Basel in the snow

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMontana right now is snowy, slick, and miserable. Grey clouds, colorless landscape. Almost three years ago in February, Lexi and I took the SBB from Lugano –> Zurich –> Basel, the whole way gazing out the window at the snowy landscape.

After leaving the flughafen (train station), Lexi and I made our way in the wrong direction from downtown. Past a few sex shops, theatres, and eventually finding ourselves in Swiss suburbia (apartment buildings and parks- something like 70% of the Swiss live in apartments). Eventually we found the Rhine and the more busy areas, and wandered around- it was freezing cold, but luckily it wasn’t snowing any longer. The city was pretty empty, as Carnivale had occurred and many people were probably sleeping off some wicked partying.

Miei amici

08440019 08520012 08980011 09080016 09140018 09180003 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA luganofun 08240007 09040009 sansalvatoreandzurich 023

 

These lovely souls I haven’t seen for almost two years, but they’re all beloved friends that are being badasses outside of my world but nonetheless still being pretty wicked wenches.

From drinking Thai beer on wood floors to riding late night trains, eating Kinder Buenos and Chinese food in Zurich, to exploring such amazing places as Palermo, Krakow, Madrid, Istanbul, and Paris, these are the people that made it possible to do so with as much adventure as possible.

Many of these dears are graduating undergrad this semester, and although I’ve got another winter semester to go, I’m really hoping that sometime in the next year or two we can reunite through some weird force in the universe. The thing about going to a tiny little English speaking school in the weird Italian speaking part of German-speaking Switzerland is that you realize how minuscule the world is. You meet people, spend time, part, then reunite, find each other again, and the lapse in time in between becomes almost instantaneously erased.

I think in general remarkable people find fellow remarkable people and keep them in their minds until they can make it possible to see one another again. Although I am so bad at missing people, and so bad at coping, the fact that I know, that I have almost no doubt, that someday I’ll see the wondrous people I love and care about sooner or later…well, it’s very comforting, to say the least.

While I am bed ridden

09060007 09060024 09120008 09120015 09140020 09180013I think I was too young to appreciate the fairytale setting of Lugano. I was only 18 when I went to live there and I think if I went now I would treat it better- I would explore more, try my Italian with a little more zest, and push my limits.

Regardless, I am bedridden right now, and when I make these images full-screen I can almost transport myself back to the lakeside, where coots and ducks co-existed with the Swiss fisherman, where I would run laps when I felt up to it, where nocciolo gelato provided comfort on those humid, hot Lugano days. When I would wake up earlier than anybody else and almost sneak down to the edge of the water, having the vast body of water almost entirely to myself to relish and selfishly view. I wanted to eat it all up with my eyes and leave nothing for anybody else.

 

My love for Edvard Munch intensifies.

edvard_munch_danceoflife

The Dance of Life (showing Munch accosted by Lust while Love waits and decays on either side)edvard_munch_scream

The Scream- considered a possible drawing of a human soul, inspired by a bloody sunset on a bridge, also a culmination of anxiety and fear.edvard_munch_seperation

Seperation- a lithograph where the memory of one of his lovers pervades as hair over his shoulder on the shore of his summering place in Norway, probably.edvard_munch_the_kiss

The Kiss- his response to a kiss with an early lover, all-encompassing, overwhelming, but gloriously so. munch_ashes

Ashes- Edvard often felt “used” by women, drained by them (this inspires his “Vampyr” series, where life force is taken by various lovers, particularly Tulla, an obsessive wealthy girl who stalked him all over Europe). munch_self_portrait_1895

Self Portrait with Skeleton Arm- Edvard would put fetuses, skeletons, and corpses in the borders of some of his prints, which I love.

Growing up in Kristiania, which is now Oslo, to a fiercely religious father and a sickly mother, Edvard Munch watched his family succumb to sickness, death, and insanity. His mother slowly wasted away, his best friend and dear sister Sophie died (he kept the chair she expired in for the rest of her life), and his sister Laura descended into madness and schizophrenia. His Aunt Karen, his father, and his youngest brother and sister lived on but forever in debt, living in more and more decrepit apartments.

Edvard was a master drawer, and very creative, but plagued with depression and bouts of extreme sickness. Because of his father’s religious beliefs, he from an early age recalls thinking about how he would surely perish and end up in Hell. He also never managed to escape the idea of love/intimacy with being sinful- making every relationship with women he ever had doomed.

