A Swede’s Guide to NYC by Annika Inez
1. Do you have a go-to cuisine in New York? If so which is the best restaurant for this? It would be impossible to choose one, but a favorite restaurant is Vinegar Hill House in Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.
2. Do you have a favorite shop? Is it somewhere you can buy clothes, interiors, and jewelry? it was A Détacher. They are now closed but hope that Mona Kowalska will pop up elsewhere with some other project and share her aesthetic world with us again. My other go-to stores are Amarcord Vintage in Williamsburg and the Maryam Nassir Zadeh shop on the Lower East Side.
3. What would your ideal weekend be? FRIDAY: Weather allowing, Friday early eve would be spent on my stoop in Clinton Hill. I recently moved here and love hanging out on the front steps with my daughter and our friends. Play backgammon, have a glass of wine, chat with passersby, get to know neighbors and neighbor dogs. In my first month here I have met so many people this way and love this way of connecting with my block and community. So much of our lives are spent on communicating digitally so spending time interacting this way feels wonderful. A favorite Italian restaurant, Locanda Vini e Oili, is located a block away so a dinner there is becoming a frequent thing.
SATURDAY: One of my American discoveries that I quickly adopted, not so common in Sweden, is the king-size bed. Saturday AM it becomes our hang out spot, breakfast, books, magazines, cats, all on the bed. My bedroom windows face the top of a large tree, so it feels a bit like a treehouse. Saturday afternoon some beach volleyball with my daughter at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and an afternoon “Fika” on a bench taking in the views of Manhattan.
SATURDAY EVE (usually more often in warm weather months): Towards the evening, I’d meet up with friends for an evening in Red Hook (If summer months, get there by ferry). Start off at Pioneer Works for an exhibit and/or performance, dinner at Fort Defiance and then drinks and live music (Saturdays it is open jam session with a small room sometimes filled with as many as 20+ guitars, violins, ukuleles) at Sunny’s.
ALT SATURDAY EVE (any time of year): Dinner and drinks locally in Clinton Hill at Sisters, a beautiful space and a quirky calendar of performances /DJs. A quick hop to BedStuy for drinks and live music at Bar Lunatico. I never even really check the calendar, love to be surprised by what is booked by the 3 musician owners. If enough energy is left, some dancing at Friends and Lovers. Favorite name ever for a venue and the music usually follows suit.
SUNDAY: Home, relax. I just found a large beautiful piece of a heavy vine from a forest upstate and plan on working on it, so maybe some carving and sanding, I”m not sure what will become of it. A good weekend for me involves some kind of recreational making, not for work, not necessarily jewelry, no specific purpose, just a space for play. Home cooking eve with movie or series dinner, recently seen and loved the Japanese movie Shoplifters. Obsessed with Rami Malek after recently seeing Bohemian Rhapsody I’m just getting into Mr. Robot.
4. Where you go on a date and why? A stroll and through Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. I went there for the first time this summer for an outdoor dance performance. Such a beautiful place. I read a bit more about the cemetery, learned it was a very popular social place in the 19th century and inspired public parks such as Central Park. Maybe participate in the Sophie Calle 25 year-long art project, write a deep secret on a note and leave it in a grave designed by the artist. In Malmo, Sweden, where I grew up, there is a small Cemetary in the middle of the city center that I walked through so many times, reading inscriptions and imagining the lives of the people.
5. What bar would you recommend? Sisters in Clinton Hill. Beautiful spot with occasional live events.
6. What is New York’s best kept secret? Haha, for me that would be the Swedish Seamen’s Church on 48th street off 5th ave. Housed in a gorgeous old townhouse building, it is a lovely quiet oasis in the midst of the Mid-town bustle. I’ll stop in for a fika in their cafe/library, catch up on Swedish gossip magazines, eat a homemade cinnamon roll and chat with the other Swedes.
7. Which is the best time of year to go? Most people would say fall or spring, but my favorite time is the summer. The street life, taking the ferry to Rockaway beach to boogie board the waves and dance at end of day parties by Beach 97th, Prospect Park bandshell summer concerts. The hot summer days are bearable when I can enjoy all what the city has to offer on balmy evenings.
8. What are your must dos in the city? Oh, so many things, but; Talk to people! Many New Yorkers will love to chat about whatever and will happily share their favorite spots. If you happen upon someone unfriendly, you’ll have another kind of story to tell. Walk 47th street, The Diamond District. Luckily only one block as it gets tiring pretty quickly, but fascinating to see trade still happening this way in the city. See the city from the water, ferry hop between a few neighborhoods on the East River.
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset. The New Museum shop for the best curation of art books (and exhibits). A Martini at Cipriani on the balcony inside the grand main hall of Grand Central Station.
9. Where would you go to get inspiration? Everything I have talked about in the previous questions puts me in an inspired state and ready to create! As soon as they open this winter, I’m curious to visit Fotografiska, the Stockholm Photography museum with a new location in NYC.