ViCAFE PORTRAIT: JOËL, THE TAUSENDSASSA
“Hoi! Sali! Ciao! How’s it going? ” Joël is immediately recognizable by his cheerful and warm-hearted greeting. If you were in a bad mood until recently, you can be sure that it has now dissipated. And with a freshly brewed Flat White anyway. We meet Joël at ViCAFE Gerold. He puts the last items away and joins us for the evening. “There was a lot going on today thanks to the nice weather,” he says and grabs his BMX.
It’s one of the first relatively mild evenings in March, when you get a sense that spring is is not far off. We take a spin around Frau Gerold’s garden. The atmosphere is something between the last days of winter and the first buds of spring. Too warm for a hot drink, too cool for a glacé, although the Gelateria di Berna is already prepared for the new summer season.
Joël talks fresh off the cuff. He has just returned from his winter vacations. His three-year-old son Nils had already started snowboarding last year. The proud daddy pulls out his cell phone and shows a video of the little boy practicing his first rides on the board. The family is generally very active and can always be found out and about. Whether in the Letzibadi, in the freestyle park near the Allmend, while hiking or hiking or “Brötle” in the forest. The main thing is adventurous.
We leave Gerold’s garden in the direction of Schiffbauplatz, where Joël wants to show us a few of his moves on the BMX. At the same time there is a skateboard training for kids. A few tricks here, a few stunts there – we fit perfectly into the scene. People start talking to each other. Joël literally attracts people.
“I need to warm up a bit, it’s been a while since I rode it.” You don’t notice any of that as an amateur. His tricks are brisk, light, snappy and a bit risky. “With family and a job, I unfortunately don’t have as much time for BMX anymore, but it’s still great fun for me.”
Joël’s first exposure to the nimble sport was about seventeen years ago. He saw the stunts of the pros on TV and said to his parents, “I want to do that, too.” A short time later Joël would be found on his bike every free minute. “I’m already a bit of a jack of all trades. I like to try out new things. Hence the hobby with the BMX.” He even participated in a competition once. “But more to be there than to win,” he says with a twinkle in his eye.
Incidentally, the frame of his BMX bike still comes from the original bike his parents had bought him back then. “I’ve replaced individual parts over time, of course. But it still has a sentimental value for me.
We make our way home. On the way, Joël says hello to a former employee of ViCAFE, but also to customers who know him from the coffee window. The trained sports goods salesman has always been a “people person”.
He approaches people with openness, tolerance and respect. 55 pairs of sneakers have been accumulated during his career in sports stores. “As a collector I still don’t necessarily call myself a collector.” He looks at his watch.
“So, and now I have to relieve my girlfriend, she has her night out today and I have to watch the little one.”
Text: Sarah Ackermann, Felix Goelzer
Bilder: Sarah Ackermann, Aaron Fee