He would starve for days to afford paint, and in the papers he was known as Norway’s most infamous artist, hated and feared. He “disgraced” his family and eventually moved between Oslo, Berlin, and Paris, borrowing money and drinking all day, creating gorgeous paintings laced with his common experiences with death, sickness, poverty, and emotional twists and turns that we could only barely portray.

Munch was a genius in how he showed his ideas- they are universally understood. Where other artists followed symbols and color ideas, Munch just painted how he felt. And it’s so easy to feel exactly that- grief, exhaustion, terror, anxiety.

The intense psychology and the influence he exerted later on the Die Brucke movement in German Expressionism has spawned some of my favorite art- free of “rules” and expectations, but uninhibited, active, and gorgeous, in oft unsettling ways.

He is the ultimate master of manipulation. I feel loss of innocence, terrible guilt and immense sadness when I look at his things.

Only a few short months until I will be in New York to stand in front of The Scream, where I am totally sure I will weep a bit- Munch’s things are so saturated, I don’t believe I could help myself (I’ve only cried in front of Guernica, Picasso’s huge canvas, and Seurat’s Bathers before. The list will grow).

Escapism

The time to delve into my own archives is now.

Montana feels once again bleak, stripped of things that make me feel excited. My mind aches for inspiration, and though I go through the galleries and outside spaces that normally spark something, no flame comes into being.

Now, my mind goes to snow-dusted hiking trails, warm and crowded Zurich cafes, ribbed vaulting of Gothic cathedrals, and quiet walks downtown. I remember the humidity soaking me in sweat in August, trekking up the high hill with a bag of expensive groceries. Rain soaking my shoes all the way through, getting into the rickety-feeling but fun funicular, and constantly being bombarded by new things.

All of these images were taken between 2009 and 2011 on varying, and usually inferior, little digital cameras. I do not pretend to think of these images as anything but a small aid to my memories of these locales. Enjoy.

Paul Rule photography archive continued

I am slightly infatuated with Kodachrome tones, saturated skies, cateye glasses, and the feeling of mid-century Americana that absolutely saturates and charms in Paul Rule’s photographic archive (Flickr set HERE, all photographs sourced to there).

I don’t know any of these people, and a large majority of the photographs haven’t been labeled very specifically. It’s this sort of anonymity that makes it possible to love these vintage slides even more. You can easily imagine pulling out the dusty Kodak Carousel projector and sitting there, hearing the satisfying click, seeing another image from the past come to life in front of you.

While I merely click ahead on my laptop, and while these people are strangers, I still feel wonderfully transported on their adventures grand and minute. I hope you feel even a whisp of the whimsy I do!

“Diner People”

“Paris Street Vintage Slide”

“Russian Metro Vintage Slide” (P.S. How did these people make it into Moscow in the late 50’s?)

“Grand Imperial Hotel”

“Frying Pan Wallpaper”

“Does This Hat Make My Head Look Big”

“Blue Skirt, Black Dog, Red Bug”

Where history meets chaos and the now: Istanbul

I remember how to order pastries in Turkish, how to say “I love you”, and how to thank people.

That’s it.

That doesn’t mean that Turkey didn’t leave a mark. I remember Istanbul as this sort of young rebellious teenager and simultaneously wise old crone- mostly because it is both of those things, and every other thing in between. It is incredibly difficult to sum up a megapolis that goes between 14 and 16 million people (the official census isn’t accurate).

Riding ferries with asbestos ceilings, taking the new public transportation system (trams mixed with trains), being treated like the visitors we were, trying and then promptly despising raki (the national drink in Turkey, it’s basically black liquorice in liquid, high alcohol form, which is sometimes but not always diluted with water) were all parts of Istanbul. So was looking at a Frida Kahlo exhibition and then shopping in TopShop and eating on the 5th floor of a building, and sitting on carpets. Rain, sunshine, pollution, health and sickness, wealth and poverty, adventure and boredom- they all take place in this city.

I know these things take place in all cities, but toss in a chaotic history (Byzantium, then Constantinople, then Istanbul), multiple countries claiming reign, and it’s geographical split between Europe and Asia, and the religions laced in, and you get the most energetic and exciting city I’ve ever been to.

My advice: Be ready for anything in Istanbul. I mean anything.

Bryan Pearce: The most amazing artist you’ve probably never heard of.

