31 January 2010

A rare bird

The wooden peacock slide is as classic Copenhagen as it gets. It was made in 1977 by Danish silversmith gone sculptor Gunnar Westman, who during his travels found inspiration in the traditional Swedish woodworking. His playground pieces for the amusement park Tivoli now exists in my childhood memories only, while others can still be seen around Copenhagen, and in the museums. 

The peacock is well loved, but still functional, and it really shows that back then creating something for a child was an honourable task, not taken lightly. It may be an old bird, but it still rocks. And for that reason it is nominated for a Classic Copenhagen Award, in the category best playground item.








oh, the details



30 January 2010

All scared out

There has been some heavy leaning on the panic-button lately, and by now it is hard to feel appropriately scared when another worst-case scenario is artfully played out before you. The gracious Obama inspired skydiver marks the future waterline, should all the water on Greenland melt. He is part of an extensive street exhibition, made by artist Jens Galschiot and the project Seven Meters, that was launched during the COP15 climate talks. The scary reminder can still be seen on different locations in Copenhagen, and on the lake side. And here, if you feel strong enough.






29 January 2010

Beauty and the beast

The snow is coming down non-stop in Copenhagen these days. We all walk like we are in diapers, and the traffic has almost come to a peaceful stop. You can do one of two things: roll with the punches, dress warm and build that snowman, or fight it every step of the way, focusing only on what really sucks. Either way extreme weather has a way of bringing out the truth: if you are really a beast, it will show. And therein lies the beauty.





28 January 2010

Shiny, happy people

Every once in a while a survey surfaces, stating that Danes are among the happiest and most content people in the world. It is somehow reassuring to know, that we know we should be grateful. Because from just looking at us, you would never have guessed it. Which is slightly misleading. So if you encounter grumpy, tight faced Danes in the grocery store, and very likely in the winter time and in the after work hours, just remember that we really are happier than most. Deep down.








A happy house.


27 January 2010

Medal to the pedal

I was working on some nice shots of the kindergarten, when a mom pulled up in this, and immediately threw me off course. She told me that the kindergarten that looks so good from the outside, is the best, and that her son greets the cow every day before entering. I would too. The kindergarten post is coming up, but the bike won the race for today. Because if it is possible to fall in love with a bike, this could be it.






Padded leather cushions, of course.








26 January 2010

Silver lining vs. cloud

A big part of the lake is deemed safe, and we are seeing all kinds of action out there. Today I spotted a wheelchair, bicycles, a dad on skies pulling his kids on a sled, and a dog pulling his owner on ice skates (skates on the owner, not the dog). Not to mention a granddad with some impressive moves, and joggers skipping the crowded lanes, running directly on the snowy ice. Every inch of frozen water is put to good use. Well, that is almost...

The silver lining:

the cloud:


For the full story on the lakes, don't miss this on Copenhagenize.

Divided we stand

The subject of prostitution and human trafficking divides the Copenhageners. In Denmark prostitution is legal. A woman may sell her body (and pay tax), but officially it is not a recognised occupation, and as such comes with no rights. The last couple of years the trafficking in women has exploded. Women are smuggled in by organised criminals, and forced to work as sex slaves. The atmosphere in the designated streets is more aggressive than ever, prices are dumped, and men are chased down the block, even if they are not there for that purpose. It is so in the open, that the epicentre of all this is located right in front of the Copenhagen Police Headquarters.

The pro-pro's say a woman has a right to do what she wants with her body, and that interfering with this is no more than moral policing. The native prostitutes have a union, and many of them speak up and say we should mind our own business. The counter-pro's say that it is unacceptable in a modern society to look the other way, with such abuse going on. It is not so much the rights of the independent pro, but those of the smuggled women, that heats the debate.

The politicians are equally torn about how to legislate on this. But like any festering boil, it is not going to go away simply by being ignored, so here is another poke.





25 January 2010

The blues

During winter, daylight in Copenhagen is scarce. The sky is permanently hidden behind a thick, skim-milky blanket, and back in november the total hours of direct sunlight hit a low 26. Winter at times feel like a 6 month sentence served in a dark basement. This is best kept in mind, when you watch us unfold come spring and summer... (stay tuned).

Some blues you just get:








24 January 2010

Look at me

The old murals are a classic Copenhagen sight. Some are giving way to the developing real estate market, but others survive squeezed in between buildings. "Odeon" was a movie theatre that closed for business back in 1958. I often wonder exactly what it is that makes these huge advertisements not annoy, but please you.

