An American in Zurich
Finding Fun In the Swiss City – And In It's Bars
PubClub.com's party columnist, The Bartender, enjoys a Zurich club.
ZURICH SWITZERLAND – I could live here.
The place has a lake, a river that runs through the city you can actually swim in and is just two hours from the Swiss Alps. There is history, culture and architecture.
And some 350 bars in an area about the size of the place within Los Angeles where I now reside, the South Bay. Yes, Zurich, Switzerland could be a nice home for The Bartender.
The cool Corazon is The Bartender's hangout in Zurich.
Zurich has a reputation built around its hard-going clubs and clubbers, but sometimes it's the laid-back lounges like Corazon in Niederdorf, and the people in it, that provide the true pulse of a place.
Zurich is sophisticated but also somewhat simple. Classy but not conceited.
The women are naturally beautiful with a great flair for fashion. They all, it seems, wear nice clothes with stylish boots. And while the men do need to learn a bit of Southern USA manners by doing things like opening doors for their ladies, they are generally a friendly lot.
I was there in March but can't wait to see the place in the summer. That's when the city really comes alive, with people strolling the streets of Old Town, sipping a beer with their feet in the River Limmat – yes, it's legal to drink in the streets – or actually swimming in the river. In what other major city in the world can its residents actually swim in the river that runs through it?
Well, okay, also in Bern, the Swiss capital, an hour away. But to an American, this is absolutely unheard of, a nearly unfathomable reality. They even have bathhouses along the river for changing into and out of swimwear. And you know what – after the bathhouses perform their designated function, they become bars.
Each August (Aug. 8 in '09), there is a giant techno parade along the lake that attracts hundreds of thousands and is one of Europe's biggest parties. It's known as the Zurich Street Parade.
Sign me up!
Much of my Zurich time was spent in Old Town. The "hip and happening" place may be Zurich West, but I'm more of a pubber than a clubber when it comes to nightlife and I found a few places that fit my drinking demeanor.
In addition to the aforementioned Corozon, a popular little Euro-style cafe with big beers and an atmosphere as warm as the decor, there's the no-holds-bar Bierhalle Wolfe. This is a year-round Oktoberfest with picnic tables sturdy enough to support people dancing on them and a crazy crowd singing to the sounds of a German oompa band.
Then there is theSplendid Bar, which I found to be just superior. There was an American named Mark Rosier at the keyboard when I was there and he came up with a sensational version of Jimmy Buffett's One Particular Harbor just for me on the spot,
Thanks, Mark, for this awesome version of a great song!
Mark and I are now friends and you know what – Zurich and I are now friends, as well.
The Bartender, currently a resident of Manhattan Beach, CA, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
PubClub.com's Zurich Nightlife Article
© 2009. All rights reserved.