Flowers on the Windowsill

St. Ives from the Cemetery

St. Ives from Fernlea Terrace

One of my Art History professors in Switzerland, Dr. Brian Stanford, taught a class on how art and the brain work together. We studied people who end up with  unorthodox circumstances and how their art is different from classical ideas of “art” and accomplished art.

Bryan Pearce, a Cornwall native, was born with Phenylketonuria, which resulted in his brain not developing normally. As a result, his art has amazing perspectives, use of color, and the most naive, gorgeous landscapes I’ve ever seen. I haven’t been lucky enough to personally see his work (I didn’t make it to the Tate when I was in London) but emotionally it is somewhat unsettling in a wonderful way.

What’s amazing about Mr. Pearce is that he began exhibiting regularly and remained an artist his entire life. He was England’s most famous naive artist, and with his disease he lived to the age of 77– something almost unheard of! Luckily, because he started working and exhibiting in his 30’s, there are many prints and paintings of his that exist (prolific artists are the best- they have so much to show).

A city I dearly truly miss: Zurich, Switzerland

It’s a place for day trips, for wandering, for cobblestone streets, good noodles, Luxemburgerli, and gorgeous views. Trams in admiral blue whiz efficiently, the people wander, couples relax on benches, and the Limmat river cuts the city neatly into pieces.

The Kunsthaus stole my heart, and I fell in love with the Grössmunster. Seeing Mondrian on a bare wall and being able to wander in an early morning haze made me feel ethereal and weightless. Regardless of the fact that I couldn’t afford to shop or stop in any of the boutiques, not to mention that my Deutsch is of the most rudimentary sort (I can order food, curse, and ask for things like tickets for the train or how to get to the cemetery), Zurich is still a city that I find myself loving.

The multi-lingual book stores beckoned me, the crowded energy in the Sprüngli cafes, and the quiet walk near the Bahnhofstraße all managed to spin me into a sort of fantasy world. When I miss Switzerland, I miss the crisp spring air of Zurich and the knowledge that I didn’t need to be anywhere, that I could go anywhere at all.

What a place.

Ay, Barcelona!

Once upon a time, when plane tickets were cheap and travel was easy, Adrienne and I spent a little over 24 hours in Barcelona. With little time to spend in this glorious metropolis, my photographs feel sparse.

I only took two analog photographs, and the rest are digital.

Last night, while I was procrastinating studying for a ridiculously easy exam, I rediscovered some of the photographs I had taken. My aversion to digital is such that I abandoned a lot of my photographs, thinking them to be worthless. Luckily, I found some images from our trip that are full of memories, sunshine, Spanish, Parc Güell, and the lovely vistas that Barcelona has to offer.

So, here is the story of our trip to Barcelona, told from memory and saturated in nostalgia.

Adrienne and I arrived at the Barcelona airport at about 22:00, and quickly realized that we had little no idea to get to our hostel. I had to scramble together whatever I had left of my high school Spanish, jumbled with Italian, but we got on the bus from the airport and made our way to whatever stop we ended up getting off at. We were both exhausted- travel had just finished, and I had been in Turkey for 10+ days.

We eventually found our hostel, Backpackers BCN Casanova (good place, good price, good location) and entered our room. Immediately, we smelled cologne, and saw enormous white sneakers scattered. Adrienne and I both knew what that meant: HOMBRES.

As it would turn out, we were rooming with four large Slovakian boys who really liked to party. When I say large, I mean they were tall, one or two were very muscular, and they were LOUD. Adrienne and I crawled into bed, exhausted, and at around 3:30 or 4:00, the Slovakians enter, loud and intoxicated. I was on the top bunk, poor Adrienne right on their level. Much noise (including grunts?) and knocking about later, our room stayed silent.

I don’t remember what hour we rose, but we went out hunting for breakfast. We found some juice and some sort of sustinence, and then planned how to get to Parc Güell. Several metro stops and a bus later, we found our way to Parc Güell, and spent several hours wandering, talking, eating the snacks we bought earlier, and running our hands over the tiles Gaudi transformed the park with. Adrienne was looking snazzy in a new suede jacket, and I was wearing some flats I had purchased for my birthday. The sun was shining, and Barcelona looked AMAZING from the high-point that Parc Güell was perched on.

We got there early enough to have the park to ourselves for a time. Flowers were already blooming in mid-March, cacti flanked the paths, and wispy trees gave languid shade to parts of the park. It began to get rather hot, and we found a quiet area to sit. We planned out our next stop, and decided to make it to the Sagrada Familia.