Could it possibly be that it is refreshing to have something pitched to you with one: no scare tactics, and two: no sex? The difference between then and now, is much like that of a polite man asking "may I show you something interesting", and a sugar high five year old screaming "look-at-me-look-at-me-look-at-me".






23 January 2010

Tell me where it hurts

An old Ford ambulance, from what looks to be the early 80s. With modern cars looking a lot like sneakers, and identical ones at that, this one is a real treat. I say parking for this guy should be free.






The official ecological stamp








Black on black, rock star hubcaps.


22 January 2010

Under pressure

With degrees hitting below zero, the Copenhagen homeless are filling up the shelters at night. Some are turned away, and following two tragic deaths from exposure, volunteers created temporary shelters out of a church and two school gym's. Offering beds, blankets and a hot meal.

While some claim there are no reason for any Dane to be homeless, fact remains not everybody is cut out to live like everybody else. Many of the homeless do not "fit in". And it is not easily fixed by trying to make them do so. The government preaches "normalisation", and places like the freetown Christiania is under heavy pressure to buckle and behave. To our leaders "normal" is the salvation of us all. It will probably take them a while to understand that not being the same, is as normal as it gets.





21 January 2010

Nominee: best door handle

Another nomination for the Classic Copenhagen Awards, in the category best door handle. It is almost an unfair nomination, as these girls pretty much kick the asses of any other door handle I have ever seen. How do you compete with this?











20 January 2010

Nominee for best doorstep

When Classic Copenhagen in a distant future will host the great Classic Copenhagen Awards, this is a sure nominee for best doorstep. A florist today, this was a century ago a wine & tobacco store. The jury is pleased with the florist paying his respect to the good craftsmanship, by preserving and incorporating this piece of the past.


"smoke the cigar" Just




19 January 2010

Word on the street

The outcome of the COP15 talks did not impress anyone. But the streets brought hope, as people from all corners of the world came to show support. There were more events and happenings than the media could handle, and much of it you would have to see for yourself, or not at all.

The neon sign extended over the Assistens Cemetery, is part of a scattered street exhibition, by danish artist Astrid Gjesing. 7 recycled and engraved gravestones was laid into the pavement, on different locations in Copenhagen. The message reads "the earth bears your mark", and we get it in french, english, chinese, arab, spanish, urdu and danish. We really do.



"the earth bears your mark"






Visit the artist here.



18 January 2010

Twosomeness

If you are alone, you are not alone.



"twosomeness"


17 January 2010

Ground Zero

There once was a house on Norrebro, at Jagtvej 69. An old and historic building, facing the Assistens Cemetery. It was given to the youth by the city a couple of mayors ago. Concerts were held, creative careers was sparked, and a lot of noise was made. Then the city took the house back, and sold it to a religious sect. The kids refused to go, funds were raised, and a top lawyer volunteered to speak their case. Endless meetings were held, to try and reconcile, and buy the house back. But the religious leader stood firm, positioning herself in the spotlight as the Unbending Holy Mother.

Eventually the police cleaned the place out, and the house that was not for sale, was torn down. And then all hell broke loose. Cars was set on fire, windows bashed in, police was attacked with cobblestones and bottles, and there was fire in the streets. The neighbourhood was terrorised, and local businesses suffered. It got increasingly harder to feel sorry for the kids, as they brought war to the very neighbours who supported their claim to begin with.

The streets was flooded with hooded and masked supporters, many foreign, and the following weeks brought demonstrations, and more violence. As things finally settled down, the kids were relocated a little further from the centre. The Unbending Holy Mother never used the ground for anything, and today all there is left is a scar, named Ground Zero.



As Norrebro businesses boarded their windows, this was the only one getting creative.
Like you needed another reason to love Hot Kotyr. Sign reads: look in and see the light.

(liar liar) pants on fire





Ground Zero on Wikipedia.


16 January 2010

Poor man's GPS

In all my years of bicycle spotting, this is a first. But I think it might work. If I should find this bike unlocked in a bush, I would feel compelled to call that number. Wouldn't you?





15 January 2010

Guess that thing

The city has finally cleared, and clearly marked a part of the Peblinge Lake for use. But some people you just can't reach. And nobody tells the birds anything. Clearly there is some confusion:

Is it ice?


Is it water?

Or is it a huge frozen garbage disposal?


14 January 2010

They're back!

The mysterious Nile Decorators are back. This is an event right up there with the Disney Christmas Show. It really should come with an unravelling ceremony, and a fanfare. At the very least.