Davidoff Brothers, since 1983 the coolest vintage store in Europe...Rue Verdaine 16 1204 Geneva 022 810 1983
Roy and Sacha(cha is cat in French which is why I of course love em:) owners...
When I ask if he ever gets tired? "Some days I open the door about 25 times and some days about 50 times. I love to greet the people." And does he ever get nervous with tons of people in the store and all of these precious items? "I know every watch in here since I've been collecting all of these years. And I know where they're at all times. Plus I can tell you a little secret. The only way you can get out of the door is the way you came in. If I open it." he laughs and I laugh to. The prisoner of the watch store!
Sacha says, "We did things the right way. We opened the online store almost 2 years and everybody used the online website and the reputation of us is great. And now the store and all of the online people come here now. "
"I worked everywhere in the world and recently 15 years in Miami and I worked for watch companies everywhere. We tried to open the store about 2 years now trying to find investors and finally we did it on an independant way. I am happy that the only person I owe is myself. I am glad that I waited." says Sacha the new proud owner of the 5 month old store. When I ask if the store has been here since 1983? He laughs, "I am born in 1983 that is why we have that here...people always ask if that means that the store is here since 1983!"
The restaurant manager pictured below is the greatest sport-having shown me the restaurant about 25 minutes, "Yes here we're serious here that means we're joking. We have fun. All the people that come from the politicians to the writers to the actors to the normal everyday tourists and residents. We treat everybody the way that they should be treated. Lovely service and friendly service. I say that we're the friendliest team and that is why people come here. And it is the oldest restaurant in Geneva. Known for its Swiss food and of course Fondue!" he says as he poses for me in front of the knight.
We peruse the famous Leopard Lounge of the 5star and he shows me the mixure of the elegant sitting lounges complete with fireplaces and a big screen television! "Yes Mr. Tollman wanted the TVs in here in such a event such as the Sporting Matches on television. Our guests can relax in the lounge and have a cigar in the smoking room and watch their favorite sports. Mr. Tollman has his own cigars here specially wrapped at about 145 swiss francs then. People can come enjoy the cigars in the smoking room." he says as he shows me that addition. "I know the lounge at night is famous with an outside entrance and is a little unusual compared to the 5star. We have live music every night and people start to really dance about midnight. You should come check it out." he says. (he is right everybody is dancing at 1 am...)
Jean-Vital holds up the 1848 priceless liquour, "Honestly if you gave me a 1848 or a 1925 I probably wouldn't know the difference. The real connoisseurs of great cognac and whiskey would know. The bottle here is about 500 Swiss per shot honestly." he says.
Another item on the tour agenda of the famous hotel is the roof! Yes I know yet the view here is from my camera of the harbor at Geneva. Cool huh?
I know it is a long weblink yet at least you can see the cool crepe bistro...loved the crepes I ate 3 of em:)
Every country and every city that I come to here at some point people question the newspaper and funny travel guide. I say to these people that is it fun. It is only to have fun and find the culture and real people of the cities that you visit. And they look at me! as if to say really=! Yes it is true. My international funny newspaper is to help you as a entreprenuer reach 3 million people every month that travel around the world and could perhaps be potentional guests.However every city some people say that no they dont want to participate in the paper. Okay so some do and some dont but the worst is Geneva. Take the articles above and they are the exceptions mostly since they're wealthy and privately owned companys. However the police in Geneva Switzerland are the worst participants of human trafficking anywere that I have physically been to in the last almost 4 years of doing the project.
The most disturbing thing is that after about the 6th day they aggressivley hounded me and when the hostel i was staying at had a 6 day only stay limit then they stood outside all day long and followed me with phones assuming i didnt have a place to stay that night. They kept asking each and every time where you staying during the interview and the last night I lied at the "spaghettie house" where they kept saying they would sponsor then kept giving me wine then a "friend" undercover cop comes in and they ask me to go with them to the restaurant and then they didnt sponsor and they asked me to go with them out and when I told them i had to go to sleep early they then asked where the hotel is and then at about 3 am since my friend owned the 5 star i saw them outside the window walking up and down the alleys since the hotel was full and i guess they couldnt afford the 500Euros 'per night rooms. It sounds simplistic but it was getting to the point of scary when each and every turn you would be walled and again and again and again. If it wasnt for western union I never would of got out of that city. The worst thing was the Geneva police were the ones behind the situations.
