In the park

Despite having moved to the other side of the city, I still have my doctor and dentist in Marieberg, where my office used to be, enabling me to pass a favourite oasis, Rålambshov park, west of Västerbron. Unlike the functionalist expanses east of the bridge (more like what we would call a recreation ground) with its boule bar (“grymt barhäng”) and skate ramp), the western park has fine old trees, a place for slow walking and contemplation. Some nibbled edges with a large fenced nursery playground (acceptable if it stays that way and is not replaced by a block of flats, which would, to quote the planners’ weasel words, give the park a clearer entrance (more like a clearer demise…)). But it’s still mostly intact and unspoilt by the lowest common denominator vandals eager for a park where “everybody will be welcome”.

Fine too is the old association with the press and the National Archive on the hill and satisfactory names like Rålambs park after Claes (or/and Åke?) Rålamb and Gjörwellsgatan after Carl Christopher Gjörwell (father and son of the same name). Carl Christopher Gjörwell senior, editor of the first Swedish literary magazine, Den svenska mercurius, went bankrupt in 1772 and lost control of his bookshop while Åke Rålamb, author of the encyclopaedia Adelig övning, leased the area in 1708 but was evicted ten years later for unpaid rent. Very satisfying with streets and parks named after the financially bankwrecked…far preferable to “Kronofogdevägen” (Bailiff Road) in Solhem.
Gjörwell senior is buried at Solna church. I must find out more about him and go and visit him some time.

After contemplation and the medical or dental (gritting my teeth at my dental firm’s change of name to Happident), the consolation of a visit to Café Fix at Fridhemsplan….not exactly a “grymt caféhang” but an enjoyable place for refreshment before leaving the wild country west of Birger jarlsgatan for home.

‟Stockholms gatunamn”, Stahre, Fågelström, Ferenius, Lundqvist 2nd ed 1992

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