Hej!

I know this already seems like the year of extravagant travel, which is kind of because it is, but Max and I went back on the road about a week ago. If roads went across oceans? All the way to SWEDEN. This is yet another example of something that is old news on the Twitter and Instagram but blog-only old-school folk would have no way of knowing about. So here you go. That’s what’s up.

We’re both taking a two-week intensive graduate seminar on Scandinavian design through Parsons, where Max is getting his graduate degree. As an undergrad at NYU, I just weaseled my way in with my mediocre looks and social awkwardness and creepy obsession with the Swedes. That’s just how I do.

Obviously visiting Stockholm is a long-time dream come true, having been infatuated with this country, its people, and its design sensibilities for years. I am not disappointed. Everyone is so lovely, the city is so easy to navigate and get around, and everything looks so amazing that it makes me want to puke.

OH, SWEDES. I love you. You are so efficient and friendly and clean and kind. And did I mention sexy? Because HOT DAMN. Sexy sexy Swedes all around me. Normally I’d be annoyed because good looking people genuinely upset me but not if they’re Swedish.

(Aside: when we checked into our hotel at 2 a.m. after about 24 hours of travel, Martin at the front desk offered us a “sweet snack” or a “salty snack” and gave us a form with two boxes so we could check one. Thinking about this still makes me immeasurably happy. “Salty snack.”)

The itinerary is packed but I’m trying to sneak in some thrifting where I can get it and making Max insane with my lunatic antics. Even if he’d rather lay down and die in the street, I’ve been dragging him off down quiet roads and across long bridges and into weird places the internet told me to go only to end up at stores that only sell vintage records or retro women’s clothes. He likes it. That’s what I tell him, anyway.

I love little vintage Dala horses, especially when they look a little rough and tumbled and distinctly handmade like these two. Also, that happy happy tray. Irresistible.

Among some other random stuff we picked up is this little shallow West German bowl with super trippy glazing inside. We’ll use it for something.

Goofy amateur brown studio pottery abounds at Stockholm thrifts and it’s taking all my willpower not to buy it all. But the suitcase is only so big and my chances of successfully transporting everything home are only so realistic so I’m resisting. I know these particular items will be *controversial* (loathed by most) but fuck it, I love these little blobby candlesticks, and for only $2 I’m 100% allowed to. I know they look like alien poops here but once they have candles and are on my mantle you’ll be singing a different tune. JUST WAIT.

I should probably note that the educational opportunities on this trip are totally amazing and, it should shock you to hear me say, totally outshining the whole thrifting situation. We’ve had a couple great days in the NationalMuseum, Drottningholm, Skokloster (AMAZING), the Nordiska Museet, Skansen, a lecture on IKEA—all amounting to the conclusion that Sweden is Where. It’s. At. We have a fantastic syllabus with fantastic readings and teachers and curators around every corner telling us what things are and happy to field questions constantly. Truth be told it’s been a while since I felt quite so enthusiastic about school and learning stuff and doing assignments, but this is different. I’m among the Swedes, after all.

Can I just say, though—these tea towels are fucking cute. If I can’t be renovating my kitchen then at least I can be buying small jolly things for it to use when it’s done? This has been my logic for the past year now. Speaking of, a little progress happened before I left and I even took pictures, so let’s hope I have some time to put together a post or two before I’m back in Brooklyn. Shockingly, I have already hit some unforeseen speed bumps and I need an internet hero to set me on the right path.

What am I saying? I already need that right now in this very moment. The Google machine has been iffy about where the good vintage is at in/around Stockholm. We have the weekend free, so do any beautiful residents of this magical land have any recommendations for a flea market or several? Or any particular stores or areas or things I should really know about and check out? Tell me everything you know! I demand it!


64 Comments

  1. Promise me you’ll tell my mother ALL about it when you get back. It will make her so, so happy.

  2. “Lunantics?”

  3. “Obviously visiting Stockholm is a long-time dream come true, having been infatuated with this country, its people, and its design sensibilities for years. I am not disappointed. Everyone is so lovely, the city is so easy to navigate and get around, and everything looks so amazing that it makes me want to puke.”