Okay the human trafficking side to Geneva...how do you tackle such a issue without actually becoming a part of it...here is how. Try spending 10 days at Geneva and see how it works such as I did the past 10 days.
Every time and I mean every time except for the exceptions of the above companys and I interviewed about 25 people every day. It was as if they were "coached". But after the second day I noticed in the subsequent days to follow that the so called business owners that I was supposedly interviewing were undercover cops. I saw 4 different ones at different times leaving the police stations in various parts of the city. Okay...then each and every time they would end the interview politely saying that the business only believed in word to mouth publicity and that they didnt do any newspaper publicity. Okay that isnt so bad but then...they each and every one would make comments! about "saying it is time to go on the street and it is time to go upstairs to the hotel that is where you can make the money and no no no go back on the street and where you staying tonight..." they tried to corner each and every sponsoring person and after the 4th day I noticed the pattern becomeing more aggressive and each and every time about 5 minutes after the interview if it wasnt a undercover cop they would recieve a phone call and a new person would take their place within about 5 more minutes...about 15 people per day would say I have to leave talk to such and such and they left and the undercover people would control the situation and force you outside. When I tried to get western union they aggressively followed me to western union and stood behind me talking in french to the ticket window who either would say that they're machine was down or finally ignore the person and give it to me.
Rue Rothschild 55 Geneva 022 544 38 38
The Peaceful Garden at the Hotel Jade in Geneva:notice the Buddha:)
My room faces the garden and is elegant and quiet. In addition there is
a private car park to all of the people living in the modern
world...however the minute you step into the Jade another world greets
entire theme is Chinese influence and is calm and soothing. The General
Manager is Mr. Silva showing me a picture of a Chinese man on the
dining room wall, "It is the first time that he ever left China. He came
here to America and designed the Feng Shui in all of the rooms." As I am playing with the sand garden in the lobby, "I thought it is Feng
Shui the minute I entered you can sense the serenity of it all."
Chinese Gong the tam tam give a crash sound when played in Orchestra
and traditionally used as a official greeting when two important groups
met each other on the road they would bow down to each other and sound
Mr. Silva,"Yes the Chinese clothing designs on the walls are typical outfits that they live in day to day. We have a buddha in the garden and here(showing the little sand garden) it is supposed to take the stress away."
He rakes a couple of times in the little sand garden in the lobby.
Emme: Do you do that a lot every day? Laughing.
Mr. Silva laughs, "No not every day. But I see all the business people sitting in the lobby casually raking in the sand garden all the time."Emme: That is because their so stressed.
He laughs and says, "Yes they're probably stressed in they're work but we hope when they come here to the Hotel Jade that we can unstress all of the guests."
The team is friendly and helps you all the time and super sweet. You will love the stay at the elegant quiet 3star in Geneva.
Come to Basel Back Pack located at www.baselbackpack.com/de at Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +41 (0)61 333 00 37 Dornacherstrasse 192 the Basel has a great room downstairs where people hang and talk and mix stories plus right down the lane is a GREAT BAR where about 250 people hang out and drink and it is TOTALLY COOL and you just hang out there drink and make your way like an alligator swaying side to side to the Basel Back Pack Hostel..where as you can see the rooms they're totally cool and the kitchen with two stoves and laundry is open ALL NIGHT! There is tons of showers and the people they're always out on the couches chatting. Plus they've got PRIVATE ROOMS!
Stefan, "I am from Germany but a year ago my friend who owns the Basel Back Pack asked if I would love to come and partner and I said yes..." He is totally cute, girls therefore I would suggest The Basel and when I asked him about the Germany train system of where I could hop on and off to see all of Germany he shows you the map and tells you the best local knowledge, "See Come straight to Bad Basel Bad station and buy the ticket there that is the best option..."
Okay that I am cool about since I am totally clueless and would of went all the way to Stuttgart to buy the ticket many euros later....
http://www.stadthof.ch/ Love to Ammann who I interviewed the bosses right Hand Lady. She takes care of all of the reservations and financial stuff and the Boss is the President of all of the Resturants in Basel including the 3 yes 3 that locate in the famous Stadhof Hotel. It has been in existence since 1295. My Little room is adorable with a great view of the church above out my window... a tiny charming number 3. Sweet.
