Geneva notes – Dressing up the neighbourhood

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.

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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.

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It was raucous and joyous and wonderful.


Siobhan xx