Much love in Basel this week for the UEFA Europa League finals! We welcome Liverpool and Sevilla for tomorrow night’s final game at St. Jakob!
Fall is a time like no other in Basel…
The air is brisk, the shops and cafes turn cozy, everything starts to smell like cinnamon, and you get that distinct feeling that Christmas is just around the corner. And in this atmosphere begins the Basler Herbstmesse, the annual fall festival that draws around one million locals and visitors from all over the world. The oldest fun fair in Switzerland, this year’s 544th festival runs from Saturday, 24 October, to Sunday, 8 November—all around the city!
The two-week Herbstmesse (Herbschtmäss) begins with the official ringing in at noon, kicking off a cultural rendezvous that is a combination of tradition, art, and just plain fun. The fair’s unique layout stretches the festivities throughout the city, and there are plenty of stands to explore all kinds of handmade crafts, clothing, toys, and more. You can find rides no matter where you go—spinning, whirling “chairoplanes,” ‘Super Chaos’ at Kasernenareal, or ‘Sky Flyer’ in its first ever appearance at Barfüsserplatz. Or you can celebrate the ‘Super 80s’ at Hallenmesse am Riehenring with ‘Round-Up’ or ‘Break-Dance.’
The giant Ferris wheel at Münsterplatz reaches all the way to the rooftops of Basel’s historical buildings—giving an incredible panoramic view of the city and the Rhein River—and is a Münsterplatz must (at least once!)
Another major part of any festival in Basel is the cuisine. A few all-time favourites are Magenbrot, a unique Swiss chocolatey gingerbread, and hot Rosekiechli, delicious flower-shaped fried pastries sprinkled with powdered sugar. You’ll also find chocolate-dipped fruit kebabs with all kinds of fresh fruit—pineapple, bananas, strawberries, and more.
Keep an eye out for Jeffrey’s schnitzel stand (started by the owner of the very popular Jeffrey’s Thai Restaurant in Riehenring), which sells gourmet sandwiches back where it all began.
More highlights are the Hääfelimäärt at Petersplatz, showcasing beautiful ceramics in unlimited shapes, colours, and sizes; the Basler Weinmesse (24 October to 1 November) at the Messe Basel, featuring around 5000 wines from more than 20 countries all over the world; the Basler Feinmesse (29 October to 1 November) for sweet and savoury treats; and the Herbstwarenmesse (October 24 to 1 November), with special deals on products from household goods to electronics to sports. And as the Herbstmesse changes from year to year, you never know what else you might find.
Wherever you are in Basel, you’ll notice that Herbschtmäss is a magnet for bringing together people of all ages to enjoy, to experience, and to make memories. Bring your friends, make some new ones, or bundle up your kids and take your family out for some fall fun!
Sunday – Thursday: 12.00 – 22.00
Friday – Saturday: 12.00 – 23.00
*As always with fairs, keep your children and other valuables close! Check out Ask Heidi: A Question of Pickpockets.
Feature Photo by eLjeProks via Flickr
vox fabulae is all about stories. These stories are told through music and words, and the words are in English. The Basel-based group blends theater and concert and attracts audiences of Swiss and expatriates alike.
At the center of the performances is the storyteller, played by Madeline Del Real. The American actress grew up in Basel and studied in New York and London. Through imaginative staging and an expressive voice she brings to life not only the central narrator but all the other characters who pass through the tales. “I always strive to take part in diverse expressions of theater, and collaborate with different types of artists,” she says of working with vox fabulae.
The other members of the group are musicians. The music is not meant as background but instead tells the story in its own way. Flutist Micaela Grau Durán coaxes melodies, whistle tones, and rustling breath effects out of her instrument. A contemporary music specialist, she is a founding member of Ensemble Lemniscate and studied both in Basel and in her native Argentina. Flute is accompanied by piano, played by Rebekkah Laeuchli using chopsticks, sticky tack, and a right-angle screwdriver in addition to the traditional fingers on keys approach.
All of the stories are created by the members of vox fabulae themselves. Elia Navarro from Barcelona is the resident composer and sound artist. She currently attends the Basel school of art while also studying composition with Erik Oña at the music academy.
