Monday, November 3, 2014

Leaving Hammarby Sjöstad

Leaving Hammarby Sjöstad on afeathery*nest  |

Much as we loved our home along the waterfront south of the city in Hammarby Sjöstad, we had to leave it this weekend when our six-month sublet was up. Extending it wasn't possible, unfortunately, and as we found out right before our trip to Spain, there wasn't enough time to find something else (although even if there had been time, we probably wouldn't have been able to find anything worthwhile in the current market). So, we would have effectively been homeless come November 1st if not for my in-laws welcoming us into their home, where we've now moved, for the next however-long period.

But first we had to deal with the boxes that arrived from NYC this summer and have since been stacked in their guest room—our future bedroom. So we rented a storage unit last week and moved them all out so we could prepare to move in. Before loading them up, though, I opened a few and finally swapped out the clothes we brought over on the plane with us seven months ago (all of which I was already sick of this summer). Snipping off that packing tape felt as good as untying a prettily-wrapped bow on a present. I never knew I'd be so happy to see a well-worn cardigan!

(I also took advantage of the scissors sitting ever-so-conveniently close to the piles of boxes to dig into my shipped-over stash of yarn as I'm unbelievably, seriously, without-a-doubt so very tired of knitting with cream!)

Leaving Hammarby Sjöstad on afeathery*nest  |

It already feels different to be living here in the heart of the city (Vasastan, to be precise), after the last six months among the industrial glass and concrete beauty of the low-rise buildings along Stockholm's southern canals. Now instead of the cool elegance of the south we're surrounded by the stately splendor of the north. Pastel buildings with cream trim and scrolled details, onion-domed rooftops flanked by regal towers, and wrought-iron fences beyond which sit grand front entrances are what make up our new surroundings.

As the year winds down I'm so looking forward to seeing this part of the city, Stockholm proper, decked out for Christmas. And now that the skies are already darkening by 4PM I've begun to yearn for the Scandinavian tradition of windows lit up with candles and glowing red-paper Christmas stars that light the walk home—the charm (and benefit!) of which I remember so well from end-of-year vacations here in years past. Unlike in the U.S., though, where Halloween decorations come out in August and Christmas ones in October, I doubt I'll see any of that until December 1st.

But most of all, I think it will be cozy as can be to spend the last weeks of the year with family (including R's brother, who will be coming up from Sicily next month for a few weeks)—sharing all those in-between moments, lighting candles before breakfast, sitting around the living room each doing our own thing but doing it together, lingering with full bellies at the table after dinner without having to rush out to catch a bus, and so on.

Leaving Hammarby Sjöstad on afeathery*nest  |

No doubt my Swedish will improve living amongst two born-and-bred Swedes and two Swedish-mother-language-speaking Italians, too!

(I hope!)

One year ago: Easing into winter


  1. Be careful in Vasastan. I've heard there are other American bloggers who live there and wander around with their baby strollers.

  2. Ha! Thanks for the advice, Joel. Will keep an eye out! ;)


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