    This is EXACTLY how I felt when Tom and I arrived in Stockholm last August. It’s absolutely insane how much of a dream-come-true, exactly-as-I-imagined country it is. If you and Max have a chance, grab a 3-day pass to the City Bikes when you’re back in Stockholm. It only gets better when you see the city by bike.

    Hej då!

  4. Myrorna is a second hand chain all over Sweden with several shops in Stockholm area, one of them is on Södermalm, Hornsgatan 96.

    Take the red line to Zinkensdamm, that’s the closest station. Once you’ve visited Myrorna, just continue up Hornsgatan towards Slussen. There are several boutique style shops along the way, well worth checking out. Then, when you reach Slussen, have a fish snack from the kiosk on the plaza, or continue to the Gamla Stan for it’s myriad of small shops.

    • Thanks! I found Myrorna online but haven’t been able to go when the shops are open yet. But we basically did that walk through Sodermalm in reverse yesterday, love that area.

  5. Take the ferry to Helsinki! Do it for Mekko! Iittala and Arabia beckon you.

    • We are we are!! The second part of the trip is in Helsinki, we’ll be there about 5 days!

      • Oh, wonderful! If you have time to venture outside Helsinki, you should go to Hvittrask. It is an incredible early Arts and Crafts home where architects Eliel Saarinen (father of Eero Saarinen), Armas Lindgren, and Herman Gesellius and their families lived in the summer. The folksy elements of Scandinavian design really make sense once you’ve seen this house! Every detail is handmade. It’s really quite impressive, even if you tend toward a different aesthetic. The landscape is beautiful as well. It’s situated on a small, wooded lake.

      • NOTED, that sounds fantastic! Thank you!

      • Welcome to Helsinki, the World Design Capital 2012 :-)

        Here are couple of links that might interest you:

        Helsinki design district
        http://www.designdistrict.fi/news

        Helsinki Secondhand (the heaven of modern)
        http://www.helsinkisecondhand.fi/

        Original modern wallpapers (easy to pack!)
        http://www.tapettitalo.fi/english.html

        And check what is happening around Fredrikintori (marketplace at Fredrikinkatu & Punavuorenkatu), great shops & cafes, plus for example the fleamarket on Sundays (modern and more)

        Helsinki is quite compact city, most of the interesting stuff is within walking distance, like the design district.

        Happy to have you visiting! :-)

  6. WOW

    You are here! In my contry!! In my city, Can´t belive it.
    I have read you blog for ages!!!! Love everything you do <3
    I have stayd a silent reader but couldnt let this one slip ;)

    I wish you a happy stay & I felt awesome reading your post about swedes, thank you for everything!

    / Marie :)

  7. buy me things. k cool thanks. love you.

  8. I had a professor once say that her favorite food was “salty snacks.” I loved her instantly and fiercely for that.

  9. Daniel,

    I sent you a FULL list to your personal email of a bunch of places listed on the Stockholm city guide on WGSN. Please have a look at it. Hope you find some great stuff for your already wonderful apartment.

    Camille

  10. Try looking on Yelp. If it is in Swedish, use the translator tool (may be under Page, not Tools).

    You might also try to find a blog called The World According to Pia online (piaks.blogspot.com/). She is pretty quirky but she lives in or near Stockholm and I think she wrote much of the Yelp Stockholm entries. If you leave a comment after her recent post, she may get back to you. She propbably knows lots of thrift stores/areas in Stockholm.

    Just some ideas.

    • Thank you for reminding me! Of course I read Benita’s blog but forgot she had done that post! Many of those places are on our list of stuff we’ve passed when they were closed and we need to go back to…

  11. I am with you fully in liking the blobby alien turd candlesticks — they would definitely attract me to buy if I saw them (and OH! the low price!) and in my wacked-out design tunnel vision it’s hard for me to see why they’d be polarizing. My design style is not identical to yours but who can resist the earthy quality and seductive shape of them?

    As always, very beautiful and evocative photos. I’m one of the old school people that only follows blogs so please don’t leave us behind because we don’t have the time and/or inclination to add Twitter/Instagram/whatever-new-flavor scanning to our already-full days and nights!

