A week ago Saturday, a friend of mine texted to ask if I were going to attend Kulturnatt (culture night) here in Stockholm. I had no idea what it was, and so Googled it to find a delectable catalog of events across the city — free opera, jazz, and ballet performances; free access to the major and minor museums in town; and sometimes free food and drink at these places, all from 6 to 12 pm on Saturday.
Well. Who could resist that?
Despite recovering from being ill earlier in the week, I went to stand in line with a friend (and a few hundred other folks) to get free tickets to the opera. We met for supper later in the evening at the Operakälleren, and then hotfooted over to the Operan where we had nosebleed seats with a partial view for arias and choruses of Lohengrin, La Bohéme, Tosca and an operetta that translates roughly to the “Leather Patch.”
After a beer, our group walked over to the National Museum at around 9 pm, to gawk at the latest show there on emotions. One of the highlights I thought is a collection of video portraits, moving in slow motion, showing actors in extreme states of emotional distress — whether ecstatic and joyful or sad and distraught. Very cool stuff.
And did I mention it was free? And that the doors were wide open at the National Museum? The people swirling around us were an intriguing mix of hipsters, older art “tantes” (aunties), young families with kids and their barnvagen (yes, strollers!)… all hanging out late at night at the art museum. It felt so strange and special! I pondered for a few minutes how fun it would be if every night were culture night, but then decided it would no longer be as special. Perhaps it would be closer to New York City, which is indeed special, but not in the same way…
So instead, I’ll look forward to next year.
Kulturnatt agenda and news: http://www.kultur.stockholm.se/default.asp?id=33470&bhcp=1