At home in Östermalm

Balcony breakfast over Gärdet
Balcony breakfast, Gärdet

We enjoyed a tranquil week in David’s sunny studio between the Karlaplan and Gärdet districts of Östermalm, Stockholm’s manicured east end.

For 250 years, the clearing at Karlaplan was a toll station on the eastern edge of Stockholm; lands beyond were the yttersta mörkret (utter darkness). The city’s expanding and prosperous population replaced the toll booths with large stone houses at the end of the 19th century, and the area became famously home to August Strindberg, the Shakespeare of Sweden. A certain drama remains in the Flygarmonumentet, commemorating the disastrous 1897 Andrée arctic balloon expedition in which Strindberg’s second cousin Nils perished with his two crewmates; the statue’s apparent Nazi aesthetic has generated repeated controversy.

After a brief return to agriculture in the first World War, Karlaplan and neighboring Gärdet were more thoroughly developed in the 1930s with modernist apartments and garden walkways. In our short time there, the roses lining Tessinparken added welcome color to the fading summer.

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