout type electronic music, which is also broadcast live from the courtyard (live streaming also available on the rundfunk website). It's too bad the radio station only broadcasts for one month out of the year, because is one of Zürich's only radio stations that I actually don't mind listening to.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


At lunchtime today I wandered over to Bürkliplatz, where car enthusiasts and collectors had assembled to take a look at over 70 vintage cars which, starting tomorrow, will be participating in an annual three-day Raid Rally (warning: website has annoying sound that can't be turned off) from Basel to Paris.

A few more pictures here--mostly for my dad's benefit because it's his birthday today. Oh yeah, also for my brother because he's crazy about cars too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

black sky

Just another pretty sight on Oberdorfstrasse in the Old Town: one of the Grossmünster's sunlit spires set against an ominous looking sky, and some cool outdoor chairs at a sidewalk cafe.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Apologies for missing a few days, but I was out of town, with no access to internet, computers, or even electricity! Here's a little glimpse of what I saw somewhere in the French part of Switzerland...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Zürich goes Hollywood

All day yesterday, some scenes for an upcoming Swiss film were being shot in the Old Town. As I walked by, I stopped to take to take a few pictures, but was promptly told by one of the guys on the film crew that I wasn't allowed to do so. So, in true paparazzi form, I hid in a building across the street (i.e. my office), and proceeded to take pictures from the window. Unfortunately, the huge tree obstructed most of the view.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


A little kid somewhere is crying...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Before the party even ended, crews were out picking up trash and collecting recyclables. By Sunday afternoon, Zürich was back to its usual clean, quiet, buttoned-up self.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Street Parade III


Click here for a few more pictures.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Street Parade II

One really tall man in drag. Isn't he pretty?

More pictures to come in the next few days...still sorting through them.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Street Parade

Over 800,000 people in various states of dress (and undress) descended upon downtown Zürich for a day for partying in the streets. 20 or so trucks, or 'Lovemobiles,' as they like to call them, with dancers and DJ's blasting electronic music followed a route along part of the lake to Bellevue, over the bridge to Bürkliplatz, and then part of the way down the other side the lake. Revellers followed the trucks with their favorite version of trance or house music, and then danced into the night (and morning) at various after parties, many with super-star DJs, scattered throughout town.

Body paint, wigs, outrageous outfits, crazy dancing: the Swiss as you'd never expect to see them...

Pictured here are some people partying on one of the Lovemobiles.

Here, the couple on the right was attempting some crazy dance move, but the girl on the left ended up getting kicked in the head right after I snapped this picture. She didn't seem to mind, though...

Friday, August 10, 2007

gearing up...

...for Street Parade--Zurich's annual 24-hour techno extravaganza, which takes place the second weekend of August.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

yup, still raining...

...last night: soaked jeans and ruined shoes ...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

getting wet...

...while waiting at my tram stop in the rain

Monday, August 6, 2007

zürich cubed

Enjoying the summer this evening by the lake in the Wollishofen neighborhood.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


These distintive looking characters by someone named 'Tika' can be found all over town. I've collected several pictures of these, and will post more eventually.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

ramshackle rally

I have no idea what this was all about, but this car parked on the Limmatquai today just made me laugh.

Friday, August 3, 2007

children at play

Caution sign found on a street in the Höngg neighborhood. I find all the detail that went into this sign pretty amusing: the jump rope, the pigtails, the 'movement lines' and, most of all, the bulge that was added to make room for soccer ball.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

fire & light

In addition to fireworks, Swiss National Day celebrations yesterday also included bonfires, barbecue parties, and patriotic paper lanterns.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

patriotic breakfast

As always, the first day of the month is Daily Photo Theme Day, and today's theme is "a typical breakfast" Though not necessarily your typical Swiss breakfast, this most certainly is a special occasion breakfast, as August 1st also happens to be Swiss National Day. So, I went out and picked up some patriotic goodies from the bakery. The bread in the foreground is a special edition of a buttery zopf (normally it's shaped like a braid; today the top is shaped like a Swiss cross), which is traditionally eaten on Sundays. The red pastry is a mandel tortli (almond tart), and in the back we have some cookies with jam.

To all the Swiss out there: Happy Switzerland Day!

To see what people in 100 cities around the world are enjoying for breakfast today, follow the links below.

En guete!*

Saint Paul (MN), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - New York City (NY), USA - Tel Aviv, Israel - Hyde, UK - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Stockholm, Sweden - Paderborn, Germany - Singapore, Singapore - Haninge, Sweden - Nottingham, UK - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Manila, Philippines - Boston (MA), USA - Seoul, Korea - Singapore, Singapore - Joplin (MO), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Paris, France - Sequim (WA), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Boston (MA), USA - Chennai, India - Madison (WI), USA - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Toulouse, France - Seattle (WA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - La Antigua, Guatemala - Selma (AL), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Sheki, Azerbaijan - Sydney, Australia - Mumbai, India - Seoul, South Korea - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - New Orleans (LA), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Villigen, Switzerland - Montréal (QC), Canada - Stayton (OR), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Moscow, Russia - Springfield (MO), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Arlington (VA), USA - Cologne (NRW), Germany - Anderson (SC), USA - Oslo, Norway - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Manila, Philippines - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Stavanger, Norway - Bastia, France - Hong Kong, China - Wailea (HI), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Sydney, Australia - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Kansas City (MO), USA - Grenoble, France - Paris, France - Evry, France - Saigon, Vietnam - Prague, Czech Republic - Cape Town, South Africa - Brookville (OH), USA - Brussels, Belgium - San Diego (CA), USA - Wellington, New Zealand - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Shanghai, China - Zurich, Switzerland - North Bay (ON), Canada - Lyon, France - Naples (FL), USA - Olympia (WA), USA

*'Bon appetite' in Swiss German