    • I won’t leave you! I like blogging, the other stuff is just so immediate and then I feel like I’m blogging about old news. I have to figure out how to fix that! I also didn’t bring a real camera on this trip, so ALL of my photos will be from Instagram…not so much for the social aspect as for the on-the-fly editing and filters, but still. Glad I’m not just rehashing here!

      • I think it could be as simple as an out-of-town posting before you go… that way your readers know what’s up and can switch over to Instagram or Twitter. I like to see your beautiful photos, but what I love is to read your writing.

  12. Perhaps you already saw it, but….this article from NYT includes Stockholm insider tips from local bloggers…

    http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/travel/stockholm-and-the-strangers-who-brought-me-there.html?pagewanted=all

  13. You’re here now? You got so lucky with the weather… last week and the week before and before and before made want to cry in a corner. If you are still here tomorrow there are a couple amazing flea markets just outside the city. Myrona in Gärdet is huge (!) and a totally cheesy store which has great nic-nac stuff and/or presents for America friends is Lagerhaus.

  14. All the good thrifting is of course outside Stockholm… But still, I think Emmas Stockholm Guide will give you plenty of help on other things:
    http://emmas.blogg.se/category/guide-to-stockholm.html

  15. If you have time you should visit Sigtuna. It’s one of Swedens oldest towns and really cute. You can go there by bus from Stockholm. I stayed at the Sigtuna Stads Hotell for a conference (don’t do that, I think it’s really expensive but go there for lunch or coffee or something) and it’s beautiful! Great furniture and food! And the town is just lovely. Sometimes there are small thrift stores open along Stora gatan, you just have to keep your eyes open and follow the small signs saying “Loppis”.

  16. Hej själv!
    You’re in Sweden! Cool! I wish I was in Stockholm so I could guide. :-) But south Sweden is my home nowadays.

  17. I think if you just go to the SoFo area (South of Folkungagatan, yeah I know it’s super cheesy) you’ll find plenty of shops you’ll love. It’s not all thrifting and vintage, but a lot of it is and all is genuine and small and cosy. http://sofo-stockholm.se/karta/

    I especially recommend Grandpa (clothes and stuff) and Kocksgatan 17 Herrekipering (men’s fashion).

  18. Oh, and you definetly need to pay Svenskt Tenn a visit. (http://www.svenskttenn.se/) It’s super expensive but you can’t visit Stockholm without at least touching all that Josef Frank goodness.

  19. Wow, you’re here! I’m not surprised you’re loving it – you’re here at the absolute most beautiful time of year. And know what time of year you’re also here at? Garage sale season!! If you venture out into the countryside you’ll see signs for ‘Loppis’ all over the place. That’s a nickname for flea market, but it can be anything from a setup in one person’s yard to a whole market. Wonderful, amazing things can be found at these sales.

    Hope you guys keep enjoying your stay!!

  20. Hi Daniel,

    It’s so nice that you like Stockholm!

    I found this guide yesterday, and i can recommend everything on this list (especially Rosendahls Trädgård, Aarts restaurant and Morfar Ginko bar)

    http://www.nectarandpulse.com/en/editors-choice/all

    I’m going to a jazz club tomorrow night (http://www.glennmillercafe.com/) which i really like. good food, good music and cozy interior.

    And if you have not visited the modern museum (http://www.modernamuseet.se/) yet, i think you should. The have a great shop too :)

    have a nice stay!

    /hanna

  21. I have worked at a university with Swedish roots (they still offer Swedish as a foreign language and host Midsommer Fest every year) for over a decade and have grown absurdly fond of the Dala horses. The ones you found are lovely.

  22. Looks awesome but my first thought was – Who’s watching Mekko!!??? I’m weird like that. ❤

    • One of our very good friends is staying at our apartment with the baby. She’s in great hands!

  23. Sweden?!?! How awesome that my two favorite bloggers (You, of course, and Benita Larsson of Chez Larsson) are finally in the same place at the same time?! Too bad I don’t know either of you well enough (only in my mind) to make introductions. I’m sure she would be a great Swedish shopping guide.

    Love the pics and hope you guys have a great time. By the way, who’s watching the pup (Mekko) while you’re away?

