Thursday, 15 November 2007

svartöstan, old tracks

Walk with me and friend Annie in
Svartöstan, a part of Luleå with it's very own atmosphere. Photos from Sunday a bit more than week ago. Not much changed since, maybe they have some snow now?

The workers at Järnverket, the steel mill, needed housing and that's why Svartöstan was built. Nowadays it's a stronghold for musicians, artists and intellectuals, and where most of my Luleå friends live. If one could move Svartöstan here I would live there too...

Annie's neighbor has this solution for letting the cat in and out, don't miss the construction inside.

Svartöstan is half my family history; this little house on my grandparent's yard is where my parents lived my first three years. The big house of my grandparents is torn down since long and replaced by a new, not as pretty. My grandfather and my father worked in the steel mill, as most of the crowd of uncles and male cousins who lived nearby.

I guess almost every industrial town has a part they are a bit ashamed of. For a long time the strategy from the land owner, a municipal company, was to leave the houses to rot, to avoid future commitments for the city.

In Svartöstan, originals and newcomers joined forces and changed the plans into preservation and development instead of destruction. Most wooden houses are restored now, a few remains to be taken care of and new houses are built. Citizens formed a society, Svartöstan is alive and kicking.

I'm so very proud to be born here. There is a certain mentality, same as when my grandparents lived here, a mix of solidarity, Independence and playfulness.

It's a kids paradise, things to explore everywhere and at the same time safety. When did you last see a kid build a tree house? I think this guy will be a professional architect, he had so many good ideas about function.

Graffiti painters stick to this one building by the beach and leave the rest untouched.

Street art project Outsides, my favourite Mr Horse.
Mailed the cat ladder photo to a collector blog Katt-trappa.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bibbi,

I like your story about your hometown. It reminds me of my own history ( although its a very different one, in Amsterdam) It makes me a bit melancholic, times fly......................

a regular visitor of your blog

j said...

thanks for sharing that. it's really a lovely place.

different areas do have different feelings in the air, different attitudes, don't they?

do you know, I have never seen a cat ladder, never heard of a cat ladder, before now?

Bibbi said...

Katt-trappa must be a climate thing, who wants to leave their best friend out freezing? If you live in an apartment building this is a great solution, there are plenty around where I live too, but not as pretty as the one in Luleå. Thank you for kind words, and for linking :)

Anonymous said...

svartöstan är det bästa luleå har tror jag. du har så rätt om berlin om senhösten, november kan inte vara lika sunkigt där som här (även om jag älskar november här emellanåt också).

Anonymous said...

Hello Bibbi,
I just tagged you on my blog!