Usually at the end of another month, I find myself thinking, Wow, where did the time go? In June, time flew by per usual, but each week was accounted for: There was my first taste of Scandinavia, there was the long-awaited Curbed IRL offsite, there was a belated birthday dinner, and there were a few things that sprung up along the way, leaving huge impressions. I can only begin to explain in pictures…
Copenhagen & Älmhult, birthplace of Ikea
It was a true whirlwind of a trip—my first time in Denmark, Sweden, and the whole of Europe actually. The aim was to visit the global headquarters of Ikea, in the tiny town of Älmhult, to grasp its inner workings—big upcoming projects, how and why they do what they do, with a side of eye candy (i.e. an Ikea hotel decked out in Ikea stuff, an Ikea Museum full of Ikea history, the Ikea photo studio where all the Ikea catalog magic happens.)
The campus, which had to host presentations, interviews, tours, panels, and meals for a couple hundred journalists from around the world over the course of two days, was abuzz. One thing someone in my group said during the trip stood out to me: The employees seemed proud to work there. (Which, they kind of have to, there’s not much else to the town.) But in any case, I’m excited to keep reporting on a company that has such a huge global reach—and whose products are also responsible for tying together my tiny room (more on this later, maybe.)
On our way to and from Älmhult, we dipped into Copenhagen and Malmö, respectively, for a hot minute, which offered me a few more peeks of Scandinavia. All the non-Ikea shots here are from Strøget, Copenhagen’s popular pedestrian street, where I found a few designy shops to browse—namely Hay House with the most enviable digs and Illums Bolighus, which really is everything. (The very top photo is of the postcard moment along Copenhagen’s Nyhavn harbor.)
This is the one time a year Curbed editors from 14 cities around the U.S. go off Slack and come together IRL! This time around, we hung entirely around Brooklyn (from Gowanus to Clinton Hill to Crown Heights to Red Hook, oh my.) The Red Hook part involved a hot but rewarding trek with photographer and Curbed NY columnist Nathan Kensinger, during which we got to know Red Hook’s best and not-so-great waterfront parks, the impact and threat of sea level rise on the community, and even the story of how a trolley from Boston ended up parking there.
The pop-up Cactus Store in Chinatown—definitely worth a visit—was an unexpectedly educational experience. I’m tempted to start collecting cacti but I wouldn’t be able to afford it. The offerings here span $30 to $4,000. Read more about it here.
For my belated (but timely because by then I had a sense of what Sweden is like) Jason and I went to Aska, a “New Nordic” place right under the Williamsburg Bridge. From my Amateur Eater perspective, it hit some kind of sweet spot of weird but fun? My favorite courses were the ice creams that came at the end, obviously, because they looked good, and they’re ice cream. Bonus: the mood was very #hygge.
The Noguchi Museum
Finally got to check The Noguchi Museum off my list! It’s such a calming little getaway from the city, the kind where you can also get the best of suburbia on the same afternoon. I’m talking about the Long Island City Costco right next door, which, bless, has a food court separate from its main entrance, so you can buy $1.50 hotdogs with soda refills and $1.65 very berry sundaes to your heart’s content—sans membership.
Phew—that’s all for now. This was a June to remember.
All photos by me unless I’m in them, then it’s Jason, my roommate, or the mirror.