Let’s Make a Deal!
“Do you want what?s in the box or what?s behind the curtain?” Famous words of Monty Hall, host of Let’s Make a Deal, one of the most popular game shows on American television during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Contestants had to choose between curtain number 1, 2 or 3, to either fall upon an entire new living room’s worth of furnishings or a live chicken – the stress that it entailed! Every time I approach Zürich’s main train station, I am not quite so much as stressed as genuinely curious as to what I will find behind the curtain, or rather, the station’s main doors. Not nearly as arbitrary as the infamous curtains, the train station’s main hall transforms itself in its entirety according to season or current event.
I became aware of the station’s changing face when entering one day, only to be confronted by a huddle of 56 foot tall replicas of eleven of Europe’s top soccer stars, their faces created with the most realistic precision (thanks to Geomagic digital reconstruction software, apparently). This was of course during the months that Zürich was one of the cities in Switzerland and Austria to host the Euro Cup, the prestigious soccer tournament that takes place every 4 years. In one month’s time, that same space was occupied by tremendous glass chandeliers, a dancefloor set for a Summer Night Ball, soon replaced by a full out club during the Techno Parade, well, I began to catch on.
For me, the most exciting transformation happens more than once a year – 37 Wednesdays to be exact – when it becomes a food market!
I find all my favorite stands from my cher Bürkliplatz Markt – the breads and sausages, the man with the succulent Persian dates and assorted dried fruits and nuts, the woman who never understands a word I say, but manages to understand that I’d like a tub full of her creamy hummus, the friendly woman who lets me take plenty of pictures of her beautiful bread displays and an area of wooden tables and chairs for those savoring their plates of raclette and sauerkraut. You also can’t miss the rather large, and ever so bright yellow, inflatable Chiquita banana, drawing you in for a chocolate-dipped banana.
I’ll be taking a train next week to Paris, at which point I’ll be sure to discover yet another surprise waiting behind the curtain.