By Viktoria Rajnak
Finally, summer has arrived with temperatures making it perfect for lounging outdoors. The heat naturally attracts us closer to the water, and there is a wide choice of different places to have drinks and hang out. I like to enjoy the warm lakeside breeze at the following lounges:
Starting off at rive droite at La Terrasse (web cam), which has a sublime location right by the water. As soon as the summer sun appears, so does this terrace.
This is the perfect stop when walking along the quai at any time of the day. If coming by boat you can refresh yourself with a cold beer, while your boat is being re-fuelled.
After winding your way to the other side of the lake, you will find some well-known places that have been here for years, as well as some newbies.
The Moët floating bar – the Jetlounge – is brand new, decorated entirely in white. It is built on a barge lying between the Neptune boat and the Jet d’eau.
Even though it’s only temporary, they have managed to create a luxurious lounge with a chic feeling. It’s open until the end of July.
If you’re looking for more than a drink, the Geneva Art Festival has cultural programs for all audiences running until 26 August. The exterior is a re-assemby of the Colosseum.
They have performances, live music, entertainment for the kids, and also cinema evenings.
In the same place, but with a separate entrance, sits the Geneva Art café. It occupies two floors with a magnificent terrace overlooking the lake.
They share a stony beach with access to the lake if you wish to take a dip to cool down.
Others prepare their windsurfs for action, or just work on their tan, lying on the big rocks surrounding the beach. Instructors and equipment for most popular kinds of water sports can be booked or rented here.
All of the terraces have music, and there is no doubt the holiday mood is present.
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Viktoria Rajnak is a frequent contributor to GenevaLunch
By Viktoria Rajnak
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – When I was just a teenager, I used to hang out at with friends at the Carpe Diem Café, in the heart of Geneva. We would meet there in the afternoons, but mostly on weekend nights. There were DJs with fresh and new music, a party mood that was always charged and each time was a great time. A couple of years later, I walk into what has replaced it, Hold Up Art, which recently opened.
Standing at the door: I am filled with nostalgic emotions but curious to see the transformation.
The first impression doesn’t disappoint me. A small terrace at the entrance works perfectly well in wintertime, you can smoke shishas covered up in a blanket if you want to. Inside the music is blasting and the lights blinding. It’s like a mini-club with tables and a bar full of people. Hold Up Art is a bar/art lounge of its own style, inspired by Pop Art and Street Art. Other cities they plan to expand to are Paris, London and Dubai.
The pieces of art on display are for sale and new ones come in every month. The ceiling painting is renewed every six months. The interior is in constant change of decoration, and it’s what makes this place exciting to return to. Hold Up want to promote new talents so the DJs are renewed even more frequently than the pieces of art. Everything about it is original, the cage-like DJ booth, shots in what resembles a rack filled with test tubes and the displays downstairs. The place is also available for private events and catering.
The contemporary art all over the place is closely matched by a contemporary attitude making good use of social media: a nice homepage, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Finally someone who is going with the mainstream flow!
The spirit as described on the homepage: “Pass by and see for yourself, weekly new DJ’s, saxo’s, shishas, shots and EVERY DAY WE SHUFFLING !!!”
Hold Up Art
Rue du port 4 , 1204 , Geneva
by Viktoria Rajnak
Let me introduce you to two of my favorite shops in Geneva that share a similar concept: Hot Box and Butterfly, both of which were great for gifts, and now that the January sales are here young people will be heading back through their doors.
Once you’ve passed the doorstep it’s difficult to leave empty-handed unless your wallet is anorexic.
My friends and family know that if they get me something from here they cannot get it wrong. I believe this is the case for many young people.
As I enter the shop, several different events present themselves in my head: cozy sweatpants for home, jackets for the ski slopes, dresses for a party, or jeans for just an ordinary day. Sporty, elegant, chic—you name it! You can go for any style you like.
