Friday, 29 March 2013

Sepia Saturday 170; Café Odeon, Zurich;

Grand Café Odeon

In 1910  Julius Uster built a grand house on the corner of Sonnenquai, (today Limmatquai) and Rämistrasse. Incorporated into the building was a Coffee house in  Art Deco, in the style of  the Vienna coffee houses, With big windows, chandeliers, walls were decked out  in brass and reddish  marble.

On Sunday 1.July 1911 at 18:00 PM the Grand café Odeon opened its doors the first time. In the cellar operated their own “Konditorei” cake bakery.
Further up they had a Billiards room. The manager was  Josef Schottenhaml from Munich. The Odeon Café offered International papers, Lexicons and chess games were popular. There was no closing restriction, the Odeon could be open all night. In Zürich the Odeon was the first place where Champaign by the glass was served.

Writers, painters and musicians were regulars and gave the Odeon an ambience of a club  for intellectuals. Frequent visitors were Stefan Zweig,  Albert Einstein, Claire Goll, Frank Wedekind, Somerset Maugham, Erich Maria Remarque, Franz Léhar, Arturo Toscanini, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Lenin, Max Frish, Friederich Dürrenmatt and many more.

A trusted person of the émigrés was the publisher Dr. Emil Oprecht who was printing and publishing the works of many writers in exile.
After the second world war, the Odeon was a meeting place for  the young generations of intellectuals.
In the beginning of the seventies the reputation of the Odeon was in disrepute because of its  neighboorhood’s  drug scene. Inside it was partly destroyed by drug rioters and had to be renovated.
Drug dealers had riots for the supremacy of the place. The Odeon was losing its good clientèle and lost more and more money.  The Odeon was made smaller and the northern entry was locked, to have a better overview and control of the place. On the 1. July 1972 the Odeon was closed and the house put under  listed buildings. After that only one third was  used again as café Odeon.

Bodega Espanola, was our haunt,at a time  when the sun did not set in the 1960s. After  a concert,  a movie or theater it was the place to eat a bowl of mussels in a spicy tomato sauce and toast our fortunate life with a glass of Spanish wine and for dessert a tiny glass of  of the sweetest sherry. Those were the days! 

©Photo/text Ts.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Monday; from the sea;

Shells, intricate ornaments from of the sea.

Colours and patterns are amazing;

Listen to the sound of the sea...

A sea shell, is a hard, protective outer layer created by an animal that lives in the sea. The shell is part of the body of the animal. Empty seashells are often  washed up on beaches. The shells are empty because the animal has died and the soft parts have been eaten by another animal or have rotted out.

The term seashell usually refers to the exoskeleton of an invertebrate (an animal without a backbone). Most shells that are found on beaches are the shells of marine molluscs  partly because many of these shells endure better than other seashells.

Seashells have been used by humans for many different purposes throughout history and pre-history. 

Shell ornaments were very common during the Upper Paleolithic, from 50–40,000 years ago onwards, when they spread with modern humans to Europe and Asia. 

A sailor's valentine is a form of shell craft, a type of mostly antique souvenir, or sentimental gift made using large numbers of small seashells. These were originally made between 1830 and 1890 and they were designed to be brought home from a sailor's voyage at sea and given to the sailor's loved one. Sailor valentines are typically octagonal, glass fronted, hinged wooden boxes ranging from 8" to 15" in width, displaying intricate symmetrical designs composed entirely of small sea shells of various colours glued onto a backing. Patterns often feature a center piece such as a compass rose or a heart design, hence the name, and in some cases the small shells are used to spell out a sentimental message.

Although the name seems to suggest that the sailors themselves made these objects, a large number of them originated in the island of Barbados, which was an important seaport during this period. Historians believe that the women there made the valentines using local shells, or in some cases using shells imported from Indonesia, and then the finished products were sold to the sailors.

Many think it is kitsch, but I think they have a place in a whimsical way to decorate where appropriate.  

©Pictures 1-4 from my garden Ts
(other pictures from Wikipedia)