A bus and a few more metro stops later, we arrived downtown, close to Las Ramblas, and with our handy tourist map got to La Sagrada Familia, only to find hundreds of like-minded people already there. By this time, the Spanish sun, already blazing in March, drove us to the conclusion that it would be more pertinent to find food, nap, and then reform our game plan.

After a lunch with terrible sangria, cubes of cheese, and some other foods I don’t remember (we both agreed the meal was less than satisfactory), Adrienne and I found our way to the Museu Picasso de Barcelona, where we spent the next few hours admiring this genius’s amazing pieces, and then cavorting in the museum cafe making up limericks and rhymes about historical figures.

After that, dinner! If you go to Barcelona, I know that there are thousands of restaurants, but Origens was excellent. It wasn’t super pricey, the location was awesome, and the service was amazing. Adrienne and I almost went to the beach at night, but realized that we didn’t really want to be out super late, as we had to wake up at 5:30 am to catch the bus back to the airport.

The Slovakians had other plans for us. In our pajamas, without contacts in, the Slovakians came in and began attempting to coerce Adrienne and I to come out clubbing with them. They promised to have us back in time for our shuttle. Adrienne and I declined many times, but ended up having a couple hours of conversation with our new international friends. They invited us to visit them in Bratislava (which I have always wanted to go to), and explained how American speak English.

“You Americans speak English like you have a hot po-tay-toe in your mouth”, and then went on to fake an American English accent, which was really quite accurate! Eventually they went out to explore the Barcelona night, and Adrienne and I slept to the terribly early hour, then got up to leave the beautiful city we spent only one full day in.

Hasta luego, Barcelona, pero no adios!

I miss this city.

 

Lugano, Switzerland. A paradiso among the Svizzera landscape, a gem among the glinting, often snow-capped mountains.

Placed on the Italian border, this gorgeous city has broken my heart time and time again. It is almost a year since I left, and thinking about this place makes me so happy and yet so sad.

Leaving a place so beautiful, so multi-faceted, and so full of life is not an easy thing to do. When this place has the best friends you’ve ever known, it gets harder. I have cried so many times over missing Switzerland, and my heart still bears bruises somewhere, but they’ve backed off to become a dull thud. They’ll always be there.

Now, Bozeman is blooming. Montana has the same crisp feeling as Switzerland, and a similiar landscape close to the Rockies. I look at the peaks nearby and if I don’t look at the landscape below I leave this English speaking place for a bit and return to a place that felt pretty damn amazing.

I took these photographs almost exactly a year ago for a project to document the streets and the people. The results were gorgeous- and still are.

Krakow, Poland: The best trip of my entire life. Period.

In late January of 2010, Hannah and I weren’t officially friends yet. We were acquaintences, and we both knew that we were sort of weird. We’d had Italian and English classes together, and one morning we were in the computer lab, playing Tetris and avoiding doing our homework, per usual.

We then both decided to search EasyJet just for fun. I happened upon a ticket to Krakow from Milan for a round trip total of around 50 euros.

“Hey, want to go to Poland in March?”

No longer would we ever be strangers.

The first thing you need to know about EasyJet is that it is never that easy. It’s a trick! Hannah and I had to fly out of Bergamo Airport, about an hour outside Milan.

Awesome.

Our flight left at 10 am on a Friday morning, I think, and so we decided to play it safe and spend the night in the Bergamo airport. I had done this to get to Madrid, and it was okay, sort of. You sleep on a cold floor with the lights on, surrounded by people who are better prepared than you.

Hannah and I showed up, with “The Brother’s Bloom” pre-loaded on her tiny Dell netbook, and realized that it was COLD. Like, hypothermia-almost cold. I slept on a scarf I brought and Hannah and I tried to sort of cuddle/huddle to keep warm. Until about 3 am, when I realize that nature’s calling.

So, this is a funny side story, which you can totally skip. I’ll even mark it for you.

-_-_-_-_-_FUNNY STORY BEGINS HERE_-_-_-_-_

So I walk to the bathroom down and around the corner from the corner Hannah and I were sleeping in. It’s in an Italian airport, and a gang of older Italian dudes are surrounding the entrance to the female bathroom, saying slightly creepy things like, “Hey, pretty girl” and “Where are you going?” in Italian. Cool story, bro! No, but really, it’s quite awkward. Making my way through their vocal band, I enter the first stall I see, in a 3 am daze.