“I am very excited about being part of the ensemble,” says Navarro. “This way of telling stories through different media is totally open and there is a lot of space for experimentation.”
The ensemble debuted their first full-length performance in a concert series this past May with two stories, The Spring and She, I. The texts were written by the group’s pianist, Rebekkah Laeuchli, and ranged from surreal to humorous to tragic. This summer the ensemble will be working together on new material for their upcoming concert season in autumn.
“We want to do something a little bit different,” says Laeuchli. “Funny, and bizarre. We’re very excited about this next story.”
Catch vox fabulae’s next performance on 19 November at a B4 Office Concert, produced by the Swiss Foundation for the Vocal Arts. The concert is free and begins at 12:30 at Bernoullistrasse 4. For more information visit the ensemble’s website: www.voxfabulae.com.
Basel Community wants to find out more about the people living around us. Here’s a great interview with our guest!
BC: Welcome Gee-Jay!
GJ: First of all, there seems to be a bit of a mix-up. Although my name is Gee-Jay, that doesn’t automatically make me a DJ 🙂 Gee-Jay actually comes from my initials: Gabriel Jenny, Jenny being my last name / family name. I officially have the second first name Gee-Jay in my official documents. So it’s Gabriel Gee-Jay Jenny.
Still, sometimes I’m in the limelight but that’s mostly for my hosting. I used to be a Radio- and TV-Host for a couple of years on several different TV and Radio stations. I still host events now and then. The most recent one was TEDx Basel.
BC: How do you prepare for a gig?
GJ: I’ll now answer to the questions as an MC, not as a DJ. When I’m preparing to host a show or an event, I make sure to know what I’m talking about. Nothing is worse than an MC that has no clue what he’s talking about. I make sure I know how all the names are being pronounced correctly.
BC: What’s your favourite type of music to listen to when you don’t have a gig?
GJ: I listen to all kinds of music from classical to drum ‘n’ bass, from country to pop—whatever fits the mood.
BC: Who are your top artists?
GJ: When I was a teenager or even younger, my heroes were bands like KISS and ACDC because of the incredible stage shows. Not that I’ve been to any of the concerts, but I have seen pictures in the BRAVO and POPROCKY magazines. I now like artistS like Jay-Kay from Jamiroquai, Müslüm (a Swiss artist), Lil’ Dicky just to mention a few.
BC: Which are the most in-demand songs that people ask you to play?
GJ: As a host on the radio, we always got a very mixed range of requests, nothing that stood out.
BC: And which song are you tired of hearing?
GJ: Any song that gets too much airplay eventually gets a bit boring or annoying.
BC: Do you play an instrument? If yes, which one? If no, which instrument do you wish you could play?
GJ: I learned to play the drums. I also took piano and singing lessons. I’m not playing any instrument at the moment though.
BC: What’s the most fun gig you’ve had?
GJ: As a host, my highlights were the Freestyle.ch, events that took place on Landiwiese in Zurich with thousands and thousands of people coming together to see the Skateboarding professionals on the halfpipe.
BC: When are you completely satisfied with your work?
GJ: If everything runs smoothly and the people in the crowd but also the makers of the events are happy.
BC: What should women know about Swiss men?
GJ: That they’re no different to the men outside of Switzerland.
BC: Which would you prefer: a night on the town or a staying at home with that someone special?
GJ: 90% staying at home, 10% going out—my home is my castle!
BC: Which restaurant in Basel would you recommend for a romantic dinner?
GJ: Although I haven’t been there yet: http://www.cantina-doncamillo.ch – that’s where I want to go next because you can enjoy a vegan lunch or dinner there. Peace-Food rules! #GoVegan 😉
BC: What was the most important day of your life?
GJ: The day that I was born J ;), and I try to give every day the chance to become the best day of my life.
BC: If anyone would like to be in contact with you for a show, what’s the best way to reach you?
GJ: Via my website www.Gee-Jay.com
My wife Dorothy and I met during the summer of 2002 while she was visiting Washington state with her brother. I was introduced to her via my co-worker who had been friends with her family for many years. My co-worker and I worked for the Navy as civilians.
