Gothenburg, as its name may suggest, is vastly infested with activities for the darkly inclined. While as a goth, you may prefer to explore at night, there are plenty of places where you can seek refuge from direct sunlight in Sweden’s second city.
Gothenburg in winter
Begin your gothic getaway in the defunct, graffitied power station situated beside the giant Älvsborgsbron. Now known as Röda Sten, this is one of Sweden’s coolest art centres. Here you’ll find many of your own kind amongst it four gritty floors, along with a number of modern art exhibitions. Wear head-to-toe black and stand ominously in a corner, shocking unbeknown tourists who will only assume you’re part of some morbid, avant-garde installation.
The building also houses an indie-style cafe with summertime riverside seating (avoid), weekly live music (enjoy) and offbeat one-offs like punk bike races, boxing matches and stand-up comedy (definitely avoid – cracking a smile is not good for your image).
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was based in Sweden
Hungry after a day’s hard gothing about, why not head over to the Salrosen restaurant. Unfortunately, they do not serve fresh blood or bat’s heads, but they do serve up some mean vegetarian cuisine, which is pretty much second best. A 1970s survivor, this laid-back student haunt is a Haga institution (note the photos of passed-on regulars above the counter). Or if that’s not your bag, head along the leafy Vasagatan Boulevard, to Java Kaffebar, a café thick with dreadlocks, dyed hair and nipple rings.
Where else would you find a goth than in… a cemetery, of course. The Eastern cemetery in Gothenburg was designed by architect J. H. Strömberg and is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Scandinavia (n.b. we mean this in the way a dead bird is beautiful, not a glorious sunrise – that’s just sick). The huge hill on its west side hosts some magnificent mausoleums, perfect for doing some après-dinner Ouija boards.
Next hot foot it to Barbarella, which opened in 1991 as a store for fetish clothes and shoes. After frequent requests from customers and some appearances on MTV, Barbarella decided to stop selling clothes and became a full-time piercing studio. The studio is now located at Lilla Drottningatan in the city center of Gothenburg, offering our customers the largest and widest collection of piercing jewellery in the whole of Scandinavia. Get yourself sufficiently perforated with as much metal as you can fit in your face, then take your transformed image on a Gothed-up night out.
Home to Swedish death metal bands such as Nihilist and Carnage, Gothenburg offers an excellent after-dark scene for the goth crowd. The street Andra Långgatan has become a hub for the alternative and creative occupation of Gothenburg, with new bars, cafes and unusual shops popping-up all the time. Truckstop Alaska is an underground rock bar in the heart of the former industrial districts of Hisingen. Although you have to be a member to get in, the hassle of joining will only add to the feeling that you’ve stepped into some dark enclave of the occult, where all kinds of sordid affairs take place…
Paris – je t’aime. You are the ultimate city break, a haven of girlish fantasy, a macaroon paradise, a swish, sassy, chic enclave of all things hip and fabulous. Dive in our posh girls guide to Paris.
It’s a given that Paris is every girl’s dream getaway, from the shopping to the eating to the dancing the night away. But the posh girl in Paris is looking for that je ne sais quoi, which isn’t found in most guides to Paris. We assumed that you fine ladies may have better things to do than trawl the Internet looking for establishments that cater to your er… calibre (filing nails, sipping from teacups etc etc), so we created this list of Paris’ best posh girl must-do’s. Don’t mention it.
This new hotel, part of the Elegancia group, was designed by Paris it-boy Ora-Ito and inspired by Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Rather than typical hotel rooms, Hotel O comprises 29 cabins, in a space vessel style, cutting guests off from the hectic Parisian streets and and Etienne-Marcel shopping meccas at its doorstep. Each room has a unique colour scheme, built with four materials: wood, cork, felt and Corian, to create a harmonious blend of clean lines and smooth curves. The breakfast room doubles as a bar, serving a short range of cocktails using quality, often organic spirits.
