Fall is here, and I'm preparing to leave. As I get ready to say good bye to my one year stint in Stockholm, I thought it appropriate to give a grand salute and honor this city that admittedly has grown on me this last year. It may be the gorgeous un-Scandinavian summer that blessed us this year, it may be the fact that it seems to be the place in Europe to travel right now, or it may just be that it can be quite breathtakingly beautiful at times. Often times. Whatever it is, it's a place that deserves some proper attention. Just ask Tyler Brule.
I don't know what's changed more - me or Stockholm. Maybe it's my being more accepting of imperfection, or maybe it's this city's growth into something that looks and feels more and more like a cosmopolitan city. There are people everywhere, at all times. Buses are full, there are lines to get in to museums. Restaurants with (or without) a reputation are hard to get into unless you book a table well in advance. I'm talking days. Journalists from all over the world are here to write about this Scandinavian capital with all it's sleek design, fresh faced inhabitants and clean water. Normal for a capital, no?
But you see, Stockholm didn't use to be like this. This is a city in transformation. As a native Stockholmer, I witness it all and am not sure what to think. It's always been a quaint, beautiful and relatively empty city. Like a well kept secret. On the verge of being boring. Beautiful and boring.
What is it then, that has caused this boom? Well, I don't think there's a simple answer. It may be the Scandinavian everlasting summer sun and sleek design. Maybe Mr. Brule's regular upwritings of Sweden has something to do with it. It may also be the immense popularity of crime novel writer Stieg Larsson's Millenium heroes, Salander and Blomqvist (the latter now to be portrayed by Mr. Daniel Craig). But no matter what the cause, it's clear that it's a changed city. Take it from someone who was born here. Who's left and come back. And who's leaving again. So from me to you, up next comes my Stockholm.
Picture by Chad Ehlers/TIPS Images/National Geographic