Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gobble gobble

Happy Thanksgiving!
(I'm thankful I'm not a turkey today.)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Over the top

The best places to get a bird’s eye view of Stockholm.

1) City Hall Tower. Open daily from May-Sept, 10am – 4:15 pm. Also open Saturdays and Sundays in April. Adults 20 SEK, children under 12 free of charge. 360 degree view of Stockholm. (Bonus: You can also take a tour of the hall where the Nobel banquet is held every December.)
2) The Katarina Lift. Open daily. 10 SEK. View over the Old Town and water at Slussen. (Bonus: The restaurant at the top, Gondolen, is excellent though pricey. Worth checking out only if you’re traveling with your parents and they’re paying.)
3) Kaknäs Radio Tower. Mon-Weds 10-17; Thur-Sat 10-21; Sun 10-17. Adult SEK 30. Child 7-15 years SEK 15. Take Bus 69 to get there. Offers a panoramic view of the entire city from the second tallest structure in Scandinavia. Brunch on weekends during the winter. (Fun fact: At 155 meters, the Käknas Tower used to be the tallest building in Scandinavia until the inauguration of the Turning Torso at 190 meters in Malmö in August 2005.)
4) Café Panorama, Kulturhuset. Open Tues-Sun. Hours vary. Looks out over Sergelstorg, near the Central Station. Grab a bite to eat after you check out the various events and exhibitions at Kulturhuset. (Bonus: Check out Designtorget, located below Kulturhuset for a great selection of Swedish design and handicrafts.)
5) Södra Teatern. Open daily. Located at Mosebacke Torg. Often features international artists and has regular club nights at its watering hole, Södra Bar. The spectacular, southside view looks out over the Old Town and Djurgården. (Bonus: Check out the bar and restaurant Mosebacke, right next door.)


Livewire: Wireless and internet access in Stockholm

You’re never more than a few blocks away from the Internet in Stockholm.

Be on the lookout for Sidewalk Express, which can be found at the many 7-Elevens that populate the city. Sidewalk Express has almost 40 locations in Stockholm. You’ll also find Sidewalk Express at the Central Station and several McDonalds. If you want to sip a latte while you surf, check out Roberts Coffee at Drottninggatan 33 or Café Access in the basement of Kulturhuset (Sergels Torg). For 24-hour access, try 7-Eleven at Odengatan 32 or Götgatan 57 at Medborgareplatsen. You’ll pay 19 SEK for an hour, but save your access code since it’s valid for seven days at Sidewalk Express locations anywhere in the country.

Click here for a list of all Stockholm locations.

If you want a latte with wifi on the side, the following cafes offer complimentary wireless access:

Café String
Nytorgsgatan 38, 08-714 8514

Cafe Zebrano
Torkel Knutssonsgatan. 35, 08-428 9828

Café Puck
Hornsgatan 32, 08-611 030

Svart Caffe
Södermannagatan 23, 08-462 9500
(The signal isn't broadcast publicaly, so you may need to search for the network. Ask the staff for the name of the network and password.)

Gamla Stan
Cafe Edenborg
Stora Nygatan 35, 08-22 1019

Malmskillnadsgatan 45, 08-20 9155

Il Caffe
Bergsgatan 17, 08-652 3004

Café Coffee-House
Odengatan 45, 08-673 2343


Cheap Eats

It's not the time of year that you really want to spend your lunch break catching a few rays in one of the many parks in central Stockholm. So it was time for a change. This afternoon, I wandered down Kungsgatan to Hötorgshallen, an indoor market dating back to 1880 (with several subsequent rebuilds). It's a great place to wander around, and if you're discreet, you might even be able to fill up on all the samples offered. For 20 kronor, I purchased a couple of potato pirogis from Saluplats 30, the "Finnish boutique in the middle of town." There are several other affordable lunch options sure to whet your pallet, including Turkish fare, the ever-popular kebab, Greek dishes, and fresh sushi. There are cheese shops galore. Jackson's Ostaffär and Osthörnan are worth mentioning as they both had bite-sized chunks of cheesy delight to nibble on. In terms of samples, however, Piera's Livs takes the cake with a wide assortment of goodies ranging from chocolate covered almonds to dried fruit. Catch a taste of the wasabi rice cakes if you're looking for a kick! Hötorgshallen is open Monday-Thursday 10-18, Friday 10-18:30, and Saturday 10-16. Close Sundays and holidays.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I will follow thee to the ends of the earth

I turned the corner, and a hoodie-clad young man on the other side of the street darted towards me.

...mumbling something incomprehensible in Swedish...

"Sorry?" I asked, warily.

"Oh, English!" he exclaimed, as if he had just had a revelation.

"I think you're beautiful!" came revelation number two.

Now most girls appreciate being told they're beautiful, but not usually by hoodie-clad strangers on the street at 11 pm on a Sunday night.

"Ummm, thanks," I mumbled, trying to be equally incomprehensible.

"My name is Jonas. Do you think you could like me?"

"Ummm, I don't KNOW you."

If I talk to him, it'll only encourage him. If I don't talk to him, he might pull out a gun and shoot me.

"Do you have a boyfriend?"


And he's as large as a linebacker.

"Well, do you want to be just friends?"


"Do you have any friends?"

"Yes, I have lots of friends."

"Do you think they would like me?"

"I don't think you want to know what they would think."

"Well, do you want my phone number, just in case, you know, one of your friends might want it?"

"That's an interesting approach, but I think you are going to have better luck, somewhere ELSE."