Monday, June 27, 2011

Alby Station (Red Line) T-bana Konst

I had some time to kill so I set out to visit six stops on the Red Line.
A funny by-product of all my train riding is my new found love of vending machine food that can be bought cheaply in the subway stations.
Although I have learned if you want a tasty granola bar and you have all 1kr pieces- to get the machine to take all 10 needed for the candy, one needs more than 3 minutes.

The Alby station was my favorite of all the stops. Others (that you will see later) were cooler, but many were far underground and this one reminded me of that horrible yet necessary book of my childhood, 'Flowers in the attic'.
The bright colors and basic flowers made me think of someone trapped in the bowels of this stop, waiting, waiting, waiting for the train and yearning for some day light, something bright...

The station art was done in 1975, by Olle Ängkvist.
He studied art in Stockholm in the 1940s.
He stated that these paintings were 'spontaneous' and he called the station the 'secret cave'.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"small frogs, small frogs, are funny to see, no ears, no ears, no tails have they..."

Midsummer (ending for me) about 3 a.m.

Midsummer about 1 a.m.

Midsummers Day about 3 p.m.

I thought the frog dance was about moose and rabbits. But when the ring dancers are waving funny ears it is for the lyric "No ears, no ears, no tail do they possess" and they are only talking about 'funny little frogs'.
But of course my Swedish language skills are not very good...yet.
I skated to this park and then I was tired, I watch a lot of ring dancing and kids hopped on sugar. I have heard many people in Sweden talk about 'Godis på lördag' and I see bowls with that slogan printed on them, this is the idea of your kids getting candy once a week. Apparently Midsummer holiday is an exception and the kids were going for it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Propelled by all this madness, by your beauty and my sadness"

Many people have the misconception that Zok likes to watch live music.
He really doesn't.
About once or twice a year I can convince him to take me to a show.
I can go on my own, but sometimes I just want him to go with me.

Flogging Molly played early at Grona Lund, a famous music venue that happens to be an amusement park as well. There is a ferry that takes you over to the park, and the view is all the landmarks of the island where we live.
I love going to Grona Lund and I love 'Flogging Molly'.

Sometimes Zok is just plain miserable when I make him go to a show, and with all the rain yesterday I feared this would be the case, however what we didn't know was that the V.I.P. area was sheltered from the rain, had a good view, and there were snacks, beer, AND a bathroom!
However, this type of balcony does open one up for being spotted and heckled which is exactly what happened to Zok who worked with Flogging Molly, the band that we went to see.
The whole balcony was called out, the crowd was instructed to turn and give us all the finger- usual punk rock fare. But then Zok was singled out, called by name and the next introduction went a bit like this "Usually I dedicate this song to the arse hole I wrote it about- me! But tonight I dedicate this song to ZOK! Wave to ZOK! ZOK!- "Selfish Man".
This was pretty funny on its own, and ironic because I love this song and use it religiously as my sprinting song when I skate outside.

Thankfully Zok took the ribbing in good humor and everyone hugged and laughed after the show was done.
(I did have to buy him a container of fairy floss aka cotton candy in recompense).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rinkeby T-bana Konst 1975

I traveled thirty minutes out on the Blue Line, to look at the subway station art of Rinkeby. The art was installed in 1975 and based on the Viking finds excavated in that area. Sven Sahlberg created gold leaf, mosaic tiles to represent the finds, and Rune writing- used a thousand years ago in Sweden for the Rinkeby station sign.
The station is one of the more striking ones, each station has an art feature, but some like this one are deeper down and the natural form of rock that was blasted away to make the train line is striking to look at, and enhanced by the artist's use of the natural form.

This suburb is now infamous for its immigrant population, and walking just a few blocks of perimeter from the station was indeed very similar to being in Thomastown, Victoria. By the time the train reached Rinkeby, each of us in the subway carriage, had dark hair, and I was the fairest and least conservative dressed.
Upon returning to T-Centrallen or the center of Stockholm, I was once again outnumbered by the fair haired and the tall of stature.

I don't suppose a person visiting Stockholm would have much cause to travel so far out of the city when there isn't a tourist destination located there.
If one did, their impression of Stockholm would definitely be skewed from the norm of town.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Hope is a very unruly emotion."

The phone I am using does not take good photos-
I am going to have to carry some better means of taking photographs.
I want to show you how crowded the city is, the sidewalks, the parks, all the public spaces. I would like to sit with you so you could watch how the light only fades...vaguely...without commitment to darkness at this time of year.
We could sit and eat ice-cream from my favorite ice-cream shop (yesterday I had berry flavored with salty licorice and cherries with chocolate pieces) in the park where as the park is cast into shadow, each person feeling that shadow creep up will pack up all their stuff and move along to a sunnier spot, this movement seems unconscious and yet coordinated.

The Stockholm Roller Derby double header was for me, good, I felt confident in both what I know and what I don't know and I acted accordingly, and if I wasn't great, I certainly was not a hindrance.
I even went to the after party, but I cheated and went home to shower because I don't think I have ever sweated quite so much in my whole life.
I drank, I danced, I even sang and I had a good time, although I felt my age for an entire day, the day after.
I had a funny moment in the dressing room when I (upon the nudity) remembered that many countries that are not America or Australia are very free with nudity, and both Finland and Sweden are included...
One more week of practice and then the venues close and any practice will be done outdoors until mid-August or early September.
Zok has been gone during Derby days and so that has been perfect, we have both been in the apartment at the same time.

Have you been wondering how I am? Perhaps you should email me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Lose your face, lose your name, and get fitted for a suit of flame..."

This picture is deceptive, the BBQ party guests have not yet arrived, and in this docile looking courtyard come midnight and 1 a.m. there will be a small crowd trying their best to sing some American classic tune in English, and therefore the tempo will be a loud rush of voices come each chorus, as they race to show they do know the lyrics.
Since I wrote last I've attended six, 3 hour practices, and skated outside with a group that included Hyper Nova and Speed Slut who are quite fast and wore me out. Excellent!
Summer has come on strong, the heat is pleasant and dry unless you are trying to skate several hours, but still I think the climate is easier than Australia.
This is our friend Tjelta and our favorite ice-cream shop, so far I have had banana, coconut, egg nog, and blueberry.

This is how light the night is at about 10:10 p.m. when I get out of the train station, after returning from Derby practice to walk home.

Ice is not common in Stockholm, these are the bags used to make ice at home.

This is my Nanna-rolling back that I take to skating practice. Please send me stickers to make it purdy.