A Report from Sentiweg
(Lucerne, Switzerland)

Found near the intersection of Dammstrasse and Baselstrasse, in the so-called immigrant district on the western border of downtown Lucerne, are the locations of 2 uniquely planned garden restaurants. The first is known as Gardenrestaurant Sentimatt (at 26 Baselstrasse) and contains a rear-facing semi-covered concrete garden, with a sloping tin roof, a collection of sun umbrellas and a small wooden beer hut, the contents of which are normally looked after by the rug-like formation seen most often stretched out beside the entranceway steps: the sleeping, grey guard dog of sorts, known to rise and quietly rumble out a low barking noise with the passing of each local train (of which there are quite a few, due to the terrace's location directly adjacent to the main rail tracks of the city). Found just to the east of Gardenrestaurant Sentimatt is the neighboring streetside, flat-roofed garden terrace of Crazy Cactus (at 24 Baselstrasse), a well-shaded location containing a small thatched-roof bar and accompanying disco ball, a special-event projection-screen (as well as a small television set), a historic stone water fountain (dating to well before the restaurant's time), and even a contemporary Mars Bar candy machine. The terrace—accessible even when the restaurant is closed—contains seating for roughly 20-25 people, consisting of a few bar stools and an array of stackable plastic chairs. There are, as well, 12 outdoor metal tables included—some with table cloths, others without.

Traveling on foot just a short distance northbound from the Crazy Cactus terrace and water fountain, under the Dammstrasse railway overpass, one can visit a set of quiet and nearly hidden concrete steps, which lead downwards to a secluded river landing along the pedestrian path known as Sentiweg. The Sentiweg pedestrian walkway, running along the south shore of the Reuss river, links the easterly situated downtown tourist district (surrounding the Spreuerbrücke and its neighboring historic needle dam), to the western, commercial and light industrial district around the St.-Karli-Brücke. At the mid-point between these two diverse neighborhoods are the overpass for one line of the regional train system, along with two partially terraced garden-bridges of the A2/E35 autobahn system, as it leads into and out of central Lucerne.

At the bottom of the Sentiweg riverside steps, and attached to the top portion of the western facing riverbank wall, one will notice a thick and solid iron ring with an inner circumference of roughly 2 inches. To be found hanging from the iron ring, in this quiet, man-made landing bay of sorts, a good 3 feet above the river's calm flow, is a standard gauge (yet seemingly commercial in nature) coat hanger. The coat hanger, with a thin metal neck and black plastic form, hangs at most times empty of any clothing items or any other water-related articles. The hanger appears to be, without a doubt, the necessary practical accessory for anyone here planning to wade out into the river, or for anyone whose aim is simply just to rest in the foot of the shallow waters of the small informal waterway landing.

It should be noted that even after hanging for many years in the naturally inclement alpine weather, the hanger appears to have remained in good working condition. And although of very high quality and proper working order—either due to trust and honor in the area, or possibly due to the watchful eyes of the locals—no one has yet attempted to steal, or do harm in any way to this small utilitarian riverside article.


<<<