The shelves are packed with well-known jeans brands all the way up to the roof. The tags include 7 for all mankind, Citizens of Humanity, J Brand, Blank NYC and many more. The rest of the shelves are neatly filled with Juicy Couture sets, Scarlett sweaters in all the colors of the rainbow, as well as funky t-shirts with text. Latest item in is the Alberto Bini cashmere sweater with the words “Love” or “Dream” written on the back.
On one hanger there’s fur, on the next one you see glitter. Sparkling party tops and dresses, beautiful tunics with studs, sequins or Swarovski crystals. Suspended are Moncler and Parajumpers jackets and vests. The small goodies around the cashier’ s desk look very tempting to the eyes: Hanky Panky lace thongs, fun bracelets, and unique belts.
And that’s not all! The other half of Hot Box is for men. I recommend the beautiful shirts from Drunkenoala. The shirts have either an accent color, or a pattern on the collar, the end of the sleeves and on the seam down the middle. Very classy!
The clothes are very popular among students. Despite that they only have a number of copies of each item, I ran into a friend dressed in the same top I was wearing at last year’s New Year’s party in the mountains. We both burst into laughter, taken by surprise.
An extra little detail that I love is the fragrance of the shop that follows you home in the paper wrapped around the clothes. There is a certain magic of scents. They can evoke memories and feelings. Sort of a discrete marketing trick – reminds you of the shop.
Hot Box: 1st floor, Confédération Centre de Genève
Butterfly: 4, Rue du vieux-collège
Viktoria Rajnak is a business student at HEC in Geneva, where she has lived since 2003. She writes a blog, Remove Before Flight Blog and she will be contributing occasional guest posts here on a variety of topics including nightlift and shopping in Geneva.
BERN, SWITZERLAND – GenevaLunch is posting here a letter received from Cathy Marston, choreographer-director, Bern-Ballett, following our article about a vicious attack on 19-year-old dancer Jack Widdowson in the centre of Cardiff Saturday night 4 November. He remains in critical condition. Art-TV Switzerland shows him performing (at minute 1:08) in this trailer of last week’s premiere.
From Cathy Marston
Jack has been an apprentice dancer with the Bern:Ballett since August through our collaboration with the London Contemporary Dance School. He is on a post-Graduate course in performance.
Although he only started dancing a few years ago he has enormous talent.
His creativity and dedication are inspiring to all around him and he is very hungry to learn from the experienced dancers around him.
On Thursday 3 November he danced the role of Demetrius in our world premiere “Ein Winternachtstraum” (“A Mid-Winter’s Nights Dream”, after Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream) with my choreography.
He had jumped into this solo role from the corps de ballet after another one of the company’s dancers broke his arm three weeks beforehand. Jack was wonderful on stage and displayed a great ‘presence.’
As choreographer and director of the Bern:Ballett I am devastated that such a talent may not be able to develop.
The dancers of the company are shocked and upset; Jack is a much loved, funny and kind colleague.
We are hopeful though, that his determination to recover will bring him back to us in due course.’
Thank you for your work to find the person who did this to Jack.
By Bill Harby, ExpatCH
Can you hear it? Can you hear that magical sound outside my window?
Well of course you can’t, but I hope you’ll forgive my silliness because I’m under the spell of perhaps the most quintessential Swiss sound there is. No, not the ticking of a 5,000-franc watch. Nor the whistle of another approaching train that has arrived exactly on time down to the second. Nor the drone of alpine horns in the Ricola commercial. Nor even a yodeling fraulein bouncing her arpeggios off of alpine peaks.
No, I’m talking about cowbells, of course.
A few days ago, I was sitting at my desk madly trying to make a deadline when that suddenly became impossible thanks to the melodious clanging of bells tumbling through my window.
I live across the lane from a farm. The field right outside is planted with oats and alfalfa that is destined to be hay for cowfeed. But just beyond is a rolling pasture that has been getting thicker each day with long grass and buttery bright dandelions. I’d read that one of the signs of Swiss spring is when the cows return from their winter barns into the pastures. Now, here came 10 very happy cows, gamboling through the grass like death-row cellmates who’d just gotten liberating DNA test results. And each one wore a wide leather collar upon which hung a big brass bell.
