Today I would like to start new series of posts about the city where I live. That was partly inspired by the rainy weather this week when I felt stuck at home and was browsing my older photos. I have discovered that when you cannot get out and shoot, you can be creative with all those pics. Creativity is motivated better by constrains than by freedom, according to science and Eric Barker, and I agree with that now.
My second inspiration came from talking to the fellow blogger Estrella of La Casabloga about living in the cities which other people find wonderful and how we get surprised by it. I have lived in Oslo for 10 years and lost that freshness that makes you open your eyes widely in awe. I spent my first years wandering around the city, taking pictures with my old camera. But now I got used to it, and then watching pics on Instagram (hashtag beautiful destinations) makes me dream away to places like Paris and London. And good old Oslo? Oslo is still here, but when did it stop to excite me? So with these new series I want to reinvent my attitude to Oslo, to explore it anew and share it on the blog.
Today I will start with a photowalk I did last August to the residential area named Kværnebyen. This is a quite new neighborhood of the city, as it was built not so long ago and the first apartments were sold in 2006. Historically this area used to be a famous factory with the production of hydropower turbines. Some of them are left as a decoration of the neighborhood and I really like how they are integrated into the scenery. You can see them in the photos, above and below.
I love how the architects integrated water into the area. The water gives it the feeling of movement and liveliness even when there are no people. And yes, I also wondered while looking at those photos: where are the people? I made this walk on Sunday, and it is usually a quiet day when the shops are closed and the life in the streets dies out. But on the sunny day the people are usually outside enjoying the sun. My only explanation is that everyone left for parks or the beach to catch the last summer days. But usually a neighborhood with no people on a Sunday does not surprise me, though it feels a bit lonely. But back to the water which gives life 🙂
I also love the flowers and plants that look so carefully planted along the water. And the stepping stones across the stream. As a child I would love jumping on them, getting over from one side to another.
The summer is such a festive season, it makes every neighborhood pretty with flowers and greens. Norwegians love their balconies, the place to enjoy random sunshine, they set cozy furniture there, furnish them with flowers and hang the lightbulbs that will sparkle in the night.
This neighborhood is a reflection of Scandinavian values to me: the high standard of life, quietness and calm, cozyness and pretty details (remember hygge?), comfort for the individual and easy living. Though I prefer more lively neighborhoods, and I am lucky to live in the hipster and vibrant hood of Gruneløkka, which I am eager to share with you too.
What is a good neighborhood for you? Would you better live in calm and quiet or noisy and lively one?