Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Birthday from THAT Brother

To celebrate Sean’s birthday, I, his younger, smarter, taller and better looking brother, Todd, have officially hijacked his blog and given him a week off.

Now that we’ve cleared that’s time to celebrate Sean. And what better way for me to celebrate him and his Swedish experience, than to devote a day to everything that is Swedish in New York. I wasn’t looking for just anything Swedish (Volvos, Saabs, meatballs, etc). I wanted a true Swedish experience. Yes, there are a few Swedish gems in New York if one looks hard enough...and by “looks hard enough” I mean a few hours on the internet and a few miles of walking.

Oh, and before anyone, I did not go to Ikea. That would have required me to go to New Jersey. Not even Sean’s birthday will make me purposely go to New Jersey.

So, with list in hand and armed with my new t-shirt (“You bet your Smorgasbord I’m Swedish”), I began my trek. Here are the highlights...

Fika, Fika, Fika...Sean loves Fika. And now, so do I. I finally visited the much anticipated FIKA coffee shop. Not being a coffee drinker, I forced down a cup....tasted like any other cup (sorry!). However, I did partake in a KOKOSTOPP....a coconut pastry with a crunchy outside and softer inside. Ok, was a macaroon...but it was still tasty! My first FIKA experience was a good one.

Next stop...a restaurant called Aquavit. If the restaurant was as good as the bottle of Aquavit that Sean gave me, I was in for a treat. And with only a kokostopp in my belly, I was ready for some Swedish delights. I walked in the unassuming door in my holey jeans, Swedish t-shirt and back pack. Have you ever walked into an establishment...the music comes to a screeching halt...everyone looks at you and there’s e an uncomfortable silence? Welcome to my Aquavit experience...except the screeching music was Swedish. Apparently, Aquavit is a VERY NICE restaurant. I quickly left, but managed to snap this photo...holey jeans and all...before the Swedish mafia caught up with me. I wonder if it was the t-shirt?

Perhaps it was time to re-evaluate my adventure. And what better place to reflect than Svenska kyrkan. No, I did not go inside (lesson learned) and no, I did not take a funny picture with me and the church. Instead I took a picture which is very fitting of New York...the beautiful architecture of the old church, surrounded by skyscrapers towering high into the sky. It’s a great oasis for Swedes in New York as every service is conducted in Swedish. My curiosity has someday soon, I will attend.

So...there you go...after a few hours of trekking around New York (yes, it took that long!), my Swedish adventure was coming to a close...BUT not before I enjoyed some of the true gems of the Swedish...including my Christmas present, a mug made from some large animal’s horn. Perhaps I “enjoyed” a little too much.

And a shout out to all Linkopinglivin readers....if you see Sean walking around Linkoping this week (and particularly on the actual day - April 13th), spontaneously scream HAPPY BIRTHDAY. He’ll get frightened, you’ll start laughing and I will have made his birthday all the better...from thousands of miles away.

Grattis På Fodelsdag, Sean!!!


Carl said...

Haha! Nice t-shirt!

Ang said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEAN! (A bit early :-) Hope you have a wonderful time with Sam and the rest of the family! Loved talking to you yesterday ... take care.

PS - excellent blog Todd, wish I could have made the trek with you. I am almost ready for another NYC weekend.

Miss you both tons!

Kelly said...

LOVE IT!!!!! can you have guest entries more often? mine will be entitled 'life lessons learned while working for sean whiting'. items on the list will include 'never date college boys' and 'it is always permissible to plan your OWN surprise party'.

Coornet said...

Haha.. this was soo fun to read.. I want more quest entries, PLease !!

miriam said...

Happy Birthday to a fellow American - and Aries! My friend at work just introduced me to your blog, figuring I would be interested in the musings of another American in Linköping. Now, I have another form of wasting time at work! I am curious to know how you ended up in Linköping...and how your Swedish is... Well since I am new to the blog, I will just have to read more to find the answers.....

Crystal said...

Happy Bday Sean I hope it's the BEST ever.

And well done Todd, lots of kudos to you for such a well done Swedish/Sean blog entry!!!

Christopher said...

Happy Birthday Sean! I'm not doing anything Swedish, but I am going to New Jersey, so maybe I can hit IKEA in lieu of your brother's hatred of that fair Garden (err industrial) State.

Peace to you!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog, thanks Todd! And congratulations Sean! //Linda

Bryn said...

Is a 4th time going to be the charm? I really hope so!

So it's a day late and a dollar short but happy birthday nonethless. I hope you had a great Swedish birthday filled with lots of fika. In case aren't keeping up with Seattle sports I will recap:

-M's get snowed out. When has that ever happened?!
-Felix throws a 1-hitter!
-M's are in 1st place with almost half the number of games as 1st place Anaheim.

This is the year for them, I can feel it. (And if not, I have 2 more chances to go to the world series with the A's or the Giants)

Oh, and if you get bored sometime you should read my post titled "Ichiro denied me."


PS - Todd is pretty hilarious and I hope I can meet him someday. I also have to admit that there are times when I just skip the blog and go straight to the comments to see what Todd wrote.

Skhor said...

To add to Kelly's post, "How to get a briquette bbq going in the rain," "Why 8am mtgs with college kids are a terrible idea," and "Indiana Jones: aka, Sean Whiting." Again, Happy Birthday Sean!