The history of Parisian tea salons is lovingly linked to the history of the Ladurée family. In 1862, Louis Ernest Ladurée opened his first a bakery at 16 rue Royale in Paris. The decoration of the pastry shop was entrusted to Jules Cheret, a famous turn-of-the-century painter and poster artist, who sought inspiration from the painting techniques used for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the Garnier Opera. Now with salons all over Paris and beyond, Laduree have become famous for their macrons – small, round cakes, crisp on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle, in various colours and flavours. No posh girl could complete their trip to Paris without having a macaron or two at the original tea salon on rue Royale. Decorated in original wood paneling, with a cascade of angels and gourmet fairies on the ceilings, this unique café is a symbol of the French art of living.
Gallic gastronomic grandeur meets old school glamour at Hotel Meurice in the heart of Paris. It has the skeleton of all typical Parisian fine eateries – mosaic floor, crystal chandeliers, heavy damask curtains – but has recently had a super-modern overhaul by designer Phillipe Starck. Chef Yannick Alléno bagged a third Michelin star in 2007, due to his brilliantly inventive cooking, which is based on a deep knowledge of classical Escoffier vintage culinary technique. Flex your posh girl muscles with a course of In addition to crispy green ravioli with a fricassee of snails and wild garlic.
It would almost be a crime to stay in Paris and not take a visit to staple French fashion house, Chanel. The masters of timeless luxury, their window displays at the rue Cambon location are particularly beautiful.
It’s true that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but in Paris, costume diamonds are the posh girl’s. Bijoux Burma offers the best of both worlds, presenting a variety of colourful precious gems in bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings and broaches, as well as costume jewellery that is arguably even more spectacular.
THE TASTE OF PARIS
Drink tea with a difference at W Lounge
A place to don your new purchases and dance to Paris’ hottest DJs spin, while sipping one of W Lounge’s signature cocktails. This innovative cocktail menu, crafted by W Hotels Worldwide Director of Cocktail Culture, Joseph Boroski, contains only the most fabulous drinks in Paris. Managed by one of the city’s top bar experts, Aurélie Panhelleux, the W Lounge even offers Do It Yourself Cocktail Sessions on a Tuesday and a unique twist on teatime with their exclusive Cockteals tea-infused drinks.
Sip champagne at The Ritz
With a hardcore following of young and trendy Parisians, The Ritz Bar Terrasse, weather permitting, is the place to be in Paris. With a collection of chic and comfortable outdoor lounge chairs, which overlook the interior courtyard of this legendary hotel, when you’ve made this kind of mark on the world of luxury, there’s really no other option, but to have your own champagne label. Enter the Ritz Brut and Ritz Brut Rose. Perfect for spending a Parisian evening nibbling on fresh strawberries, and drinking bubbles with a loved one, if you don’t want to go for their delicious own brand, you can of course indulge in some Cristal (995 Euro), Perrier Jouët Belle Epoque (500 Euro) and Dom Ruinart Brut Rosé (600 Euro) by the bottle.
Another astonishing interior under the belt of Philippe Starck, this hotel is a decadent, art-filled rebellion of colour, pattern and texture. Stark’s own interpretation of 1930s Paris. Then came the spa: an ethereal, snow-white world of plush lounging spaces, the longest swimming pool in any Paris hotel and fabulous treatments by Clarins. Try the Balance of Power face treatment by My Blend (€295 for 105 minutes), which uses a combination of eight creams and seven boosters, chosen by the therapist from a possible 400.
Get done at Doux Me
The Doux Me beauty room at Hôtel Costes offers personalised facials, body treatments and massages, using only organic products and vegetable-based oils that will leave your posh-girl skin feeling, soft, smooth and revitalised. Created for women, by women, this is ever Sloane Ranger’s dream pampering sesh.
Just like madness, depression or alcoholism – the first stage is admitting that you have a problem. Say it with me now.
“My name is (blank) and I am a HIPSTER. “
Now that that’s out of the way, we’ve created a survival guide to the world’s hippest destination: NYC, a.k.a the hipster holy grail.
The New York hipster should only frequent establishments that cater to their ‘coolness’. However, as these hipster-only joints tend to have a strict dress code; in order to be allowed entry, you must first pass the visual test. Women should head to Buffalo Exchange in Williamsburg, where they can pick up vintage or designer clothing from different eras (which should then be draped on every part of your body with no great regard for aesthetic cohesion).
