28 October, 2010

Donderdag Veggiedag

We're heading to the veggie capital of Europe: Ghent (or Gent, or Gand, even?) for the weekend.

In my mind, Belgium is a quaint and friendly-seeming place, but one that you don't actually know much about. Besides food. Waffles, pommes frites, beer. (no veggies on that list, you'll notice.)
I learned about little old Ghent from art history mostly, and there was a treaty or two signed there. I've never been, or to anywhere in Belgium for that matter. But we're going to visit our fabulous friends Maggie & Greg.

More to report later... 

27 October, 2010

A gang of gypsies bought me lunch today

A gang of gypsies bought me lunch today. Stu thought I should post about it because it sounds funny.

But it's true!

I assisted the curator of photography at Moderna for a few hours this morning with a large collection of photographs from fantastic photographer Anna Riwkin from the 1950s, when she documented the lives of many Roma families in Sweden. A group of Romani reasearchers (Or Zigenare? I know Roma and Romani are not exactly interchangeable, but I'm not sure which they were, hence they will be both) along with some Hungarian visitors were interested in Riwkin's photos because many of the subjects were members of their own families. It was interesting, especially how impassioned a few became with mention of the Holocaust and WWII, and even with their historical portrayal at Skansen in Stockholm. All in Swedish and Hungarian, so even more of a learning opportunity for me.

Anyway, they invited me to lunch after. It was lovely! And no one stole my wallet or jewelry (meant only to joke, not to pervade misconception.)

22 October, 2010

Real snow

It is snowing big and it is sticking. First snow was October 14th last year, according to our blog, so I guess holding out to the 22nd is pretty good, right? Right?

I can't wait for December 19th, when we head to sunny, warm Egypt for nearly 3 whole weeks...

17 October, 2010

First snow

Our first snow of the season was actually in Helsinki. And for the record, it IS only early October. I heard there were flakes in Stockholm, but I'm just going to pretend it was far warmer and sunnier here to make myself feel better about living in generally frigid Scandinavia: it could be worse...it could be Finland. 
(Just kidding. But it was cold.)

But in fact, we DID see snow in Stockholm this weekend. 

They trucked it in and dumped it on the stairs at Sergels Torg in the middle of town. I guess it was a snow boarding demonstration? 
Either way, it counts as the first snow of the season for me. Mostly because its probably still there, since it hasn't gotten warm enough to melt. Welcome to winter in Sweden. Only 6 more months 'til spring...

A few Helsinki pics

It has been my dad's first trip to Europe EVER, so in addition to Stockholm and London, we managed to squeeze in Helsinki with one of those last-minute-super-cheap cruises to Finland Thursday-Saturday. It was our first trip to the city, as well. 

It was frickin' cold. Too cold to take too many pictures. So cold, it snowed, in fact. 
We ate reindeer. We unsuccessfully tried to pronounce Finnish words. We got drunk on the boat. We bought cases of beer and hauled them home.

Now dad is on his way back stateside. Fun trip! 

13 October, 2010

Falukorv: another major Swedish landmark down

Tonight, we made falukorv for dinner.

This giant red curved odd hot dog thing is as Swedish as apple pie is American. I hadn't eaten it (unless you count its presence in pytt i panna) much less cooked it at home, but I thought since my dad is in town, it would be appropriate to try. You know, like we had to try all those other ridiculous Swedish foodstuffs like tunnbrödrullar, salty licorice, messmör and julmust.

It had kind of an interesting story. It is a protected food in the EU, much like Parma or Buffalo mozzarella, and you can't call it "Falukorv" unless it is made like it has been traditionally in the region surrounding Falun in the middle of Sweden. Something about being made with potato flour and a certain percentage of a certain kind of meat. Anyway, the sausage recipe comes from way back in the 1500s, when the copper mines near Falun was slaughtering large numbers of oxen for their hides, to make rope to pull the ore out of the deep mining pits. The meat from the animals was too much for the miners, so they smoked it and it became well-known. And today, its a staple of Swedish school lunches and family dinners.

It wasn't so bad! I quite like sausage (I tried vegetarianism for over a year once, but it was kielbasa I dreamed about and turned me omnivore again!) It isn't exactly like sausage, but like a fat ballpark hotdog. Which would make you think you should just boil it, or bake it, or slice it up and fry it, right? Sadly, I didn't realize that you don't eat the casing until halfway through cooking it, and it would have been far easier to peel that bastard before it was super hot. Oh well. It was a success, and my dad even ate the brussel sprouts I made with it.

12 October, 2010


 We got married two years ago this week!

