What better way to cure those January Blues this week than dreaming of the warm springtime and riding your brand-spanking new bike along the city streets to looks of jealous amazement. What’s that you say? You haven’t got a new...
A good meal comes with good wine. I often find unique characters at
Smith & Smith that stand out of the crowd. For example the wines that are named after our city patrons: «Felix» a charming red wine and «Regula» a discreet and easy-going white. To cure your January blues – or to maybe drown them – I have three sets with three red and three white wines each to give away. Just send me an
It always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to point you in the direction of a great band or show that’s coming to town but sometimes it’s the new, the unknown, the just plain amateur that can offer up unexpected delights. With this in mind, I wanted to let you know about the jam sessions and open mic nights that take place around town. Thursdays at
Restaurant Falcone is the blues, rock and soul jam session. An ever-revolving cast of musicians that jump on stage and sound better than many rehearsed bands. On Mondays,
Bar Rossi have their Spaced Out night where actors, writers and musicians get to star in their own one wo/man show. On Wednesdays at
Plaza is The Open Mic Show where anything from drag-queens to poets get their chance in the spotlight. Also on Wednesdays is the Open Jam Session at Langstars. They provide the stage and equipment, and the musicians provide the jam. If you also want to perform, some require registration, others are just a leap-on-stage away. Thursday 9 pm, Restaurant Falcone Monday 8 pm, Bar Rossi Wednesday 8 pm, Plaza and Langstars
Game: Global gaming
Video games are fast becoming the dominant media experience for many people. Whether it's on a smart phone, social network and especially on a console, games now have bigger budgets, character development and emotional immersion than most movies, books or music. The GlobalGame Jam, taking place at
Rote Fabrik this weekend, sees thousands of people and locations connected around the world as they come together in small teams to design and build new games within 48 hours. This isn't only for the computer programming nerds among us, as aspects of design, music, story telling and just good old creativity will all be required. The Game Jam's doors are open to all, whether you take part or not, and you can join any team whose ideas interest you, although expect a pretty
sleepless 48 hours.
Registration is required. Friday 5 pm to Sunday, Rote Fabrik, Dock 18
Party: Start to Finnish
What with all of this extra cold weather we’ve been having lately, it seems silly not to go all the way and import a little bit of Finland into our midst, and what better way to celebrate a nation that likes to get hot and steamy in small rooms than the Suomi Disko at
Exil. Resident djs Kersantti Kankkunen and Pikku E will be playing Finnish music from traditional polka and pop to Finnish hip-hop and the lesser-known Nordic reggae. As well as the dj set, Finnish troubadour Hullu-Jussi will be on hand to play live. This will all be topped off with servings of Finnish beer and food.
Kippis, my Finnish, and soon-to-be Finnish, friends. Friday 11 pm, Exil
Concert: Swedish sounds
Despite the fact that
Vita Bergen record their music in one of this Swedish duo’s bedroom, it sounds as if it were made to be played from a mountaintop, just as the sun rises over an unsuspecting world. They have the emotional urgency of the early Arcade Fire records, and have been bubbling up in the Swedish underground for a couple of years now. Their debut EP was recently released after a music industry rush to sign them and they’ll be playing at
Rote Fabrik on Friday. Friday 9 pm, Rote Fabrik
Stage: Go west
In a dusty corner of YouTube lies a short, unassuming home video of a long forgotten family karaoke party. The Gob Squad, a joint German/UK performance group, sees this unspectacular starting point as a way to explore the state of Western civilisation in the 21st Century. Recreating the scene with live camera projections, music, props and a little help from randomly selected audience members (watch out for flying cuddly toys) they unravel what may seem mundane into a glitzy, glam, funny critique
of our society.
Western Society will be playing at Gessnerallee on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday 9 pm, Sunday 6 pm, Gessnerallee
Sport: Born to run
There’s either a sneaky mass evacuation happening in town, with lycra being the only clothing people have the ability to take with them or a lot more people have started to jog in the New Year. Let’s assume it’s the latter and, as crazy as this may sound, let’s assume you’re one of them. If you need a little group motivation to get you going, or just like to breathe heavily with strangers outside, you might want to try
City Running. Throughout the week, and with specials on Sunday, you can meet up at various fixed locations to join others on routes around town. Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 7 pm, various locations
It felt like an embrace of a good friend when I walked into
Wohnzimmerbar last Friday. The locale was filled with laughter, good music, cosy sofas and a well-stocked bar, just the right place to settle down for a nightcap. Or two. From the bar you see straight into the tram depot, which gives an urban edge to the living-room-atmosphere. As it is with good friends, time just flies, and at once the depot lies in the dark and you realize that your night cap turned into (another) late night.
Wohnzimmerbar, Kalkbreitestrasse 10, 8003. Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 5 pm to 1 am, Friday and Saturday 4 pm to 2.30 am, Sunday 1 pm to 0.30 am (with concerts)
Good to know: Curling
I loved the winter wonderland we experienced over New Year. Unfortunately, snow is a feeble friend that already left us and maybe never returns. To find winter spirit, you have two options. A: Head to the mountains. B: Try curling. Dolder is known to have the prettiest ice rink in town and it also sports a curling hall. They offer
a basic course (next one starting from Monday, 26th January for 200 francs per person) as well as
individual try outs with max five people. To complete your day out, combine it with brunch, lunch or dinner at Dolder or head to the ice rink where a lot of Glühwein awaits you. The ice rink is currently under repair, but reopens on Tuesday.
Shopping tip: From gold to dust
Between beautiful vintage furniture there are unique pieces of art to be discovered at the pop up shop
Rost & Gold. Amongst them are photos, paintings, illustrations and hand-crafted goods by Saskia Widmer and Janet Müller. This treasure hunt will close its doors this Saturday (which is the destiny of every pop up shop). But I have two vouchers to give away for 100 francs to spend there, before they’re gone. Just send me an e-mail.
Rost& Gold Talstrasse 37, 8001. Opening hours: Thursday & Friday 11.30 am to 6.30 pm, Saturday 11 am to 6 pm