The Alameda Flea Market

Jet lag. Not fun. Why is it so exhausting waiting around airports for delayed flights and then sitting strapped into an airplane seat? I was really glad to be home to see the pets, but I miss Scandinavia! Here are the critters that got me home: Sara, 17 year old brown tabby; Misty, 5 year old Turkish Angora; Einstein, 5 year old terrier mix. All rescues, of course!

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Thanks to our awesome pet sitter for taking good care of them.

Sunday we woke up fairly early and realized it was the 1st Sunday of the month, and that means the Alameda Point Antiques Fair, fondly referred to as “the flea”. I so do not need anymore stuff, but it’s always fun to go and I had some unspent money from the Scandinavia trip burning a hole in my pocket.

First things first, as usual for me, coffee and food! I normally drink decaf, but I ended up caffeinated in Europe, and what with the jet lag and all, I thought it was a good idea to get a double cappuccino. Warning–don’t shop under the influence of caffeine!

One of us (me) missed the beautiful strawberries in Norway so I went to the waffle truck and got a lovely waffle with strawberries. Tho other of us missed his usual “American” breakfast ingredients of eggs and cheese, so he went for the breakfast burrito on the taco truck.

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One of my favorite things to do is look for the ugliest thing I can find. I usually exclude paintings on black velvet because they would pretty much always win. But there were 2 this time that were so horrifying I gave them a shared prize.

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Of course, I can’t resist used books. In addition to the 1957 illustrated edition of Henrik Ibesen’s Peer Gynt that I had to buy given that we had just been to the Ibsen Museum, I saw quite a few fun books.  Who doesn’t love Nancy Drew? And a moment of nostalgia for the Lad: A Dog books by Albert Payson Terhune. We had them on our book shelves when I was a child and I read (and reread) them all.

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And now it’s Monday, and back to work and the so-called real world. Daydreaming of Norway…

Edvard Munch, Vincent van Gogh, and Henrik Ibsen

It was a grey, wet morning and I didn’t think we’d leave the cabin today, but I’m glad we did. One bus and one subway and voila, the Munch-museet. The line to get into the museum was long and slow. I thought maybe it was the popularity of the exhibition Van Gogh + Munch, but then we realized that the hold-up was a thorough security check between ticketing and the entrance proper. I’ve never been through a metal detector to get into a museum! Has there been an incident there in the past that spurred this? I don’t mind; as a museum employee myself I do understand the need for vigilance in protecting the art. Thankfully, the cafe sold us coffee to savor while we waited in line.

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The exhibition was an interesting juxtaposition of the lives and work of two enigmatic painters. I am not sure why Munch is best known for Skrit (The Scream) as he was a proific artist who worked in a number of styles over the years. I love seeing van Gogh’s early drawings and studies. I think it is sometimes forgotten what a good draughtsman he was and the sombre nature of his work prior to his time in sunny France.

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After a rather expensive lunch in the touristy area around the Nationaltheatret (National Theater) and a walk past the Oslo Konserthus (Concert House; closed for the summer), we made it to the Ibsen Museet, which includes an interestingly modern adaptation of a historic space for museum exhibitions and a tour of the restored apartment upstairs where Henrik Ibsen spent the last years of his life and wrote his last 2 plays. The rotating exhibition space  was titled Ibsen + Lennon, showcasing Ibsen’s influence on The Beatles, John Lennon in particular (including his round eye glasses and mutton chop sideburns).

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And when we left, it was still grey and wet outside. Ah, summer in Oslo!