After her visit to the U.S., we kept in touch via emails and phone calls. I then visited her in Basel that Christmas for several weeks. It was great spend time there and meet her family and friends. She took me all over Basel, and we visited lots of other places in Switzerland. It is just a beautiful country!! As our feelings grew stronger for each other, it was getting harder to say good bye after each visit. Dorothy then visited me again three months later in Washington, and then we decided to get married.
We were married in a small ceremony near the Munster on 24 June 2003. My parents and brother were able to attend and all of her family and friends were in attendance. After the ceremony, Dorothy organized a wonderful lunch in a beautiful garden. Later that evening, her sister hosted a beautiful dinner at her house. It was just the perfect day!
We now live in the Puget Sound area of Washington state. We have 2 beautiful dogs (Cosmo and Matilda) as well as two horses (Avatar and Rafiki). Dorothy loves her horses and likes to do jumping and dressage shows. I prefer bikes and love to ride whenever I can.
Life is definitely good!
How did you find love in Basel? If you have a story to share, please let us know!
The undisputedly premier event that unites key players from all sectors of the global watch and jewellery industry under one roof, Baselworld 2015 commenced this morning with the inaugural press conference. The conference hall was filled with key players representing the print, TV and digital media from every continent who were eagerly awaiting the Baselworld press conference which marks the start of the landmark event in the annual calendar of the watch and jewellery industry: the show that will unveil the trends of tomorrow.
Please visit Baselworld.com for information on daily schedules, lodging, things to do!
What is Baselworld?
Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Show is a trade show of the international watch and jewelry industry held every Spring in Basel, Switzerland. It hosts approximately 2,100 exhibitors from over 45 countries, including the leading watch and jewelry manufacturers, as well as companies specializing in precious gems. The show attracts nearly 150,000 visitors (4,000 press) making it a one of the top watch and jewelry shows.
For a brief history of this trade show, check this information from Wikipedia:
The history of the show dates back to 1917 with the opening of the first Schweizer Mustermesse Basel (muba), of which a section was devoted to watches and jewellery.
• 1925 muba invited several watch manufacturers
• 1931 the Schweizer Uhrenmesse (Swiss Watch Show) was first held in a dedicated pavilion.
• After 1972’s Europe’s meeting place exhibition, companies from France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom were also invited.
• 1983 the show changed its name to BASEL and two numerals denoting the exhibition year, e.g., BASEL 83.
• 1986, companies from outside Europe were included for the first time, reflecting the increased number of visitors from outside Europe.
• 1995 the show was renamed to BASEL 95 – The World Watch, Clock and Jewellery Show.
• 1999, a new hall with 36,000 square meters exhibition space was added. The year 2000 saw an increase of 6 per cent in trade visitors.
• 2003 the show was again renamed to Baselworld, The Watch and Jewellery Show.
• 2004, with the introduction of a new hall complex, the exhibition area extended to 160,000 square meters, attracting more than 89,000 visitors.
What Watch-Next is recommending: Basel beauties: Baselworld Watch Fair Preview – The giant Baselworld show, headed by the likes of Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, Patek Philippe, Girard Perregaux, Hublot, and Breitling, approaches fast. To read more, click here.
Basel Community also recommends reading A Question of Pickpockets.
Photo by Kevin Kyburz via Flickr
Already spring has begun, and the city is brimming with new life. Grey skies or blue, it’s something you can sense—from walking through the forests of Allschwil, to the new songs the birds sing in the city, or the way the Tinguely fountains seem to have wakened from a long winter just in time to stretch out their arms and catch the sun.
And with this spring comes an early Easter, and the promise of restoration that it brings. As the church bells ring this Sunday morning, you’ll find yourself waking to a brand new celebration. And don’t forget: Daylight saving time begins Easter morning!
Here’s a quick sketch of what a typical Swiss Easter might look like…
It’s traditional in Switzerland to attend church in the morning, followed by brunch or dinner and a family celebration. A typical Easter menu could include lamb with potatoes; pastetli, a meat pie with mushrooms and cream sauce; chicken in lemon thyme butter; fish with couscous and yogurt sauce; pork, or rabbit.
