Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Stockholm day 3

On the third day of my Scandinavian adventure, I finally made it on time to have my breakfast in the cool coffee around the corner. It was indeed pretty cool, but turned out that Wayne's Cafe is the equivalent if the UK's Costa or Nero, but never mind. Again, to the sound of Lykke Li to feel more integrated, I got myself a salmon and dill bagel. Must admit it was not as good as the one the day before, but still pretty good. One thing that I have observed to that Swedish cook with far more salt than the UK. Surrounded by people sitting having breakfast in the same manner as me, I couldn't help but taking a look at the guy in front of me. He was having a Corona with his muffin at 10:00am. Was that a cure for the hangover? What ever it was, I just remained me how I learnt about the massive alcohol ban that happened in Sweden until not long ago (Page 62).

Tummy full and adequate intake of coffee after, I decided to save one metro fare by walking back (again) to the Moderna Museet as it WAS opened on Tuesday. In walked my known well known Götgatan, to cross through Skeppsbron, ignoring once again the Old Town (and the Nobel Museum. Yes, don't judge me), back again to Strömbron and the narrow Skeppsholmbron (here is when I assume that bron means bridge), that by the way, has incredible views, both from the south island as from the big northern, and yes, straight into the open doors of the Museum.

Being used to museums in London which are free and HUGE, this one that costed 800 SEK (7,5-ish quid) this felt short and a bit empty. It is not that the Tate Modern is my ultimate favorite museum, but just for the building itself, it deserves plenty of visits per year; plus the shop, which is just amazing. Nevertheless, I managed to see the latest exhibition based on Yoko Ono's book Grapefruit, which I won't comment because my opinion is quite personal. There were two stairways to heaven to nowhere, just somewhere up I height, carpeted, which required taking the shoes off and writing upstairs in a computer a wish, which would be displayed later in the summer in a big screen. I bet somebody will filter those, as it could result a quite funny experiment. They offered me a magnifying glass by I totally forgot to use it.

There was a bit of Warhol, Lichtestain, Bacon and the highly recongisble Klein, and it's well known canvas painted in said Klein blue. As it is actually my favourite colour, I was quite excited.

As per all modern art museum, there where some pretty, let's say, disturbing displays, not sure in which way, but still:

A bath/pond of muddy water with studied bubble patterns

A batch of TVs showing different video loops at the same time. All very random, very confusing and quite loud.

Friendly blow up dolls by Sturtevant

And my favourite, tiers of lighted bulbs. I just like white light, in any shape or form. Quite moody.

As it happen also in the Tate, the views from the restaurant and the coffee shop are probably worth just the trip there. Didn't try the food though.

What? Is this Glastonbury? No, it is the Bucky Dome (the name comes from the structure originated by Richard Buckminster Fuller, apart from the Fullerenes, which also adopted his name) which is mainly a place to hold different arty activities. The fun part about this that this was originated in 1971 as an stage of the Cherry family (yes, that Cherry: Neneh, Eagle Eye and parents) to do their art bits there: music, art, design, etc. And now Moki Cherry is back again.

The injection of knowledge left me conveniently hungry at the perfect time to take a bus straight to the area of Sofia, passed down Slussen, more precisely to the area of Skånegatan, which turned out to be the hipster area. As the weather forecast predicted in the morning, I had to ditch the sunglasses and put my non existent umbrella on. See, from monday, when I realised about the real meaning of showers when it comes to the rain, and gave up on the closed shoes to be wearing sandals all the time. Actually, stepping in so many puddles here in Stockholm it is the closest I will be this summer to the beach so...

But yes, hipster area, absolutely pissing outside, so soaked in water, I headed straight down to the corner of the square to Nytorget Urban Deli, recommended by the iPad version of Wallpaper's guide to Stockholm which has proved fairly useful (still quite snobbish though). To ease my pain and give me time enough to dry my soaked clothes, I treated myself with a prawn fest with aioli. Nom!

Just by the time I was ready to keep exploring, it started pouring again, and I wished I had Rihanna's umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh for a second, so I just could cross the road and hope for it to end soon while having very bitter coffee.

But it happened, it stopped, so I kept walking the quite interesting street stopping at all the shops that I could (and will admit it, to keep drying my clothes even more). Design, vintage, clothing, hairdressers, thousands of coffee shops, shoes, more restaurants and a record store. I went inside Pet Sounds store in which they were playing Oberhofer (I love them) and saw the last two issues of the NME (the red-ish cover with Bowie and the one with Mumford and Sons), so I said to my inner me: Awwwwww they are not as different.

A couple of hours more around new areas of the south led me back to Slussen, where I went back to my near coffee shop to have a quick sandwich (that's what I thought) and a coffee to prepare me for the night. Just when I was reviewing my photographs and sipping my coffee, the bloke next to me, violently put a cutout of his magazine on top my table and mumbled something in Swedish. 'Excuse me?' - I said a bit offended by the introduction. The 50 something year old guy switched to english to inform me the Encyclopaedia Britannica had stopped editing their hard copies issues due to the low volumes in sales. And here is where the debate started. iPad vs encyclopaedia. By the time I checked the time again, an hour had passed by and the guy was commenting about how he was writing about extra-corporeal experiences that he had after falling from his Swedish bicycle long time ago. I sipped my last drops of coffee, and politely run away to my hostel to get myself ready.

The unexpected phylosophical conversation left me less time than I had planned, so I had to rush to Hornstull, the west part of the southern island for a concert. Such rush did not allow me much time to make sure I knew where the venue was located, so I just hoped for the best. I arrived there and no 7Eleven was nearby to aid me with some Internet connection to my mobile so I had to improvise. The venue: the Strand and all I knew was that I was close to the water. Luckily, the first group of people that I asked for directions were a) from Aberdeen and b) going to the same gig as me, so the despair was not as bad. After a couple of bad directions, we all managed to finally find the place.

I had a long conversation with a local from Stockholm, a girl that just had finished university and was working as a croupier at the Casino. Apparently Stockholm was very boring for her, as there were not many options when it comes to pubs and clubs. She had been coming to the Strand since she was 16 apparently. I recommended her London. She likes London. Her father will give her a trip to Barcelona as a graduation gift. She spent 2 weeks in Gran Canaria but hated it. Too many tourist. Couldn't meet people. Barcelona it is.

Thee Oh Sees were amazing. The most upbeat act of all the night. I was mesmerized by the singer's transparent guitar. Unfortunately he broke a string or something by the end of the first song (The Dream), but the 7-minute long psychedelic song gave him time enought to sort out the issues.

Kurt Vile & Violators, I had no idea about them. 3 long-haired guys playing a much lower key show, that after the good vibe of the TOS, this felt a bit boring for me. Nice for a nice evening looking at the sun come down, but not at 10:30.

By the end of the night, The Brian Jonestown Massacre showed up to close up the night with all they audience singing along and having a great time.

It was very good.

I ate my banana and went home. Well, went home and ate my banana.

After all, it was just a couple of stations away. But that is another story.

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