“I had no idea that it was so beautiful here in Södermalm,” said the woman to me with a tone of surprise in her voice. “I always thought it was not a nice place to come, but the view here is incredible.”
Living on Södermalm as I do, I hear these comments a lot. For those not in the know, they think the island is full of red-wine drinking artists, writers, hippies and other derelicts. As I like to consider myself a red-wine drinking artist and writer, I don’t mind the distinction. But it always amuses when people discover for themselves how beautiful and unique Södermalm is, especially in terms of the views. (The view at the top of the page is taken from Södermalm.)
Like many cities, Stockholm has a neighborhood snobbery. If you live in Östermalm, you are in the wealthy part of inner city Stockholm and feel that anywhere else is inferior. Thus my living in Södermalm is often looked down upon. But it is only looked down upon until a person actually comes to my street and sees that it is not so bad. Then I hear “well, this is actually more like Östermalm. You can’t really call this Södermalm.”
These comments always make me laugh. I figure that is probably good for the Östermalmians to see the south side of town. And now I feel that I could not live anywhere else but Söder. So maybe I have some of my own snobbery going on.