Tag Archives: Zurich

Grand Personnage

The resemblance is nothing if not uncanny.

Life Is A Roof

There’s something about being on a rooftop. Padding around on the tin or the tiles, you are on your own patch but united with an expanded landscape.

Elevation provides, at worst, a sense of dominion, at best, awe and gratitude; an understanding of yourself as a contributor to the whole; an awareness that your actions matter but that many of the concerns of your life will pass. At ground level, structures hem you in and press your cares close. Given a little elevation, perspective (and possibly, release), kicks in.

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Hand-held History

When I visited the umbrella museum near Stresa in Italy (I recommend it – such variety) a few years ago, my curiosity was piqued. I vowed to seek other special-focus museums in my travels.

The porcelain museum in Zurich fitted this brief quite nicely so I decided to have a peek.

“The porcelain museum has all the trappings of excitement,” the BB said when I told him of my upcoming adventure. Little did he know. Porcelain is hand-held history. But the history and the excitement start before one reaches the display. Continue reading

The Case For Chess As An Olympic Sport

I’ve always been a little doubtful about the proposition that chess should be included in the Olympics. All the current and previously included activities are physically active or at least involve standing up. Chess simply does not fit that category. It’s not actually exercise is it?

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Time Travel Toys

A cardboard box and a stick, that’s all children need to keep them occupied. But if you want to see some of the other things adults have given children over the years to keep them happy, pop on down to the Toy Museum in Zurich. It is a place of quiet, time-travel adventure.

Juxtaposed with a modern exhibition area, the toys from the 1800s to present day are displayed in easy-to-see cabinets. I wandered past windup toys, dollhouses (An excellent way to see how technology and changing societal mores have affected everyday life. What role do they play in cementing a player’s role in society?), trains, cars, soldiers and stuffed animals, to name a few. Continue reading

Fountains of Innovation

Now this I like: a Zurich street-side drinking fountain with a built-in bowl at the bottom for dogs. Or crawling babies. Or people struggling home after a serious night out. You can have a quiet sit down or use the bench as a step if you’re small. You don’t even have to turn it on. This is a drinking fountain with everything. Continue reading

Intact Horses and the Time-Space Continuum

After the recent unsettling business at the Kunsthaus I thought I’d treat myself to a live horse.

My nose lead the way from the train to the Wildnispark. The pleasing earthy smell of manure and large animal had crept down the hill and sneaked under the boundary fence. If you have a cold when you visit, follow the signs. Continue reading