Emme: The Boss is the President of all of the Resturants in Basel! How in the world do you ever find time to talk to him? I see that he is running to that restuarant on the Level one and running into the kitchen and out to the Pizzeria and back to say one word to you and zoom out the door! Amman laughing, "Ive been here almost 7 years and I am used to him. I know that he can give me 15 minutes and I write all my questions down and I ask him all the questions of the last couple of days and he tells me all that I Need to know in 15 minutes! I am super busy as you can see but he is 100 times more busy than me!"
Emme: Is it fun to be so busy all of the time, that is my first question and my other is who is the funniest Person that works at the Stadhof? Amman, "Definitely the Boss and of course there is one that I hired his Name is VIto. He is from Siciily and he is hilarious. He always makes us laugh. He tells jokes to all of the guests." Emme: If the Boss said Ammann what would you Change about the Stadhof what would that be?
Ammann, "I would put other Colors in the rooms with bright paint and you shall see when I Show you the rooms...maybe different Colors with the curtains and make These Little changes."
When Ammann Shows me my room it is charming and I see that it is huge ceilings all in White. She would like to paint murals and Colors and use the charm and character on the ceilings and walls. I find it adorable. Being such a cool Boss with the knowledge of the entire restaraunt Business at his Hands I am instructed to write 25 questions in an email to the Boss and he can answer all of em. I sit down to write my questions all you would ever want to know about eating at Basel with its old world buildings and interwoven alleys.
The pretty and adorable Stadhof.
At www.SPECIALIZED.com in Basel Switzerland is a Young Team with a Young Boss who doesnt really think that he is Young, "Going out to drink Cocktails? Um I cant remember the last time I went out ...I have 3 children now and I cook dinner every night. If me and the wife want to go out to dinner we drive to a Japanese restuarant in Zurich! It is only one hour away. Children their the best one time when I went to a School Meeting for my Little one almost 7 years old the teacher very seriously said to me, "You know she doesn't put a lot of effort into School...it is almost as if she just Comes here to hang out and to make friends with everyone." " He starts laughing, "And I said, yes?...I mean what does she expect a 7 year old to do at School... of course she just Comes here to hang out and make friends."
Emme laughing, "I think she was comparing her to the other children.. such as well all of the other ones try really hard at their books etc. and your Little Girl just has fun."
Specialized Boss shrugging his shoulders, "She is almost 7 I expect her to hang out and make friends."
When I ask the employee a Young kid if he likes the Boss he says, "Yes that is my Boss." He probably likes to just come to the bike store and hang out and make friends! Funny.
Emme: My Computer is lost at the Airport and I am doing a fundraising to find another Laptop...is there any Laptops that the bike store has that you would love to donate to me?
Boss at bike store, "Give me 5 minutes let me see if there is one in the bikeroom...." He runs around the store trying to find one, "We had a Laptop. Serious. But I can't find it. If I find one I can email you and you can take it." Emme...Um that would be great since I Need one. Let's see .... on to the guitar place... at Alfi's Guitars... all friends there. Cool place and the owner is giving a lesson to a Young kid on electric guitars. Upstairs there is Little tiny Baby guitars with painted flowers on the front and cool.
The Young kid, "No I am just learning the electric guitar and I don't know how to Play the Little one. "
Alfi, "It is different the electric isn't the same as the Little one. " Emme: Is there a Website to the Music store?
Alfi and Young kid laughing, "Yes but it is a mess. Here is YouTube Video of Alfis store."
Okay if you would love to see the YouTube Video here it is...
Guy enters bar, "O GOD...WHo the *%*" played Johnny Cash? I hate Johnny Cash. Show me the Person who played Johnny Cash and I am going over there to start a fight." Emme.... UM... Geez that is so strange I ddint even notice anyone. Hm...Strange.
Guy, "Come on you must of seen who stood here and played Johnny Cash." Emme: Nope I was talking to These People at the bar. No idea.
