February 16, 2008


(artwork courtesy Rhonda Durand)

If last week’s swirls of confetti made your heart go pitter-patter and the sweet (?!) sound of piccolos is still dancing in your ears then you’re a Fasnacht Fanatic. And what better way to show your affection for Basel’s most colorful celebration than with a Fasnacht painting?

Rhonda Durand has a new series of small original paintings of Fasnacht characters and masks in her show at Kunst.part gallery (Spalenberg 30) in the center of Basel. The show, from February 16 until March 8, also includes her watercolors and acrylic paintings of water and snow.

Come and meet the artist! Stop by and meet Rhonda while she paints in the gallery on Saturdays from 2pm until 5 pm.

Rhonda Durand Fasnacht Paintings Exhibit
Kunst.part gallery
Spalenberg 30
February 16-March 8


ACTION PAINTING – Now through May 12
If you love paintings but Fasnacht isn’t your thing, check out Foundation Beyeler’s “Action Painting” exhibit.

According to the site it is “devoted to aspects of gestural painting from 1945 to 1965.” Er. Whatever. All I know is it is featuring some of my favorite artists, including Jackson Pollock (who inspired the term “Action Painting”) and Sam Francis, as well as Arshile Gorky, Wols, Morris Louis, Pierre Soulages, Lee Krasner, and more.

For more information about the exhibit visit the website: www.beyeler.com

Action Painting Exhibit
Fondation Beyeler, Riehen
Now through May 12
+41 (0)61 645 97 00


ENGLISH STAND-UP IN BASEL! – February 17 (and more)
Check out www.jesters.ch for information about English-speaking stand-up comedy in Switzerland. Their Basel line-up is impressive. See the site for complete show listings. The next show is Steve Hughes (AUS) and Nick Witty (UK) at the Kuppel on February 17. NOTE: This venue gets five clean breaths on the Lung-o-Meter for being non-smoking!

Join this English-language guided tour of an exhibition, which displays the long history of the fortification of Basel from the first cutting of ditches to the dismantling of the walls in the 19th century. Two interactive computer stations will illustrate where the remnants can be seen. Cost is 10 CHeeses (CHF).

Basel Fortification Guided Tour
February 17, 11:00am
Museum Kleines Klingental, Unterer Rheinweg 26
Contact: www.centrepoint.ch



If you’re having a child in Basel for the first time, then don’t miss this event, sponsored by Basel Childcare Trust! This event will give you information on hospital choices, pregnancy care, screening, doctors, paperwork, classes, postnatal care and activities in Basel. Space is limited so please reserve your place in advance. Cost 10 CHeeses (CHF).

Having a Child in Basel Educational Session
Basel Childcare Trust
February 21, 7-9pm
Neuhoffstrasse 4, Reinach
Contact: Susie Blandford, tel: 0033.



Jazz fans can head over to Lorrach, Germany on February 22 for a tribute concert to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday (“Lady Day”) at the Burghof. Tickets are available on the website www.burghof.com. Get in the mood by setting up your own free Billie Holiday station on www.pandora.com (a seriously amazing, FREE web music interfacey thing).


If you know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em, then visit www.sprisse.ch where you can register for a Sunday Poker tournament. The cost of entry is 20 + 5 CHF buy-in. A bit of German is helpful to register on the website, but there’s no need to speak a word during play.


Forget to send a Valentine’s Day card (note: see “How Do I love thee?” below)? Trying to convince your friends and family to come for a visit? Send them a Basel e-card! The Basel Tourism site has a selection of electronic photos that show Basel at her best. Visit http://www.basel.com/en/ecard.cfm and click your way through the simple instructions. Then head to the store for an inflatable mattress for the stream of visitors that are sure to follow.


HOW DO I LOVE THEE (Chocolate)?
If you messed up the latest Hallmark holiday or simply want to keep the celebration going, you can’t go wrong with my latest obsession: an order of chocolates from Paris chocolatier Patrick Roger.

I’ve placed an order for my deathbed (right next to the assiette de fromage) but there’s no need to wait. Just order online and before you know it these little bites of perfection will be at your door.

If the price for the gift boxes seems a bit steep, just stop by the shop on your next jaunt to Paris. There you can pick and choose a small bag full of “le yum”* for just about 8 Euros. At these prices, get an extra bag and ship it off to your friends in the States. They’re not shipping there yet!

*No I don’t recommend you say this to Patrick – or to anyone in Paris, actually.

If your expat-Nationalistic (expationlistic?) pride requires that you MUST have Swiss chocolate then grab some pralines from Beschle (they also make homemade ice cream) or Gilgen.

Patrick Roger
108 Blvd St. Germain
Paris 75006
Closed Sunday


Does your pug need a pullover? Does your daschund dare to be dapper? Hop the tram to Gisèle Accessoires where you’ll find outfits and more (travel bags, toys, etc.) for your furry friends of the canine and feline varieties.

Gisèle Accessoires
Spalenberg 46
4051 Basel
+41 61 261 39 38

Not find what you need? Check out www.BarkerandMeowsky.com (yes, they ship internationally) where you’ll find everything from a doggie Yarmulke to a high-test kitty catnip cigar that will make your cat do this:

zelda cigar.jpg

(photo courtesy Matt Meehan)



(photo courtesy Pink Pea, LLC)

DOTTIE’S MAGIC POCKETS (Or just what has Karena been up to back in the US?)
Are you (and your kids) done with Dora and bored with Buster? If you’re looking for a great “alternative” gift idea for your children… just follow the bouncing “Dottie” to www.dottiesmagicpockets.com.

Launched in September 2007, the direct-to-DVD program was recently featured on NPR’s Marketplace and will be appearing as entertainment on the March 2008 R Family Vacations cruise (Rosie’s Cruise).

The first Dottie’s Magic Pockets DVD (Code 1) contains two 25-minute episodes, entitled “Doing the Flower” and “Beat Beet” (the latter co-written by former Baseler and Balehoo author, Karena Meehan – that’s me!). Each episode features the fabulous Dottie and her polka-dotted bow, along with zany puppets, cartoons, catchy songs and dances that kids love. The episodes also include images and characters – such as Princess, a caterpillar with two dads – that represent gay and lesbian households.

Dottie’s Magic Pockets is available on DVD at www.dottiesmagicpockets.com for $19.99 retail (plus shipping and handling – international shipping available). And don’t miss the great Uncanny the Singing Can “Burp!” t-shirts for kids and adults – perfect for all the beer (and near-beer) drinkers on your gift list.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR BALEHOO READERS! Get 20% off any Dottie purchase. Just enter the following code in the coupon field when you purchase: SUPER.
Dottie’s Magic Pockets
19.99 USD (+S&H)



It wouldn’t be a Balehoo newsletter if I didn’t swoon over cheese like a mouse at the Velveeta factory. So, it is with curd-like glee that I note that Restaurant Walliser Kanne has reopened! This traditional Swiss restaurant, which had closed for renovation before I left in June is now back in business for your fondue-ing pleasure.

Choose from traditional cheese, cep (porcini mushroom) and champagne versions of gooey delight. Or try the all-you-can-eat raclette! Yep, that’s right. All you can eat.

For the non-cheese eater (aka infidels) try one of their famous Wiener schnitzels, prepared right at your table (mind the splatter!).

Top it all off with a bottle of Swiss white for a fitting end to this year’s Fondue Season (oh, what the heck, go back next week, too).

Walliser Kanne
Gerbergasse 50
CH-4001 Basel / Schweiz
Phone +41 61 261 70 17
Closed Sunday

Have news or information to share? Send it to Karena Meehan

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