Stockholmers heap scorn on Brooklyn comparison

Ann Törnkvist
Ann Törnkvist - [email protected]
Stockholmers heap scorn on Brooklyn comparison

Many Stockholmers reacted with consternation after a BBC video compared the Swedish capital to the New York borough of Brooklyn.


A video posted on the BBC web site this week attempted to illustrate the fervour felt for Brooklyn by residents of the bohemian - but increasingly commercialized - Hornstull neighbourhood of Stockholm.

"I think this movement really took speed in 2008 and 2009 during the financial crisis, when people started looking at the more basic things in life," publicist Henrik Evrell told the BBC. "What was happening in Brooklyn we saw as a symbol of this ideology."

Hornstull residents themselves had mixed reactions to the comparison to the multicultural borough of New York and the central capital district on the western edge of Södermalm island. 

The daily Dagens Nyheter published an array of reactions on Wednesday, with some claiming that some Stockholmers' desire to ape the New York borough was indicative of an inferiority complex.

"Our anally retentive little brother complex... permeates all of Stockholm," Hanna, 34, told the paper before conceding she herself was a symptom, as she wore eye glasses she did not have any optometric reason to wear.

"Hornstull is the finger on the pulse of [Stockholm's little-brother complex] ," she added.

Other Hornstull residents sung Brooklyn's praises and said the gentrification of Hornstull was welcome and should continue. One even specifically referenced the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Williamsburg, illustrating that Stockholmer fascination with "Brooklyn" had less to do with the huge and multicultural borough at large and perhaps more to do with the hipster-teeming enclaves along the L line of the New York subway.

The Local's readers, however, did not hold back about the BBC video, in which the brewers Brooklyn featured heavily.

Another reader said she felt it was impossible to compare an artsy part of New York with a capital city such as Stockholm.

One of The Local's readers, many of whom are foreign-born, took the opportunity to praise not Brooklyn, but Stockholm. 


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