Naturally, I miss seeing the sign that says that this bathroom is broken.

Awesome.

So, I lock the door and the lock gets stuck, and the door handle falls out of it’s little socket. I’m trapped in this bathroom with creepy Italian bros outside.

Immediately, I start shouting horrible Italian and English, pounding at the doors. The thing about these bathroom doors was that there was no possible way for me to shimmy under the door- it went all the way to the floor- and no way to clamber over the top- it went all the way to the ceiling.

“Ho bisognio aiutare!” was my repeated scream. It translates to “I need to help!”, but in my fear addled mind I didn’t give a damn about conjugations. I just wanted out of the stupid stall!

I hear the men outside muttering and probably saying something, but unsure of what to do. Eventually, I’m pretty sure they found a cleaning lady, because she peeks her eye through the socket in the door where the handle used to be, and starts yelling at me in Italian. I can’t understand a word of it, and I just make it clear that I’m trapped.

Now, I didn’t see this, but Hannah did. Apparently the cleaning lady panicked and ran yelling down the corridor, past where Hannah was sitting, just waking up, and screamed for help. So, a cleaning man was summoned. He was riding his giant floor-cleaning machine that shoots industrial, probably carcinogenic liquid very close to your face to wake you up on the airport floor.

He rides the machine to my rescue instead of walking. I kid you not. So, I’m waiting, surrounded by silence, when all of a sudden he comes with a broom handle and starts POUNDING on the door, yelling at me in Italian, and I freak out and stand up on the toilet trying to stay out of his way. He gets some other heavy things and eventually breaks the door’s hinges or something, and I run out without washing my hands or thanking him (ungrateful American, I know). I was just SO happy to be out of there.

Just my luck that the entire airport had heard this happening and had gathered around the bathroom or waited eagerly to see the outcome. Indeed, I ran to Hannah and she peers at me, still sort of sleepy,

“Was that you?”

Oh, it was me.

-_-_-_-_-_END OF FUNNY STORY BACK TO POLAND THINGS_-_-_-_-_

We sleep on benches outside the gate, and board the plane. I’m still embarrassed about the morning’s activities. Eventually, though, we take off and touch back down again in good ole Krakow! WOO! We find the train to the main city, because the airport is a way away, and end up at the railroad station. Now to find our hostel!

Travel tip: If you ever go to Krakow, you HAVE to stay at Greg & Tom Hostel. Why? It’s dirt cheap, it’s super clean, the people are awesome, the beds are wonderful, you get a GIANT safe/locker to keep your things in, and everybody is super cool and welcoming. The showers have good water pressure, too. (I care about that, you know.)

So, we find Greg & Tom, and settle in, then decide to go take a gander at the Old Town. Greg & Tom is also super close to the Old Town, the Main Market Square, and Wawel Castle, so we decide to walk there.

We walk through Planty Park, past some old Arabic-style medieval walls, and down a street with a McDonald’s, and we already see the Gothic towers of St. Mary’s Basilica! So cool! It’s cold, windy, and grey outside, but we don’t give a damn. It’s also Easter weekend, so there are markets and lots of people milling about.

We ate at a place in the Main Square called Arlekan, I think. We had cake and gelato for dinner, and went back to the hostel to sleep.

The next day we woke up and got on a van to see Auschwitz, and we returned in the mid-afternoon, emotionally exhausted and feeling so many different things that we didn’t feel super enthusiastic about doing anything but napping for an hour or so and then getting up and going on a walk.

It was the night before Easter, and the market was busy- the day was beautiful, clear, and the square was the picturesque dream of Europe that I had always imagined. Hannah was a vegetarian, but I insisted on trying the kielbasa being served fresh from a stall with mustard and bread. That beat the gelato, for sure! Hannah munched on a pretzel, I think, and we did a couple loops around the square, buying necklaces for dirt cheap and purchasing trinkets for loved ones.

Then, we decided to do what any good visitor to Poland would do: go in search of some quality vodka! Not to get ohh-I’m-young-let’s-party drunk, but just to try it! We stopped in a shop, and asked the man what would be best. We both got tiny little samples, no bigger than a large shot glass of alcohol, and made our way to Wawel Castel, hoping to meander around it and have some quality experiences.