Their music reminded me of a girl’s bell choir I once heard in a church, except the cows weren’t wearing lacy dresses, and their bells were full of chaotic joy.
Of course, I’m anthropomorphizing worse than William Wordsworth, but cut me some slack, I’ve never lived by a farm before.
Now, here I sit on this otherwise silent Sunday morning, again watching the happy music-making cows even as I type, and I am happy too. Such a bucolic scene is utterly charming to a suburb-bred American, especially since I know those munching cows are cheese machines on the hoof. For I am a new and enthusiastic fan of Swiss cheeses — but my pilgrimage to Gruyère is a story for another time.
This morning, I am half tempted to go frolic with those contented cows, but of course, then I would also be frolicking with fresh, steaming cow pies. I think I’ll just go have a chunk of cheese, instead.
And by the way, if I ever write about being sick of the incessant, monotonous, tuneless noise of cowbells! just hit me in the face with one of those cowpies.
Reviewed by Peter Gaechter
Jo Meynent opened his second one-man show in as many years at the Palais d’Athenée Tuesday 1 September. Last year’s expo was more of a retrospective. Its success, however, paved the way for today’s show, in which Meynent presents many new works, most quite large. The dominant theme – in a show that is eclectic in style and especially in mood – is colour. Meynent is a master of colour, and this show demonstrates the breadth of his use of colour.
His new triptych, Visions d’un griot, are three related canvases with strong outlines of strangely nebulous animals, expressed in strong primary colours. A winter scene, Le Grand Nord, is something that evokes either peace or utter desolation, painted with bleak greys, whites, and darks, a winter landscape of the soul.
His range is perhaps best appreciated in the smaller, secondary room that holds 17 smaller pieces. It is almost like a second exposition.
The works on display are few, a total of only about 35 works, and the multiplicity of styles can be disconcerting to some. In part this is because Meynent’s oeuvre covers almost 30 years and he has an enormous stock of paintings, only some of which are on show. This outward diversity is brought together by a theme that runs through all of his work: a singularity of spirit, a mix of fantasy and mysticism.
An inveterate collecter of civilization’s detritus, Meynent has sprinkled his show with objets that he has fashioned into pieces worthy of being called art. His totem guards a corner, and a crippled galvanized iron grill says heaps about things that served a purpose but no longer do. My favourite is the “eyes in the bell”. For a totally zen moment, though, look at the two smooth, round stones from a mountain stream with a horseshoe nail in each.
Peter Gaechter is a Lake Geneva area resident who occasionally contributes GenevaLunch guest blog posts on a variety of topics.
by Peter Gaechter
My wife and I looked at each other and half-shrugged. “A little disappointing”, she said. I agreed. The Rodin érotique exhibition at the Fondation Gianadda in Martigny, Valais, which closed 14 June, left a little to be desired, we thought. I have often had this feeling at Gianadda, too often for it to be a fluke.
Nyon Film Festival 2009
Peter Kerekes’ film, “Cooking History,” opens with an elderly German baker and World War II veteran proclaiming, “German bread is the best in the world.”
The film then cuts to the baker and three other war veterans trekking through the forest and singing battle hymns.
Nyon film festival 2009
by Jillian Hudson
The very essence of waiting and wanting seep through the screen in Bettina Haasen’s, “Hotel Sahara.” Heart-stopping cinematography coupled with a haunting soundtrack made this a film to remember. Haasen gives a voice to the dreams and desires of Africans in the westernmost point in Mauritania where they wait to attempt an illegal crossing to Spain by sea.
In “C’est Notre Histoire,” the filmmaker Frank Wimart retraces the trajectory of his absentee father’s life, beginning from the younger Wimart’s 30th year to the moment his father, Jean-Pierre literally sailed away from the family 25 years before. As Wimart unwravels his father’s convoluted past, he begins to discover if not to understand, the injuries that plagued Jean-Pierre and made him capable of abandoning his wife and young child.