Saturday, October 23, 2010

Finally, the Moderna

This morning Kelly hammered out an ambitious Saturday itinerary and, rather to our surprise, we pulled it off without a hitch. Kelly started the morning with a run, while Myrna and I spent the hour "making coffee." I should explain that. See, a week ago I picked up an adorably realistic toy coffee percolator at a second-hand sale, and it's catalyzed Myrna's favorite game of the moment. Her barista ritual is quite well-developed. She smells the (pretend) coffee grounds from an empty bag of Da Matteo beans we gave her, scoops them into the filter, adds (so far, also pretend) water to the reservoir, and flips the brew switch. Then she pours two dainty cups, served with stirring spoons. We stir, remark on the aroma, sip loudly, and groan our approval.

Anyway, after we did all that, Kelly returned, and we did some real coffee drinking, and then headed out for, naturally, coffee. We passed a relaxing hour at Drop Coffee, and then bused north to the Nationalmuseum. But not for their fine collection of pre-20th Century Swedish art (I'd seen that already), just for lunch. The vegetarian buffet in the Nationalmuseum's cafe, as we discovered during Kelly's parents' visit, doesn't kid around. Tables were scarce, and lines were long, but we elbowed our way to a hearty lunch.

And then we walked on to the Moderna Museet. We've been wanting to check this out for a long time, but balked at a string of temporary exhibits that weren't appealing enough to brave a visit with a toddler in tow. We hadn't dared wish it out loud, but Kelly and I secretly hoped that Myrna would doze off after lunch and give us a little peace at the museum, and she did just that.

The temporary exhibition focused on Mary Kelly. I'd been pretty interested in her work back in the day, and it was nice to revisit this. Kelly (Jabbusch, I mean) was maybe a little more ambivalent, and there was one piece that we had already seen twice, but we had some good - dare I say stimulating - conversation on the material, especially her Post-Partum Document.

There was also a show of contemporary Swedish art (both art produced in Sweden, and by Swedes in Berlin abroad). I was quite keen on a couple pieces in there. In particular, Kajsa Dahlberg presented a project wherein she borrowed every Swedish-language copy of Viriginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own held in Sweden's library systems. She then transcribed each margin note and copied every text underlining into a single volume - a very particular "annotated" edition, which is now available in a number of Swedish libraries. I wished I could actually read the language, but was pleased by the concept alone.

After we'd been through that showcase, Myrna woke up, and we hurried through some highlights from the permanent collection, including favorites from Marcel Duchamp and Vladimir Tatlin, and a few exciting new (to me) discoveries.

We were home in time for dinner and more (pretend) coffee, and couldn't even recall too many tantrums for the day.

Another Stockholm Winter

Bypasing autumn altogether, Stockholm is crisp, frosty, and very much in the early stages of winter. Yesterday we woke up to healthy flurries of snow - enough for a light accumulation on the rooftops. There was even Christmas music at Drop Coffee this morning. It's all exciting for Myrna, but a little daunting for Kelly and I. Myrna, however, has yet to meet a climate she wouldn't gladly meet in the park. And with the burly armor of polar gear we've lately been amassing for her, that's not likely to change any time soon. Dads, regrettably, have a tougher time justifying snowboard pants on weekdays downtown.