30 September 2011

Street art is not dead

In case you were wondering: Copenhagen street art is not dead. It just takes a microscope to find. I have been collecting and saving up to gather proof of its existence. Where did they all go? Are they uninspired, broke or just on vacation? I miss the creativity. On the bright side I discovered Frantz Flottenheimer, who makes hard to find and crazy yummy collage butterflies.

Frantz Flottenheimer

Street Yum

My first Flottenheimer spotting, the Classic Copenhagen header:

Frantz Flottenheimer

Ah, that was a big day. And on the same wall (already buffed, sigh):

The bird... had it coming

The Westend passage is keeping up the tradition with changing street art exhibitions. Miss Take:



Saving it was a good idea... I am almost convincing myself that Copenhagen street art is still alive.

Fuzzy Copenhagen street art

Another fuzzy piece (remember the lamb?).

Your money is worth shit to us!

Spyo to the rescue. 

Months of saving to bring you this. I am not sure I have the strength to wait that long for another hit...

Link:
Frantz Flottenheimer on RMX Collective/flickr

More, I need more!

You know?



28 September 2011

Malbeck Vinoteria

Yesterday I walked into local newcomer Malbeck Vinoteria to book a table for the evening, and I immediately got sucked in by the details. If a shop closes down somewhere in Copenhagen, chances are it will be replaced by a wine bar. A lot of them look identical, with the imported lived in feeling straight from the south of France, and there is nothing wrong with that... I just prefer when the owner's personality shows. When you get a feeling of being welcomed into someone's home. This is such a place.

As I entered they had just finished hanging the clocks, apparently a long overdue event. I am familiar with those, and with the satisfaction of finally getting it done. But my favorite detail, if I have to pick one, was the collage theme on the bar and tables. Real photographs from the family albums, as it turns out. The guy behind the counter pointed out a couple of family members, before turning to the image of the bare-butted kid mowing the lawn: and this is me. If that doesn't make you feel welcome?


All toes dipped in blue.

Only hours later this was occupied by four couples, every inch of space put to use.

(In case you are wondering, the food and wine was yum too)

Finally a place that solved the hook problem (it may even be a first in Copenhagen). If you have ever been to a Copenhagen bar, you know what I am talking about, with the crazy fighting over too few hooks, piles of clothes in layers, half of them ending up on the floor or stolen. Here, you get your own hook and on the end wall they are even scattered in all levels, inviting you to decorate the wall. Good thinking just makes me so happy!

Birkegade 2
2200 København N
Tel 32 215 215

Opening hours:
Monday-Thursday 11-24
Friday-Saturday 11-01

As an added bonus this is on the same street as Le Touriste. Birkegade rocks.


24 September 2011

Good news / bad news

Whomever labelled it the four seasons, didn't count the good stuff that happens in between. What we have here is not summer, but it is not exactly fall either. Some people are still in flip flops (aka denial), and the outdoor serving is still running on full steam (albeit with heat lamps and blankets). It is the twilight moment, with blinding sun, shifting winds and pink evenings arriving earlier every day. Like nuts for the winter now is the time to really take in the beauty. Bad news: it is a disappearing act. Good news: it is everywhere.






My crazy beautiful city.

 
 

21 September 2011

Copenhagen au naturel

Copenhagen is hosting the Road Cycling World Championship this week and in so many ways it doesn't affect me, except for a very important one: for the first time since the introduction of the automobile, the centre have been sealed off and a large part of Copenhagen have been car free. I knew it was going to happen, but I had no idea how different my city was going to feel without the constant roar of traffic. It resembles a feeling of being liberated, I have no better way of describing it. As I was taking my pictures in the middle of the road, fighting the twilight (holy crap daylight goes fast already), an old woman came up to me and started a conversation. That never happens. We both had on big smiles as we agreed how the peace was unreal, the air so clean and how there was a total absence of a tension that we hadn't even noticed before it was gone.

I bet you that by next week most drivers have forgotten whatever nuisance this may have been, but I doubt that anyone who experienced Copenhagen in the nude will ever forget.

Portrait of my bicycle

Portrait of my good friend. A once in a lifetime opportunity seized on HC Andersens Boulevard.


No parking

Not just no traffic: no parking. 









Gothersgade



Leave the car because you can ride your bike


17 September 2011

Free at last

This week we elected a new government, and got our first female Prime Minister. A breath of fresh air, with a promise of a more humane and descent politics. To someone who have so little faith in politicians it is rare to get the hopes up. But here they are. Not only because of the good I believe our new government will do, but because of the removal of the cancerous Danish People's Party, and their hateful propaganda. That, and knowing that enough of us finally had enough, and made the right choice despite last week's government, leaning on the panic button, warning us that we stood to lose everything without them (oh, the irony, coming from the root of the problem).