Men should check out the Housing Works Thrift Shops that are scattered throughout the city or vintage shops such as Cheap Jack’s on Fifth Avenue. In regards to what you should buy: anything that would look good on a farmer, pirate, hobo, Elvis Costello or golf caddy would work/anything that can be worn and explained with irony. To both genders – be sure to pick up a pair of thick black glasses, even if you have perfect vision.
To complete your image, you need to have the right hair. Men, head to F.S.C. Barber on Horatio Street in the West Village. Like your overall image, this place looks old, but it isn’t. It opened in 2008. Make sure you get them to trim your fashion ‘tash while you’re having them shave in your undercut. Girls , probably just leave your hair the way it looked when you woke up this morning. You guys are so post-modern.
In order to complete your Orwellian, tortured artist type image, your tastes must include a range of hipster fare. Take a trip to the Strand to pick up the necessary copies of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast Of Champions or J.D. Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye, before lazily meandering around the clearance books stalls on the sidewalk to really get the “Yes I read” message across. Guys – this is a great place to pick up hipster chicks and Chloe Sevigny types.
Next, stop by Bleecker Street Records or Other Music to pick up a few Black Lips LPs and maybe a Best Coast album or two. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BUY A CD. If you want to improve your hipsters credentials, you must only buy vinyl, at least one of those records must be by a band that no one has ever heard of. Assure yourself of this by taking the record to the counter and asking,”Have you ever heard of this?” When the reply is no – hey presto, you’ve got your new favourite band.
Later on you can go and hang out at Union Square with the rest of the rat pack. Do not fret if you don’t have a skateboard, just take out your copy of Bukowski’s Post Office and before burying our head within its pretentious pages, shrug to the guy next to you a simple, ‘”got it at the Strand.”
The best way to explore New York is by bicycle. No hipster worth his salt should be seen hopping onto the subway or bus, or worse… into a taxi. Bikes are the only way to travel, and a little fixed gear number should be your new best friend. A fixie is a slang term for bicycles that have drivetrains with one gear that’s fixed to the rear wheel so that you cannot coast and must continue pedalling whenever the bike’s moving. Fixies are among the most simple of bicycles because they don’t require derailleurs, shifters, double- or triple-chainring cranksets, or, in some circumstances, even brakes. Pick up your own at Bicycle Habitat in Soho and then spend the night standing outside bars (but never actually going into them), casually leaning up against your fixie with a bottle of Newkie Brown in your hipster hand. Oh how they will look on in admiration.
Speaking of bars, as the hipster truly comes alive at night, the area known as the BELT (or “below the L train,” which slices through hipster-infested Williamsburg) is where most of New York’s best hipster bars are located. As a general rule, any bar described as Kafka-esque (which means dark and seductive; add that phrase to your hipster glossary), will most likely possess atmosphere and location somewhat irresistible to the urban hipster. Here’s our top five hipster bars in New York:
Bar Reis 375 Fifth Ave., nr 6th St., Park Slope, Brooklyn
With a garden area, basement lounge, and loft-like stage for live acts, former wine bar, Bar Reis, has all the components of an awesome hipster hangout bar.
Cake Shop 152 Ludlow St., nr. Stanton St.
Upstairs are cupcakes and vinyl records (see above for what to purchase there), while downstairs are live bands, adding to cool credentials.
Happy Ending 302 Broome St., nr. Forsythe St.; 212-334-9676.
This bar was once the place where city dwellers would go to get an erotic massage, but now its status as the Lower East Side’s most enduring dance dive means New York’s hippest have made it their second home.
Music Hall of Williamsburg 66 N. 6th St., nr. Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 212-260-4700.
Northsix may have had a face-lift and name change in 2007, but its constant flow of top-notch indie acts and flowing crowds of hipsters has continued unabated.
Royal Oak 594 Union Ave., at Richardson St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn;
Williamsburg partiers pile into the Royal Oak’s cosy booths, schmoozing about Hemingway and the latest post-modern electro-new wave trance acts they just bought on vinyl.