15 November, 2007

Happy Birthday to myself from Stockholm!

Edit: blogger has cropped my images- to view them full size, click on them.

Stockholm was wonderful! Here are some of the things I did:

-Eat Tacos
-Eat Hamburgers
-Eat Hot Dogs
-Get Fun-ky with some Happy Jazz blues rock music!

Stockholm is the exact opposite of Barcelona. Unlike Barcelona, the city smells like fresh pine and cinnamon buns (Kanelbulle, invented here by the way.) Everything closes by 6 PM. The food at any budget is terrific (even getting Köttbular from 7-Eleven!). Breakfast rivals America's. The people don't hate you for speaking English, and perhaps even more surprising, most of their television is the exact same as ours. In fact, the first question when I checked in was "Do you know when the writer's strike will be over?" (They love Conan O'Brien)

Needless to say, some of their culture has reflected this- restaurants such as the one above were formed solely out of the numerous references to "tacos" in America, and the curiosity as to what they were like.

The city is extremely classical in its appearance, but modernism is celebrated with a subdued, functional approach. Much of the city is enclosed through several projects over the years (starting with the town square above and tying in to the Kulturehuset (right) and the new GALLERIAN. It's all done seamlessly and, more importantly, successfully. In fact, everything in Stockholm is done well- from the flow of the city to to the resolution of critical intersections. It's possible to navigate a good portion of Stockholm's downtown without ever being directly exposed to the elements.

While here I visited the Museet Modern and its architecture museum next door, Asplund's Library and Woodland cemetery (below) , the Vasa Museum, the Kaknas Tower, and the Royal Palace.

Asplund's work was also impressive. Particularly of interest was the competition being held to built a new addition to the stockholm city library, with proposals ranging from clever to cliché to just plain stupid.

And, an obligatory long-exposure shot. It's 2:50 PM in that picture.

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