Granted it was a tight race, and too many Danes are still fine with the lacking solidarity of the past, but the important thing is that we are turning over a new leaf. And I have no doubt that the humanitarian approach will change the way we interact on a daily basis. I already view people differently, it is like knowing that we share something so basic in common makes me feel closer to them. Restoring our reputation and humanity is not going to be an easy fix, but at least we are on the right track. I feel like I got my country back.

Ja! Nej! / Yes! No!

Yes!

16 September 2011

Le Touriste

After months of peeking in and wondering, I finally caved and stepped inside. I had to ask: what is this place? The name caught my attention, of course: Le Touriste. But also the furniture and the crazy cool photographic images on every surface. So why did it take me so long to enter? What is it about galleries that says: "this space is only for a select few"? Even I feel it, and I grew up in one. I remember watching people leaning against the windows, trying to catch a glimpse, but very few had the guts to enter uninvited. 

So what is Le Touriste? A mix of old furniture for sale, and limited edition photographic prints in all sizes. It is an ever-evolving exhibition, changing as an item sells, and also a really interesting 3D universe. The interior somehow works with the images, begging for a re-shoot. Impossible to resist:

Couch potato
Le Touriste is owned a run by friends Claus Juul and Mark Damgaard, and if you stop by, they will likely treat you to a cup of coffee in the green couches. With a side of baboon.


Vintage vacuum cleaner imported from Fyn, for the good looks.


Poul Henningsen in da house.


Sorry, nice people only.

Polaroid tattoo

The man with the Polaroid tattoo.


Le Touriste. Look at that logo! Ah.


Le Touriste
Birkegade 6
2200 N Copenhagen

Opening hours:
Tuesday-Friday 12-6pm
Saturday 11-2pm

Absolutely nothing to be afraid of, of course. Irrational fear, is there any other kind?

************

UPDATE:
The store is out of business, ugh.


13 September 2011

Vintage Copenhagen

Finding vintage snapshots of Copenhagen is like hitting the jackpot. Not just the fancy postcard images of fountains and castles, but everyday scenes of people riding their bikes, going to the market, crossing the street... I'm endlessly fascinated. In case you are in the neigbourhood, the vintage Dutch Bookmarket is on at the church Helligåndskirken (books are down to 15dkr today). I found this old photo book from Copenhagen, with images from my own backyard. Jackpot:

(click to see this one enlarged, yum)

Queen Louises Bridge 1913. See the sidewalks? They are just now returning to the former glory. Nice and wide, pedestrians and bicycles rule.

The lakes

One of the bridge corners. Nothing has changed. Everything has changed.


Between two of the lakes at a later time, still crazy cosy.

And from an earlier scoop, a scene from the bridge:

Queen Louises Bridge 1898

(Published in 1936) Reads: Earlier the small electric boats played a certain role. The picture (above) is from 1898, taken on Queen Louises Bridge. Today the traffic in Copenhagen, compared to other big cities are predominantly characterized by bicycles:

Copenhagen 1936

All aboard the time machine?

09 September 2011

Slim pickings

With the upcoming election this is one of those rare occasions where the politicians are reminded that they work for us, and not the other way around. Now would be a good time to remember what they have practiced, and not get seduced by what they preach (politicians and promises, don't get me started). It amazes me that the current government have the audacity to run for another term, when they have made such a mess of things. Education, healthcare and human decency are suffering and poverty is spiking. They way I see it, they should step down, with apologies. And if they had the best interest of the country in mind, perhaps they would have, but it is all about personal ambition, networking and keeping your friends happy. The bigger the offense, the greater the reward: our former Prime Minister who left us with a random substitute mid-term, screwed us all for a top position in NATO. It is so transparent, really.

But for a total of two weeks they are pretending to give a damn, wooing us with big smiles on campaign posters, in personal appearances and televised debates. There is bargaining too: if you give up this, you can have that. Who needs a solidary health care system, when you can drive your car all the way into the city free of charge? What some people are ready to give up to keep the spare bedroom, the flat screen TV's and car privileges... it is just sad. But I still have faith that the majority of Danes will do the right thing this time around. If all goes well by next week we will have a new government. 


Mocking the poster children, left and right.

 Smil lidt mer / smile a little more. 

Even the advertising people are getting onboard:



Mikkel Møller for ALIS (photos by Mikkel Møller): More skateparks on the agenda.

Some even put up their own campaign posters, I have seen children run for office, and the "Flere Farver" (more colors) are everywhere. You get a feeling that it is getting increasingly harder for people to take politicians seriously...


More Colors / air guitar.

Vote Ø (Enhedslisten)

And a single street art contribution that actually means business: vote Ø.

Fingers crossed!


08 September 2011

It's not Copenhagen...

It's not Copenhagen, it's me.

Cain 1878

Copenhagen

Oldschool

Graceful decay

Obviously.