Most children—and adults—also look forward every year to an Easter egg hunt. Eggs are usually painted the day before, and then in the morning are hidden outside in the park or garden, in the house, even inside boots and shoes! It’s uncommon to use plastic eggs, as Switzerland in general likes to keep things eco-friendly.
And don’t forget the Easter Bunny! Many children wake up on Easter morning to a magical nest or Easter basket filled with a chocolate bunny and eggs.
Basel whips up plenty of specialties just for Easter. Here’s a quick guide to a few of the seasonal favourites:
Biskuithässli and Biskuitlämmli: Bunny-shaped and lamb-shaped almond cookies with a delicate lemon flavour. Available in chocolate too.
Ostertauben: Pastry “doves” with candied fruit, hazelnuts, and almonds.
Osterfladen or Osterflädeli: A cross between a custard tart and a cake, often filled with rice pudding, speckled with raisins, and topped with frosting or powdered sugar. It can range from a very simple custard-like filling, to something more ornate with several layers of jam, cream, and nuts. Here’s a recipe via the Swiss Club of New South Wales. You can also learn how to make a breadier version on YouTube, thanks to @cakeclassics from Germany.
Praline Eier: Oversized candy eggs with a hard praline shell, filled with chocolates and decorated with piped frosting. Each boxed individually, these gourmet and somewhat costly praline eggs are given to close family and friends…a gift that tells a loved one just how very much they mean to you!
And everyone knows, Switzerland is the place to be for chocolate. Walk into any confiserie or bakery and you’ll be overwhelmed by all the choices—chocolate bunnies, candy eggs, marzipan carrots. Migros and Coop sell plenty favourites as well, from Lindt to Cailler, to Milka and beyond!
Easter and spring go perfectly hand in hand, bringing new life to the city that you can feel as you walk from shop to shop and from city square to city square. You’ll find extra special treats, flowers, and fashions in every shop, and in the open markets of Marktplatz and Barfüsserplatz. But don’t forget that shops keep different hours for the holidays: you may need to check opening times for Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday, but in a pinch you can find almost everything you need at the SBB train station shopping center.
A fun event you might want to catch this year is The 16th International Tango Festival OsterTango 2015! It will take place from 2 to 6 April, 2015 Hosted by the Basel Tango School, the event brings everyone together for a colourful weekend of music and dance, with a Tango Concert and Show, After Hours Tango, a special film presentation, DJs, and more. Don’t forget to stop by their website for tickets and more information.
There’s always something going on in Basel, and Easter brings much to do outside the ordinary. But of all it offers, maybe the best is opportunity—opportunity to be with family and friends, to relax, to party, to hike and bike, walk in the city or wander through the forest. You’re limited only by your creativity…and sometimes the weather!
What are you doing today to prepare for Easter? Are you colouring eggs with family and friends? Doing some last minute shopping for chocolate bunnies and flowers, or just relaxing at home? We’d love to hear how you’re celebrating this year!
Did your children like the Basler Fasnacht?
Do they want to be an active part of it?
Now’s the perfect time for them to learn play the “Basler Trommel” or the “Piccolo”.
Please bring your children to the information evening of the Jungi Pfluderi Clique at the Resaturant Schnabel.
When: March 4, 6-8 p.m. or March 11, 6-8 p.m.
Or you can contact Anna firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more info about the “Jungi Pfluderi Clique” — visit http://www.jungi-pfluderi.ch.
What are some of your New Year’s resolutions? Ours are to be here for you, and to answer any of your questions! Hope this is the best year for all of us.
Looking for something to do to celebrate 2015 in Basel? Here are a few of our picks around the city!
If you’d like to celebrate with a crowd, downtown has its annual festivities, which start at 23:00 hrs with Glühwein served until 01:00 and fireworks at half past midnight.
At the Münsterplatz, enjoy a lively brass band performing from the towers, starting at 23:30. And for the official ringing in, the large bell at the Münster’s Martinsturm (St. Martin’s Tower) rings out the old year from 23:45 to 23:55, until midnight, when all the church bells of the city playfully welcome the new year together. There is also a special worship service at the Münster from 00:15 to 00:30 hrs.
Plan public transport in advance by visiting the official BVB website: http://www.bvb.ch/en/timetable-network/online-timetable.
Happy New Year from Basel Community!