Stoke Newington

MFO Park and Oerliker Park

Here’s some pics of the two parks I mentioned in my  previous post: MFO Park (the “High Line on dope”) and Oerliker Park (Stoke Newington on Crack). It wasn’t a blue-sky day but I think it still looks pretty awesome. Feel pretty lucky to have this cool shit on my doorstep.

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A bit more about the area, thanks for asking! 🙂

The two parks pictured above, MFO Park and Oerliker Park, are in Neu Oerlkion, a former industrial area in the northern Zurich suburb of Oerlikon that’s been developed as a living / working / playing / leisure space in recent years. This Wikipedia Oerlikon entry and this page explain it nicely.

Neu Oerlikon is literally on the other side of the tracks to where I’m living in Oerlikon – a 15-20 minute walk that involves crossing to the other side of Oerlikon station. I guess the futuristic architecture around there is to do with its industrial roots and the fact that it’s all being built new and on a fairly large scale, it would seem!

The  “blue blinds” building is all apartments that overlook Oerliker Park. The “steel sky” and Bombadier buildings are businesses I think. Centre 11 is a pretty ordinary shopping centre with a big Coop (one of the main supermarkets here) including a huge DIY (or in German: BAU-hobby) section. I snapped the industrial lift because it looked slightly out of place there – it is kinda too cool for the rather daggy surrounds!

I should do some photos of the older bits of Zurich around Neiderdorf too eh? The street/area I’m living in is on a bit more of a “human scale” – there’s the 1908-built church across the road, my 1930s apartment block – but is not quite so photogenic 😉

Soft Shock

Spring in Zurich

The weather’s come on all warm and springlike. I’m a bit tired and woozy. Although I hate to mention illness in a public (online) forum, it’s relevant that we’ve had sinusey colds and are not sleeping so well. P is still getting used to his “big boy bed” and needs a bit of reassurance through the night too, which doesn’t help. But I don’t really have anything to do so there’s a sort of pleasant… drift…

It’s the perfect day for sitting lazy in the sunshine. Maybe drinking beer. Except I don’t have anyone to do it with, and I’ve got some responsibilities (a toddler to pick up, vacuuming to do, a bit of paid work, blogging, working out what to do with the rest of my life).

I wish I had my fingernails back, a cleaner and some local friends. Not necessarily in that order.

I’ve been wondering about culture shock. I don’t know if hasn’t kicked in yet, or it’s just been very gentle. I haven’t found myself gasping at the huge spectrum of difference I’m faced with. Everything feels pretty normal and nice. Maybe the crash comes later? Or maybe Zurich is just similar enough to both London (a busy European city with lots of banking) and Sydney (there’s an echo of Australia here for me –  pleasant, affluent, quiet, aware of its position of advantage). Maybe it’s the wash of languages rather than being faced with a solid wall of German. I don’t know. But I’m not complaining.

I walked through this incredible park the other day. It was like an idealised world or Stoke Newington on crack: Stock-photo students lounging on benches placed in an arty giant-gravel piazza, happy neighbours playing a round or 2 of ping pong on the public tables, parents and kids enjoying a state-of-the-art playground. A few streets on, the incredible looking MFO Park – which is like the New York Highline on dope – a lazy vertical park dripping with foliage, populated by more brochure-style students and multicultural peeps. P was asleep in the buggy so I didn’t stop anywhere, just noted it all down for future reference.  Need to get among it…