Hot 5: Lucerne and Lausanne, Switzerland
By Dennis Hensley
In Lausanne, Switzerland near Lake Geneva, the hottest club night of the week for the local gays is Sunday when Club Trixx opens its doors in the basement of the massive Mad nightclub. While many gay bars I've visited, at home and abroad, seem to be hidden away like dirty little secrets, Mad, with it's bright, AIDS prevention-themed murals, is impossible to miss. Yes, that is a giant plastic condom attached to the side of the building. Since Mad's opening two decades ago, this onetime warehouse has watched one of Lausanne's hippest neighborhoods, known as Flon, sprout up around it.
Before heading to Trixx, I enjoyed my favorite meal that I had in Switzerland; an imaginative and delicious Asian chicken and rice bowl at Pur, a popular fusion restaurant right next to Mad. My dining companion was the charming Alex Herkommer, who has been one of the promoters of Mad for nearly twenty years and he has the crazy club stories to prove it. Mad is also the home of Mousse, a hugely popular foam party, which happens every summer and according to Alex, isn't as hard to clean up after as one would imagine. Alex is also involved in the upcoming Swiss Gay Ski Week, which is happening in Arosa from January 9 to the 16, 2010.
I found the crowd at Trixx plenty cute and attitude-free but they all smoked, every single one of them. The same was true at the clubs I hit in Zurich. I'm surprised at how much this didn?t agree with me, in terms of my eyes, throat and overall constitution. California may not get a lot right -- like the state budget and The Hills, for example -- but I love that you can't smoke in nightclubs. Call me a killjoy curmudgeon, but it's hard to get into to Lady Gaga when you're gagging.
Watch Dennis's YouTube video interview with Alex Herkommer outside Mad: