Discovering Oslo's Inner Tiger
Oslo's Opera House
The jutting white marble planes of the Opera House roof double as a public plaza -- and concert grandstand
Its mix of grand Neoclassical facades, boxy '60s-style modernism, pastoral parks, and homogenous culture have always felt a bit tame for my taste. But by digging deeper, you can find more texture here, from gritty neighborhoods to troubled artists.
The city's grand boulevard,
The boulevard is also the address of the
A few blocks down from the
Facing the harbor,
Along the eastern harbor, the marble Opera House seems to rise like an iceberg from the sea. This is the only opera house in the world that doubles as a public plaza, with a roof designed to be walked on. Opened in 2008, this cultural venue is a huge hit. On my last visit, I joined 8,000 people on the rooftop to watch a hot English group named
In summer, Norwegians practically live outdoors.
From 1924 to 1943, Vigeland created a world of bronze and granite statues -- around 600 nude figures in all. The centerpiece is a teeming monolith of life, with 121 figures carved out of a single block of stone rocketing skyward. Like Munch, Vigeland was troubled. While those who know his life story can read it clearly in the granite and bronze, I ignore it all and simply see his art as observations on the bittersweet cycle of life.
As much as I love
I love dining streetside here.
It's cheap -- and seeing a rainbow of people and a few rough edges makes the city feel less like Wonder bread. But that's the beauty of
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