I've been blogging for a year now. Since it feels like I just had a big celebratory post (#100), I thought I'd do an update of what my life looks like instead, and make it an annual, November 8 me-post.
Well, apart from solidifying my musicology student identity and messing about with the usual interpersonal relationship issues, the one big thing I've done recently is moved. So I thought I'd do a quick presentation of my new neighbourhood, Kista.
Kista is a suburb of Stockholm. Because I know that I have many American readers, I'd better explain that this means it's considerably poorer than the inner city. Although not technically part of the Million Programme, it is surrounded my areas built in the sixties and early seventies, and shares many of its features. However, it is also a strange, dynamic boom town. Stockholm is growing, and verging on becoming the kind of multi-centred city that is practically standard with cities of two or more million inhabitants, and Kista is often touted as the potential "northern centre". People come here rather than leave here during the day.
As such, it has two large draws, neither of which is particularly pleasant for the residents. The north-eastern part is Sweden's equivalent of Silicon Valley, full of high-tech companies and tech-oriented university campuses. (It's practically a dead area to walk around in, though.) Cutting us residents off from the office zone is an enormous, lengthwise oriented mall, one of the biggest in Stockholm. (Which makes shopping and eating out nearby expensive and annoying.)
As for the residential portion, roughly the south-western third, it's all condominiums (unlike the surrounding areas, where it's mostly rental). This means that, while it's still considered an immigrant area, it's the "middle-class immigrant area" - where the residents are still close to the cultural centre/run-down banlieue of Rinkeby, while being safely tucked away from the welfare class. The closeness to the IT campus also attracts a fair number of students (like me, though I don't study there) and IT professionals, and it's thus supposedly one of the best-integrated areas in all of Sweden. I've not noticed it much myself (beyong seing all kinds of people down at the shop), but then I've only lived here a month.
On the other side of the residential area is, thankfully, nature, in the form of an old military excercise field turned barely used green belt. Great place for walks.
So that's where I live. I'm going to give a shot at discovering the local music life as soon as I have time, but we'll see. Strange as it may sound for such a dynamic, price-rising area, there's almost no feeling of actual life.