Of course, some VIP event was happening, and the gates were only open to limousines or luxury vehicles, so we hung out side and looked at the towers and looked at the vista, and downed our alcohol. Wandering down the hill again, we walked through the Jewish quarter, which was quite alive, and headed back to our hostel, bags with new things and minds buzzing.

The next morning, we had to be on a train by 11 am. I have to say, one of my favorite things was sharing our room with a gorgeous New Zealander who had rumpled hair and a killer smile. He borrowed money from us shamelessly: he dazzled us enough that we didn’t mind parting with the zlotys!

It was Easter morning, and a gorgeous morning, so we wandered back into the Main Square, and bought bagels from a cart. Immediately, we found that feeding the pigeons was hilarious. Touristy? Sure, I’ll give you that, but we were both laughing so hard, until we realized that literally HUNDREDS of these city rats were coming down from the Renaissance Cloth Hall, the Basilica, and everywhere else! So, we bought more bagels, perhaps a dozen, and ripped them to shreds, surrounded by birds and getting lots of looks from locals. We got to hear the bells on the Basilica toll for Easter, and eventually had to walk back to the hostel to grab our things and make the train.

We almost missed our train back, but once on it, mutually agreed that Krakow had been one of the most diverse, amazing places we’d ever been so lucky to get to. Also, Hannah and I were for sure best friends now. Even when we were both freezing on an airport floor, getting cranky about almost missing our train, and even when I was being a baby about the city streets at night, we both had the same awkward sense of humor about everything and the constant urge to EXPLORE and DO and ACT on this fleeting adventure.

Street Fashion in Helsinki.

 

Maria:  “I found my warm winter coat in Kaivarin Kanuuna, the trousers cost 20 cents at the recycling centre, the knit is Benetton and the shoes from DinSko. I like down-to-earth colours and classic beauty icons like Jane Birkin and Audrey Hepburn. Now I’m looking for a perfect pencil skirt.”

Jenny:  “I’m wearing a pullover from Reykjavik, my godmother’s old boots and Seppälä trousers which cost 2,5 euros. I don’t think about clothes that much. I often wear trousers and layers and I like tights.”

Hanni: “Marimekko‘s Mari-essu dress makes me happy. The bag is from the 70s and my mother’s old, the shoes are Swedish Hasbeens. I like playful and colourful clothes. Vintage Vuokko and Marimekko dresses from the 60s and the 70s are my treasures.”

Annica:  “My style is inspired by the 90s and the early nineties. Movies like Cry Baby, Clueless and 13 inspire me, too.”

Ruth:  “My style is schizophrenic. This outfit is really conservative for me. I love colours and colour co-ordination. I buy second hand only. Leigh Bowery is my style icon.”

Meeri:  “I just came from Barcelona where I accidentally found a store called Me and My Bitch. I bought 10 things, including this shirt and pants. The handbag is my grandmother’s old. I like vintage, especially the 50s. I appreciate ethic production, naturalness and handicraft in clothes.”

My best friend Hannah showed me this fantastic website, saying that one of the girls (Ruth) is my fashion doppelganger- and I agree. I love all these looks, and how they layer and use color in such a strong sense. I love how the proportions are played with, even if it’s not super “flattering”, but rather how the outfit lets the personality come through so strongly.

Here are a few of my favorite Helsinki street looks as of late. Slash it makes me want to go buy baggy trousers! GAH!

My first trip to Zürich, in 2009.

The very first time I went to Zurich was September, 2009. I had just gotten semi-used to the humid hell that was Lugano, when our professor told us we’d be spending a Wednesday in Zurich for our Freshman Seminar class. Luckily, my friends Katerina and Laura came with me.

Zurich to my immature eyes was perfection. I haven’t changed that opinion much, now, but I can tell you that everything was amazing. The streets, the Altstadt, the trams, the train itself which was so quiet and smooth! Katerina and I went and saw an American movie, ate a great lunch near the Ferris wheel, and we spent the evening eating a traditional Zurich dinner in a dining hall that was over 500 years old.

Touristy? Yes. Magnificent? Definitely. I didn’t even know what the Grössmunster was, or how wonderful a Luxemburgerli tastes! And yet, I feel in foolish, uneducated love with this gorgeous Swiss city.

Note: All these photographs were taken by a teenager obsessed with contrast and saturation, and armed with a terrible Nikon Coolpix digital camera. I do not claim that these are quality photographs, only a medium to see through!