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  #61  
Old 03.09.2015, 17:01
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

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Drive down from Lenzerheide to experience the true horror of chur...
It may indeed have a charming centre, but the outskirts are hideous.

My point was not about the 'beautiful old towns of Switzerland' my point was that the new buildings are 'uninspiring'. You've completely misunderestimated my point.
East of Masanserstrasse between Ring and the town is "good"
The quadrant of Ring, Masanser, Plessur and Graben is patchy - there are some very pretty Jugendstil building and single-family houses but some of the sections above Segatini are classic "Swiss" blocks typical of the town expansions of the 60s.
North of Ring is the same.
The development between Maxiserstrasse and the Plessur is "interesting" - inside it is nicely laid out and there seems a reasonable level of community - and the other side of the valley is beautfiul with Grammar school and monestry.
The Plessur, Motorway, Umfahrung-Sud which is less attractive - and the bloody great tower hasn't changed that. Some of the old industrial buildings (in the narrow point of the triangle before Ringstrasse) are characterful.

Overall despite some dreariness Chur is overall a pretty place.

(^^^All that is based on having run pretty much all the streets in the area over the last 10 years )
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  #62  
Old 03.09.2015, 18:03
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

Relax have a pint or two and stay away from winterthur


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  #63  
Old 03.09.2015, 18:05
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

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What does that mean? It's not a word I've come across before.


http://lmgtfy.com/?q=misunderestimate
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  #64  
Old 03.09.2015, 18:24
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

Oh one of those stupid made up words then.

Your post still said that all Swiss architecture ever falls into three categories so nothing to misunderstand in that.
You then backtracked on it in your subsequent post and claimed that that wasn't what you meant.

I think you've seriously misunderestimated the average EF reader in assuming that they can read your mind and interpret your posts as something completely different from what you've actually written.

Last edited by Belgianmum; 03.09.2015 at 19:13.
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  #65  
Old 03.09.2015, 18:30
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

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I think you've seriously misunderestimated the average EF reader in assuming that they can read your mind and interpret your posts as something completely different from what you've actually written.
Isn't that what the EF is all about?

The best threads are those where we're all talking about completely different things but somehow think we're all in agreement.

I think we need to replace the groan and thanks buttons by misunderestimate and misoverestimate.
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  #66  
Old 03.09.2015, 18:43
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

I'm always amazed at how pretty the ugly places are in Switzerland. Think of Kloten or Bruttisellen or Dietlikon and you think horrid places packed with nasty 60s blocks - and yes you'd be right for vast swathes of the outer areas which were developed in that time period - but all of them have pretty parts with single family homes which were properly designed for the original inhabitants and centres that date back to when they were villages and not part of the urban sprawl - with 100-200 year old buildings that would be right at home in any rural Swiss village.

In the UK huge chunks of it are covered in carbon-copy housing estates from the big builders. As a child I live in a 3-bed semi on housing estate built in the 70s - and I could have gone to any town across the west of England and found the same house - identical. It was one of a number of 3-bed semi that the builder Westbury did at the time.

I was in Montreux on Saturday and "new" COOP (with flats above) in the centre, although another piece of steel and concrete, actually sat nicely in its surroundings of old town buildings and glorious old Credit Suisse bank.

Switzerland's town and cities can be homegenous if you don't open your eyes, in exactly the same way any town or city in any country can be.
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Old 03.09.2015, 18:48
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

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Oh one of those stupid made up words then.

Your post still said that all Swiss architecture ever falls into three categories so nothing to misunderstand in that.
You then backtracked on it in your subsequent post and claimed that that wasn't what you meant.

I think you've seriously misunderestimated the average EF reader in assuming that they can read your mind and interpret your posts as something completely different from what you've actually written.
Don't worry, it wasn't the only made-up word in this thread
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  #68  
Old 03.09.2015, 19:12
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

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I'm always amazed at how pretty the ugly places are in Switzerland. Think of Kloten or Bruttisellen or Dietlikon and you think horrid places packed with nasty 60s blocks - and yes you'd be right for vast swathes of the outer areas which were developed in that time period - but all of them have pretty parts with single family homes which were properly designed for the original inhabitants and centres that date back to when they were villages and not part of the urban sprawl - with 100-200 year old buildings that would be right at home in any rural Swiss village.
Even most of the Swiss have a the wrong impression about many towns. A prime example is Spreitenbach. It was a model town in the 60ies, with one feature that you can find in many German towns but unfortunately only in a few Swiss one. The main transit road is wide, big, and most importantly far from the actual town center which features, for many quite unexpectedly, some old and nice farm houses. If you stay on the transit road, the only thing you see is the shopping centers and the ugly high rises.

One thing I really like about Switzerland is that from the style of the houses you can say where in Switzerland you are. Just one look and I can say, Upper Wallis, Lower Wallis, Grison, Bernese Alps, Emmental, Zurich, Appenzell, Ticino etc. it is very far from being homogenous. You could never pull a Dr. Who where they use Cardiff as London, or like many US productions which where shot in Canada but show 'New York', 'Chicago', etc. or any Small Town U.S.A.

