Tuesday, March 06, 2012

June 21, 2008

Stromsburg was first settled in the 1860s by a group of Swedish immigrants originally from Ockelbo, in Gästrikland, north of Stockholm. This group's leader was Lewis Headstrom, who was a real estate agent. The town is named after Strömsborg, a section of Ockelbo. They spent a while in Illinois before ultimately deciding to settle in Nebraska. The town is located about 90 miles (145 kilometers) west from Omaha. (click on map or any photograph for bigger image)

In the 1880s they had two brickyards in operation in the town. Several of the buildings around the town square feature this 'native' brick.

Every year the town has a Midsummer festival. This was my first time there. They had a smörgåsbord at the old high school gymnasium, which had more varied and unusual food items than any I've experienced before. They had activities at the library, and at the city park they had amusement park rides and game booths, and arts and crafts booths. At one of the booths was an author selling copies of his book about Nebraska history. They had Swedish folk dancing featuring different age groups, performed on a stage connected to a Swedish-style pavilion located in the middle of the park. As well, they had some Vikings come in from Omaha, to give demonstrations on methods of ancient warfare. And they had many other activities around town during the weekend festivities.

At 6:00 pm they had their big parade. They brought in participants from around the region. This year they had an African-American drill team from Salem Baptist Church in Omaha, who really impressed the crowd, and a Czech band from York performed in the parade also. And Shriners. There's always a few Shriners at most American parades.

After the parade was a talent contest in the park--a song contest, an instrumental contest, a dancing contest, and a joke-telling contest. Anybody was welcome to participate in it.

On the east side of the park they have a store with an old-fashioned soda fountain inside. I had an ice cream soda and it was delicious. Another store next door has some Swedish imports. On the south side is the old opera house, now used as a community center. On the north side is an old department store, which now is an oversized coffeehouse.

The sun sets just after 9:00 pm in Stromsburg on the longest day of the year, in case you were curious about that. The sun in Ockelbo probably sets much later on this day.

Journey to IKEA in Brooklyn

On a Sunday evening one night, I took a subway to the deserted Financial District in search of Pier 11. Follow Wall Street down to the East River and go a half block further south, and you'll find it. Pier 11 is where the "IKEA express" docks from Manhattan Island. It is a New York Water Taxi that takes one to the IKEA superstore in Red Hook (Roode Hoek in Dutch), a neighborhood in Brooklyn. The store is right on the waterfront. On weekends, it's a free ride. Otherwise, it's 5 dollars per ride unless one spends 10 dollars at the IKEA store, and then a 5-dollar credit is received in return. I think that's a pretty good deal. Especially at the chance to sight-see a bit in New York's harbor. I got a good view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Governors Island, though it was overcast and drizzly. But I call that a perfect evening to visit IKEA, and have a cup of coffee, and some Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam and lingonberry drink in their cafeteria, all for $3.65 which seems like such a bargain for being in New York City. And...I could have had unlimited refills of coffee. But alas, I had to go venture through the maze of showrooms before the store was going to close. They have directional lines on the floor so customers won't get lost. By the time I made it all the way through, it was closing time, so I quickly grabbed a few Swedish groceries near the checkout lanes to take back with me. I knew already that I had missed the last Water Taxi going back, but it was no problem, I thought, because I could just as well take a bus (B61) to downtown Brooklyn and catch a subway (F train) back.
click on image for bigger picture

The Swedish Cottage in New York's Central Park

The "Swedish Cottage" was first constructed in 1875, in Sweden, and then transported by the Swedish government to the United States to feature as an example of Sweden's superior woodworking craftsmanship, for display at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It was built as a model schoolhouse, and made of Baltic fir.


Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of New York's Central Park, was so fond of this structure that he had it moved to New York after the exposition concluded--where it is presently situated in Central Park (at 79th Street and West Drive). It is approximately between The Great Lawn and The Lake, and near the Turtle Pond. Around the immediate vicinity is also the Shakespeare Garden, the Belvedere Castle, the Delacorte Theater (an open-air theater) and a 38-acre heavily wooded area with hiking trails they call The Ramble.

Atop the Cottage is raised an American and a Swedish flag.

In 1947 the Swedish Cottage became home to the Parks' traveling Marionette Theatre. In 1973 the building was remodeled inside to include a permanent stage, and since then they have put on daily shows, bringing fairy tales to life, enchanting its many youthful visitors.

This is a brochure I picked up while I was there

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

UNO's first Division 1 home game

UNO versus IPFW at Sapp Fieldhouse, December 10, 2011

UNO's participants in the gamePoints
Alex Welhouse24
Mitch Albers21
John Karhoff12
CJ Carter10
Matt Hagerbaumer4
John Ring4
Caleb Steffensmeier3
Bill Freeman2
Mitchell Farr0

About Me

Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Jag förstår någon svenska, men mitt modersmål är engelska.