Thursday, May 7, 2009

Save Our Swedes!

The Swedish government is threatening to close its consulate's office here in NYC. (I guess the economic hard times is hitting Scandinavia as well.) According to this piece by Clyde Haberman in The New York Times, this has the 30,000 Swedes who live in this town "irked."

Who knew there were that many Swedes in this town?

But since NYC is the ultimate melting pot, this doesn't come as much of a surprise.

And Haberman points out an interesting historical tidbit about Swedes and NYC: The Bronx was named after a Swedish farmer named Jonas Bronck (if you want proof of NYC being the ultimate American melting pot, just look at who and what inspired our boroughs' names: The Bronx was named after a Swedish guy, Manhattan was the name of an Algonquian
Indian tribe, Queens was after the British monarchy, and Brooklyn and Staten Island have their names in Dutch roots: Brooklyn was named after a Dutch town called Breukelen, and Staten Island comes from Staaten Eylandt after the Staten-Generaal, the Dutch parliament. Go figure.)

And of course Sweden has given us such wonderful cultural imports as Ingmar Bergman movies, Ikea, and Swedish meatballs.

But my favorite Swedish import above all has to be ...this guy ...


  1. About 95% of Swedes who live abroad eventually move back to Sweden because the ties to the homeland never get severed. Because of that it is very important to keep a consulate in NY so that Swedes can go and vote, renew passports etc.

    Most Swedes in NY spend up to $5,000 every year on trips to Sweden, myself included. There are plenty of other places around the world where consulates should be shut down before NY, and the government should probably sell the mansion first and let the ambassador move in to a rental.

  2. Swedes in New York?!? There are more than ever... : ) I just found a fun collection of video clips made by a Swedish newspaper in New York! - Cooking at Michelin-starred Aquavit, visits to Fjallraven, lots of fun. I also found a story about how the Swedes are now taking care of the locals in a new way:


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