Additionally, the building styles over the last 100 years can be recognized. One is able to tell, just from look, in which decade a building was build. There is no homogeneity over modern time either.

From time back to space again: As most European towns grew naturally and were never really systematically planed, or replaned (Paris for example) or rebuilt (part of Lisbon) their layout is very distinct and an unique feature.
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  #69  
Old 03.09.2015, 19:19
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

Yeah, great post and so true about each region having very specific architecture which is instantly recognisable. Our house ia a typical Neuchâtel farmhouse, called Maison Franc-Comtoise across the border the Doubs- and only ever found in the Jura.

Of course there are such specificities in the UK too- The Cotswolds and Rutland stone and slate (stone actually, Collyweston in Rutland) are unique- and in North Leicestershire, the Granit and slate houses are unique too- but then the rest of the Midlands is the same brick and tiles for vast areas. Anyone waking up in a village of flint covered houses with brick corners will know instantly they are in Norfolk, etc.
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  #70  
Old 15.09.2015, 22:46
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

An American expat's somewhat sobering view on Switzerland and his impression of Zurich and Basel.

"So Zurich, or more specifically the old part of Zurich, is resolutely charming, and right through the charming bit runs a street that starts out as the Niederdorfstrasse and then becomes the Munstergasse before it stops being interesting again and turns more typically Swiss. This is the least boring street of any appreciable size in Switzerland.

The whole length of the Niederdorf/Munster street is pedestrian. No cars. That’s always nice, now isn’t it? But the interesting thing about this street is that it’s full of people, generally young people, who are talking and laughing and stopping in to the restaurants and the nightclubs and the cabarets that line it and are having a pretty good old time in general. This generates a buzz of the kind that is all too rare in Switzerland."

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/s...-boring-street

Basel: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/the-basel-rathaus
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  #71  
Old 15.09.2015, 23:01
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

And from the FT (via SwissInfo), 'Why Happy Is Boring':

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/best-lis...oring/41661696
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  #72  
Old 16.09.2015, 06:03
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

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This shouldn't be any surprise, given that Zurich isn't a large city.


For a city of its size, though, it's remarkably diverse and well served with cultural events.


You'd be better comparing Zurich to somewhere like Leicester: it's the same size, yet nowhere near as cosmopolitan, and it's something of a cultural wasteland. I don't recall James Joyce, Lenin and the Dada artists spending much time in the Globe, do you?

up to less than 300 years ago, Zürich had two sister cities of comparable size, Strassburg and Konstanz, while the giant of those days, Basel, has become a fairly small place in the meantime
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  #73  
Old 16.09.2015, 10:07
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

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But the interesting thing about this street is that it’s full of people, generally young people, who are talking and laughing and stopping in to ... the cabarets that line it and are having a pretty good old time in general.
is the author of that piece making a confession here?
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  #74  
Old 16.09.2015, 10:36
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

One gets the impression that the author of that piece never made it as far as Langstrasse (or anywhere else, by the looks of it).
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  #75  
Old 16.09.2015, 10:55
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

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One gets the impression that the author of that piece never made it as far as Langstrasse (or anywhere else, by the looks of it).
How many tourists anywhere make it actually further then the center area described in a guide?

The author says he likes book shops, I like bus lines, specially the ones that go out of the town center. Just pick a long line which does not end at another tourist destination, board the bus a make a round trip. Best if they have double decker's.
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Old 16.09.2015, 11:04
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

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I don't recall James Joyce, Lenin and the Dada artists spending much time in the Globe, do you?
No, but Joyce did spend a lot of time in Trieste, in fact there's a statue of him near our favorite bar there.



Tom
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  #77  
Old 16.09.2015, 11:11
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

It's always interesting to see your city through the eyes of someone else. The writer lives a stone's throw away from Switzerland and judged by the vast number of travel articles he produced, seems to have traveled extensively throughout Europe. He pointed out the places that had an impact on him, rather than detail every corner of Zurich.

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One gets the impression that the author of that piece never made it as far as Langstrasse (or anywhere else, by the looks of it).
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Old 16.09.2015, 11:12
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

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The writer lives a stone's throw away from Switzerland (Paris) and by the looks of the travel articles he produced, seems to have traveled extensively throughout Europe. He just pointed out the places that had an impact on him. I always enjoy seeing Zurich through other people's eyes.

I enjoy that too. I just prefer it when their eyes are open.
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Old 16.09.2015, 11:16
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

You could write an article on your personal impression of Zurich. That site is always taking submissions and last time I checked they paid their writers pretty well.

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I enjoy that too. I just prefer it when their eyes are open.
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Old 16.09.2015, 11:19
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Re: Are Swiss cities too homogenous?

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It's always interesting to see your city through the eyes of someone else. The writer lives a stone's throw away from Switzerland and judged by the vast number of travel articles he produced, seems to have traveled extensively throughout Europe. He pointed out the places that had an impact on him, rather than detail every corner of Zurich.
I know someone that lives 20 minutes from Basel, in France. She has never been to Zurich nor most big towns in Switzerland. Just because someone lives near something doesn't mean they are immersed enough to be able to make whatever comments they like and it holds true. Regardless of their credentials.
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