Guy seeing the lineup on the Jukebox... 5 more Songs of Johnny Cash to go...."O Geez I am leaving I am going home. I can't stand Johnny Cash. Come on tell me who played it."The conversation went on and on.... Emme relenting : Okay...see These two college Girls over there with the Long Brown hair? They played Johnny Cash.
Guy, "O Great they're with a bunch of college Kids. I can't yell at them. " Emme:: Okay gotta go. See you later. O and to let you know I love Johnny Cash+ I say as I walk away.
Okay stay at the Hotel Stadhof and as you Exit to see the nightlife of the City make a left here is a Little bar and local hangout with a cool Jukebox o say about 150 meters to the left of the Stadhof... as I enter there is tons of Young college Kids thank God as you will see in a Little while and on to the older Group of about 35 to up at the bar. I say hi to the bartender a Girl and a Young guy is at the bar. He hears me asking the bartender about Basel and he starts questioning me. When I see the Jukebox it becomes funny. Emme: O MY GOD I love Jukeboxes.
Guy, "O really? Okay let me Play some of my favorite Songs. He starts playing obscure Songs and when I ask if he can Play Kredence Clearwater he says that is too old of a song:) Lou Reed a Walk on the Wild side starts playing on the Jukebox.
Emme: A walk on the wild side?! That is the oldest song.
Guy, "That is a great song. I'll be right back I see my friends outside and I want to go talk to them."
He leaves and I go to the Jukebox. For only 2 swiss you can Play 5 Songs, so I Play 5 Johnny Cash Songs, I love Country Western. The song I walk the line starts playing and everyone in the bar starts to Dance.
Sports store owner, "I use it all the time at work and I use it at night to check the sports scores. Especially tennis." Emme: My favorite tennis player is Roger Federer. Guy at sports store, "Mine too. I like Roger but he is getting a ltitle old. 31, 33 that is old to play tennis." Emme: That is young. When I went to Dubai Roger is there with his wife on the beach. Dubai is really pretty. Guy at sports store, "Ive never been to Dubai. I heard it is expensive." Emme: No it isn't expensive at all. Woman owning organic food store of soup, "O I use it a little at night to watch my favorite shows. It's a long story." Emme: How did you decide to open an organic food store? Woman, "O It's a long story." Emme laughing,: It's okay I have time. My story is 4 years long. Two 65 year old Gentlemen sitting at cafe in 5 star, "O I use it to check my emails. All business emails." Emme: Does anyone do facebook? One Gentleman, "I do. I am a ghost facebook writer. I only check it a couple of times per month." Emme: Is Hugh Hefner alive? Second Gentleman, "Who is Hugh Hefner?" Emme: You know the owner of playboy is he still alive? One Gentleman, "Yes he is alive. He is alive."
Speaking of the UN here is the famous flags and entry into Geneva's UN
Emme to business owner: How many times do you use the computer per day? (he answeres none) Okay favorite restuarant in Geneva?
Man from Sri Lanka, "I eat everything. Goat, Fish, Human." Emme stopping him: HUMAN. Man from Sri Lanka, "Yes I am from Sri Lanka and we eat everything." Emme: I heard that they do that in Uganda but I didn't know about Sri Lanka. Man from Sri Lanka, "I worked 20 years at the UN. I know they do that at Uganda. The leader of Uganda used to kill his people and eat them." Emme: There is 22 United Arab Countries and they kicked Bashar Al-Assad out of the 22 United because of the war in his country. They should kick Uganda out of the UN because you do not eat human people. Man from Sri Lanka, "There is now 22 Countries in the UN. We don't kick countries out of the UN.Now I am retired. I have 2 children and I was bored so I opened up my store. My wife left me." Emme: That is probably because you agree that Uganda should be in the UN.
Man Who is Owner of Bar, "One time when I worked at a 5 Star Hotel about 125 kilometers from here a Saudi Arabian Family rented the penthouse. When they left I went in to check the room and I found a 3-1/2 foot krocodile in the bathtube." Emme: O MY GOD. IS IT ALIVE....A KROCODILE. A LIVE KROCODILE? Man, "Yes a real live krocodile just splashing around in the bathtub. It didn't hurt you since it is only a little one. But a real live krocodile. And another time a group from Lebanon some Sheikhs came in and they made a campfire on the floor right in the middle of the floor and they roasted marshmallows and we had to replace the entire floor."