On the perfect Oslo day, the air is warm. The sun, up since 3:30am, swings slowly overhead. Trees sway gently in manicured rows. The air is sweet with the scent of freshly clipped lawns and flowers blooming in window-boxes. Today was just such a day. After writing at a nearby cafe for a couple of hours, my mind spinning with poetry, I decided to wander the streets of my beautiful neighborhood and catalogue its character... by way of Instagram !
Left: Reflections on a pink dress.
There are several excellent vintage clothing boutiques in Oslo. Of course, I'm not rating them as "excellent" based on my experience as a buyer. I couldn't possibly afford this stuff! But I do peruse when I can. Just to run my fingers over nude Chanel pumps. I yearn to be petite enough to fit into the sizes lining the racks along the wall, lace slip dresses and wool pea coats.
Right: Finally! The Norwegian strawberries are here!
Norwegians are crazy about their strawberries. It's one of the first things we learned when we moved her two years ago. All year round they brag about those strawberries. The best in the world. True? Well, aside from being tiny (compared to the monster, steroid-enhanced strawberries Californians are used to), Norwegian strawberries are absolutely wonderful. Bursts of sweet, tangy, red juice. Worth a try if you're ever here in the summertime.
Left: "Hey, there are weasels on your door!"
High-end boutiques are numerous near my place, so it's no surprise that they each try to set themselves apart. Gimmicks, you know? Like a "cafe" on the premises. Or vintage couches in the corners. Or, in this case, weasel door handles.
Right: Relaxin' like a Welhaven.
Reclining in a tiny park on the corner, Johan Sebastian Welhaven spends his days and years. Do you feel his angst? Welhaven was a Romantic Era poet, author, and critic. It's obviously exhausting. At Christmastime, this little corner park becomes a little Christmas tree lot. And I think that cheers Welhaven up for a couple of weeks.
Left: Happy cows aren't only found in California.
This particular happy cow is the adorable mascot for a shop called C. Hemsen AS , seller of "skinn og lær". Oh, you don't read Norwegian? That'd be skins and leather. Morbid much?
Here, they wear red.
Left: Pre-loved books.
Not once have I seen this store open, but like the rest of the "antikvariats" in Oslo, it calls to me. Wall-to-wall-to-ceiling books, carrying with them the stories of their pages and the stories of their former homes. And oh, the smell of these troves. Stale, much-thumbed paper.
Right: Wielka Orkiestra Swiatecznej Pomocy , The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity
How many times have you passed a random sticker on the street, pressed and stuck to a lamp post, a fence, the back of a traffic sign, the back of a bus seat? Did it make you smile? Pique your curiosity? Did you forget it instantly? That's why I came home and looked this one up. As it turns out, The GOCC is one of the largest non-profits in Poland.
Left: A darling boutique around the corner.
Here, even the children are posh.
Right: The $100 pedicure.
Not as rare a sight as you'd think. In my neighborhood, women can't get their nails shellacked (or their hair cut, or their legs waxed, etc.) for less than a Benjamin. Which is why I signed up for Groupon Oslo , something I highly recommend to anyone who plans to live here! Though, be prepared for some strange email translations. For example, a spa massage coupon I received today tried to tempt me as follows:
"Knead the stress out of the carcass with today's Groupon."
Doesn't that sound lovely? Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this tour of my neighborhood. It inspires me every day.
Don't forget to Follow me on Instagram!