What are Marcus Samuelsson's favorite cities?
It’s bad to say because I live there, but New York. You can’t compare it to any other city. I still discover new neighborhoods in New York, like Harlem. It’s not new, but it’s gone through a surge, just like Bushwick in Brooklyn. After 15 years, I’m still amazed to find new neighborhoods in New York that I fall in love with. This is the city that inspires me.
And then I think my hometown Gothenburg [in Sweden]. Gothenburg used to be a blue-collar steel town, but it’s now the city where fashion and musicians are hip. It’s incredible to watch a town that you grew up in become an “it town.” Also where I’m from — Addis Ababa in Ethiopia — has this merging of possibilities. Yes, it’s difficult, but people are entrepreneurial in a way that people here are not. Here, we’re upset that unemployment is 8.4 or 8.7 percent, but in Ethiopia there’s 70 percent unemployment. What do you do then?