  24. Awesome – I live in Stockholm but have no clue about good thrifting shops, so this thread is great for me :)

    If you really want to overload your suitcase there are two IKEAs here, and both have long Enje shades with a loop chain ;)

    • Oh, TRUST I’ve thought about a trip to IKEA. I don’t know if I’ll have time but I think it would be fun to go…or maybe totally anticlimactic? I wish the shades I needed weren’t so ridiculously wide, otherwise I’d be SO THERE.

      • they look pretty much the same everywhere in the world I think, but here the names of the things don’t seem so weird :) The one at Kungens kurva isn’t hard to get to, just take the subway to Skärholmen. But it is a half-hour trip one way.

  25. ooooh jealous! sweden! maybe someday…

    i did spend 10 days in finland when i was in grad school, with a class, studying the work of alvar aalto. it was fantastic, probably one of my favorite things about grad school. i think you will also love helsinki. i cannot come up with any recommendations of places to go though, when i look back at my photos of the trip all i have are 500 pictures of doors (??), so who knows where i went. i tend to find the most random places anyway when traveling, it’s always fun to see where you end up.

  26. Ooohhhh, wow, Sweden. So jealous. Enjoy all the daylight hours. Glad to hear Meeko is in good hands. Always love hearing about her.

  27. Hej! Welcome to Sweden!
    I’m glad that you enjoy Stockholm.

    Have fun in Sweden and Finland!

  28. Have a great time over here! I see someone’s linked to my favorite shopping already :).

  29. I accidentally saw your tweet (manic hungover browsing), the place is Sundbyberg and the street is “Sturegatan”. Everything will be closed tomorrow but if you’re still in town monday it’s open at least 11-17.

    http://www.vintagekartan.se/059156/Myrorna
    http://www.vintagekartan.se/0178381/Loppisgallerian/Marknadsplats_Sundbyberg
    http://www.vintagekartan.se/0148904/Stockholms_Stadsmission

    The map (on the sites linked) shows more places nearby but those three are the ones i usually visit. I realised the auction house has moved but there used to be a flea market next door (one of those places loaded from floor to ceiling with stuff) aswell, don’t know if it’s still there though. The entrance looks like a parking garage and the address should be Sturegatan 4B. Hope that helps.

    • AHHHHH! Okay, thank you Johanna!! Stupid Instagram…the ONE DAY it’s down, my essential information stored on it. Aw, well. Maybe I can still make it happen somehow before we ship out.

      You’re so kind to help me TWICE now! Thanks again!

  30. From the architectural point of view I would reccomend you to visit Gunnar Asplund library in Stockholm and the home and office of Alvar Aalto in Helsinki (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/alvar-aaltos-home-studio-helsi-95194)!
    Enjoy your trip!!! :)

  31. When are we going to see the kitchen progress?

  32. I would look up Stockholm at Kitka.ca they made an interesting trip there a while ago. Have a wonderful day!!!

  33. I was in Stockholm last week and completely echo the awestruckness and general “how is everyone so gorgeous here?” sentiments. Such an amazing city (and I’m so jealous about your lectures!)

    Randomly found a Sunday flea market near Hötorget, in front of some kind of music venue (concert hall?) A fair amount of vintage Arabia, plus lots of other charming random things. Bought some Danish dishes for about $5, total. Worth a visit, and pretty central.

  34. So jealous! I went to Stockholm earlier this year and wish I was there now! Your photos are fantastic. Missing Sweden!

  35. Oh…oh God, I’ve made a collossal mistake! Rather than pace myself, I’ve gorged like an insane child on two years worth of trenchant writing and wonderful pictures in two days. I couldn’t sleep last night for the reno plans swirling in my head. I have a terrible case of iPad neck. Now I have to wait for more?! Say it ain’t so. You boys better be enjoying your vacation. God, I feel like such a creeper.

  36. I’m glad you’re having a good time, bb boi! Loox like funz! That said, I’m really happy for you, Ima let you finish, buttttt…I refuse to lose you to homogenous alien peoples. Cum back 2 me my love!

  37. Go to Hötorget on Sunday – they have a pretty charming flea market there (if it’s not raining). Don’t forget to bargain! :)

  38. what a fun read! I love Stockholm…I spent a couple of months there, years ago, and damn…even the ugly people are good-looking. also, ALIEN POOP CANDLESTICKS YES

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