Paquis is my neighbourhood. Aside from a brief flirtation in Ferney, it is the only Geneva I have ever known. And it gets mixed reviews. It is the red light district, there is a bustling trade in narcotics, it’s where the drunks come to chill etc. On the other hand, it has great restaurants, it’s right by the lake and it generally feels a little more vibrant and a little more creative than some other Geneva neighbourhoods.
Today’s note is a case in point – a community project called Les Pâquis se rhabillent (Paquis gets dressed). Since October last year a group of urban knitters of all ages have been meeting, knitting and plotting to re-dress our neighbourhood.
About two weeks ago we started to see signs of what they had been working on. Handrails, bollards, trees, benches – slowly and as if by magic, everyday objects were transformed by colour and texture into pieces of art.
Saturday marked the official inauguration. We ran down to the square when we heard them coming. A parade of young and old, led by a band of jester-musicians, danced around the sites that had been decorated.
It was raucous and joyous and wonderful.