To celebrate, we're going out to what has become one of our favorite restaurants in Stockholm, Soldaten Svejk (The Czech Soldier.) With my dad.
We are happy he is here for it.

(I know, maybe not as romantic, but our first anniversary had us walking all over Vasastan trying to find Doden i Grytan, only for them to have an hour and a half wait for a table, and the place we ended up at is now out of business, so our standards on "perfect romantic anniversary" aren't so high.)

06 October, 2010

London bound!

We are heading to London tomorrow for a long weekend of sight-seeing, Starbucks and balmy 65-degree weather.*

*We are not actually going all the way to London for Starbucks. I showed my dad our pictures from the last trip, and realized there were about a dozen of me holding Starbucks coffee cups. In front of Big Ben. In front of a church. In the middle of Regent St. Its almost embarrassing.
But there will be sight-seeing and warmer weather.

04 October, 2010

Visit from the States!

Anne's Dad has come to visit! We went and picked Dave up at the airport on Saturday, taking public transportation up to Arlanda and reminiscing about how we did it the hard way our first time with our trip into Stockholm and too many bags... It's been great to show him around our new city, and having been here for a full turning of the seasons it does feel more like "ours", at least for now. Especially now that we're getting the chance to revisit old favorites.

Speaking of which, first, the horde: Dave brought us five jars of peanut butter, four boxes of hot cocoa mix, three jars of marshmallow fluff, two rounds of candy corn and a partridge in a pear tree. Anne is a very happy girl as this is truly the mother load... er, father? In any case, it's happily received and will be gone before we know it. None of these are that dear, they're just unusual here, which puts them on our Fall 2010 list of favorite things. (Hot chocolate packets, are for convenience at the office. Marshmallow fluff, have you seen those new jars? They're so light!) Yes, we now have more PB than one should ever have in one cupboard due to our previous stockpiling. But that means there is an excuse to make cookies. A Very Happy Anne, indeed.

The flight didn't allow my father-in-law much opportunity to sleep so we first faced a challenge and a decision of how to best manage the jet lag which was promptly met with a nap. Wise choice, I'd say. But to counter that we had to get out and do some walking. And walk we did, about five miles, give or take (Yankee miles, not Swedish). Down through to Gamla Stan we wondered. Ran into a men's choir promoting their concert and it filled the air with a charming, old-timey atmosphere: just right for the old towne as we took a fika in a medieval cellar near the Stortorget. (Site of the Stockholm Bloodbath in 152o the tale of which I related...)

Then we took a quick photo op at the corner of Kåkbrinken & Prästgatan for the runestone... I'd heard it was there and must have walked by it countless times in our visits to one of the cutest parts of town but only this time was I smart enough to write down the address.

How the runestone got there is an interesting story... And it reads, "Torsten and Frögunn had the stone erected after their son." Which I take as kind of an inside joke: there's all these fabulously ancient runestones left lying about and you'd assume they had some mystical, Stone Henge sort of use to them but they mostly amount to saying "Ragnar was here". Norse graffiti. Don't even get me started on cave paintings...

But Dave enjoyed walking about the cobblestone streets, and it was a really nice evening. We had gorgeous weather and I'm already mentally storing up sunshine for the winter months ahead...

I was impressed when Dave stayed awake until 9 in the evening and survived us walking him up Montelius Vägen. Another walk down memory lane for Anne and me.

Finally, we went for a beautiful walk on Sunday as well, through Djurgården and stopping for lunch at Rosendahls Trägården. So beware, a visit to Stockholm requires good walking shoes. But it really was a wonderful time.

Ah ha, and then, best of all. I got to enjoy a football game with my father-in-law. Packers won.

Here are cute pictures. A charming garden, and a lonely hat.

02 October, 2010


Whew, busy week! I thought I was busy the week of Fotografiska opening, but this week was far crazier.

Thursday was the big opening for Modernautställningen (for which there were a total of 4 opening celebrations.) My supervisor at the museum got sick and spent most of the week at home with a 40c fever. So I did the exhibition registrar's work for the exhibition, after having interned less than a month. And admittedly, not the most efficient way: the opening started at 7pm on Thursday, and I was working with the curator until 6:30pm making sure the last details were in place. But it got done.

And the vernissage party was nuts. Everyone with a name in the Stockholm art/culture scene was present, crowding every corner of the 4th floor spaces. And because I was working to finish things until 6:30, I didn't eat dinner, so after a few beers and glasses of champagne, I was having a blast. Dinner was burgers at 10:30 at Max before the after-party at Berns. Not a bad night.

A few pictures: