Whiskey & Cigarettes with Angelina Bergenwall
I first met Angelina in 2011 in Sweden, where I was studying abroad. She was recommended to me as a great Swedish photographer who may be willing to work with me on my blog. Upon meeting her, I gave her a HUGE hug, in classic American fashion, and almost scared her away. I quickly learned that the Swedish social customs were not what I was used to (I am loud, blunt, and move my hands around a lot when I speak), but she agreed to work with me despite my obvious lunacy. After a while, we became friends and she graciously taught me all about her culture and life as a high school senior in Uppsala. We drank, we had sleepovers, she laughed at my attempts at speaking Swedish, and we took a ton of photos. I was so lucky to have met her; to get a genuine Swedish experience. Over the years, we have remained close – she has developed into an incredible talent, whose work brings her to New York consistently. On one of those trips, I suggested we shoot her over the Swedish tradition of fika. Instead, she came over for whiskey and cigarettes. Enjoy learning more about this beautiful human who inspires us endlessly.
- Hannah, Founder of The Break
Name: Angelina Bergenwall
How do you take your whiskey?
Neat. With rocks on the side.
What’s your signature hangover cure?
Here in NYC it’s definitely a Portobello Mushroom Pho. I'm always craving sushi, ramen or like a poke bowl. I guess I’m just not into very heavy food when hungover for some reason.
How would you describe your personal style?
Loads of jeans, lingerie, long coats and sneakers. I guess I’m very into grunge mixed with a more cleaner scandinavian style. I still sometimes wear all black because well.. you gotta pay some tribute to your Stockholm heritage you know?
What’s the biggest difference between Swedish and American style?
As mentioned above. Stockholmers like all black. We also like blending in, stylishly but subtly. Clean long lines, defined cuts and long straight silhouettes. New Yorkers are bolder, braver and like New York is, a variation of everything there is to pick from.
What’s your favorite restaurant in NYC? Favorite bar?
I love Bunna, it’s a Ethiopian restaurant in Bushwick with loads of vegan goodness. I’m usually not able to eat a lot but those dishes over there never seem to be enough. Bar-wise I’m a regular at Dynaco and Lovers Rock. Dynaco for the cold winter nights when you want an Old Fashioned, a fireplace and slow rock tunes. Lovers Rock is for Caribbean dance, dangerous rum drinks and for the general feel of deep Bed-stuy, where I feel most at home.
Your favorite restaurant in Stockholm? Favorite bar?
Bananas in Stockholm is probably the restaurant I find myself ending up at anytime I feel like treating myself. Their chanterelle pizza with buffalo mozzarella is the closest you can get to heaven at Södermalm. After that pizza my first choice of bar would be Paradiso, it’s a calm but intriguing bar where you should order one of their mezcal drinks, they know what they’re doing.
If you were a dog what dog would you be?
While I’m a total dog lover myself, I think that I personally resemble a cat more than a dog. However, if I have to choose, I think I’d be some Husky mix. I’m not too loud, loyal, easy to read, appreciate a good run and while am generally calm I do have a temper.
How do you get inspired?
Movies!! And people! I love people and movies haha. Not in the sense that I feel the need to interact constantly but I love to slowly discover the different layers of a person and what makes them tick. Movies for the same reasons. There’s so much to see!
Who are your favorite photographers right now?
Right now I love Harley Weir (@harleyweir) and Cass Bird (@cassblackbird). They have touched upon emotion in each of their own way that is so very intriguing. They make you feel. I think that is something that fashion photography has forgotten and that is slowly resurfacing. It’s amazing to see.
What are your favorite accounts to follow on Instagram?
I love Rina Sawayama (@rinasonline)! She’s sick. She’s reclaiming her Japanese heritage in the best way possible and she’s all Nintendo, daring hairstyles combined with an awareness and general coolness.
For inspiration on instagram my very favourite is @she_comes_in_technicolor who has the best taste in 90’s imagery. It’s a pleasure to scroll.
What could America learn Sweden? Could Sweden learn anything from America?
Of course Swedish people can learn from Americans! I’m learning everyday :)
I think Swedish people could learn to open up to strangers, we are missing out on so much because of our reserved manner. Americans could learn to be more direct, sometimes it’s ok to say no instead of maybe or another time. Honesty is key.