29 November 2011

Gay times

It never fails: when the seasons change, right around the turning point, I find it hard to fit in my own skin. I can't fall at sleep at night, and I can't wake up in the daytime. So frustrating. Also, jul (you may know it as Christmas) is approaching, with all kinds of reminders and rituals that I am not a part of. Same procedure as last year... unless I make an effort to turn it around, and somehow make it work for me. In a way this is a golden opportunity to make friends with jul. Look on the bright side and all that. I will let you know how that goes (like you will be able to miss it, haha).

As always, the gays knows how to have a good time:

Jul at Centralhjørnet

Jinglebells



Gay bar Centralhjørnet already at it in early November. I need more gay people in my life. 

And while we are on the subject: our new government have decided that gays should be allowed to get married in church. Not all priests are equally enthusiastic (I would have been surprised if they were), but local church Stefanskirken is embracing the 21st century:

Congratulations Denmark!

Love knows no gender. Congratulations Denmark.

Okay jul, here I come, be gentle with me.


 

26 November 2011

Ugh you very much

Among some of urban life's biggest mysteries are how architects keep getting away with erecting phallic monstrosities of glass and steel. They are even rewarded by press and peers, naming these buildings the most livable (despite the fact half of the apartments are often vacant). The fortress of glass and steel lining the city harbour is downright uninviting (it's all office buildings, so it is a closed party anyway), sucking all the energy out of an area that should be full of life. I am not impressed. To me good urban architecture is about making a city livable, meeting the basic human needs. I prefer the approach of making what is already there work for you, like turning rooftops into gardens and offering sundecks to a light-deprived population. 

Speaking as someone suffering her teens in a concrete brick, I would never again want to live in anything "modern", ugh you very much. Just to be clear: I am not promoting a ban on modern architecture here, I am just suggesting that it be done with real people in mind. Ah, I will earn myself a spanking for saying this one way or the other, haha. Anyway, on the subject of architecture, I find myself strangely drawn to the playfulness of these balconies:



Sunset sky on Vesterbro

Behold the new Copenhagen Lamp at half steam (it takes them a while to fire up to killer blue). I don't know if the pink sky drowns it out, but the balconies here are all shades of ochre, and it looked particularly appetizing on that night. Ochre + pink = yum.



None of these are from the scary era, but as houses go they are still fairly recent. I like them older, lived in and oozing history. Mmm, squeaky old wooden floors and unmodernized kitchens that you can make your own. Very near impossible to come by because at the end of the day that is what we all want. Including the architects. Go figure.

22 November 2011

Æ Ø Å

I recently re-read the immigrants poem, I found in a backyard last year. At the time I thought it was sad, but after reading it again, I now see it differently. Like the writer actually appreciates the opportunity to drift unseen. So strange. Today I came across another souvenir from an immigrant. It might even be the same person?

Æ Ø Å

Æ, Ø, Å, the last letters of our alphabet, unpronounceable to most if not adapted at an early age. Reads: Æ... rlighed (honesty), Ø... velse (practice), Å... penhet (open-mindedness). I think it is in Swedish, or maybe Norwegian? It is not often you hear foreigners here rave about being one, even Danes harp on other Danes for being unwelcoming, so I find this one quite refreshing.

Copenhagen glass recycling bin

It is stenciled on a glass recycling container, and as I walked around the other side, sure enough there was an addition:


Are you kidding me?

Hahaha.

21 November 2011

Lights and inaction

Greetings from the dungeon. Dark and cold, draining all energy at the exact time daylight fades. This is what it must feel like to be a hundred years old. The light today have been meh at best, and it was going fast. I was so sure that the camera would go to bed hungry again, when I passed a house with a front of back lit, tinted windows, also known as yum. Before we head to the dungeon, have a peek at the summer version, spotted back in May:


Utter coolness, you must agree? And today's yum:

The gym

The gym

A school gym for 1st to 5th graders, this woke me right up. 

It makes perfect sense to take advantage of the dark and play with light and colors. I hope more architects will catch on soon. It doesn't even have to be major surgery, a little foil goes a long way:

HAY

And finally a goodnight kiss from Industriens Hus on Town Hall Square, before I slip back into my coma...

Industriens Hus 2.0

I miss the sun so much.

(End whine)

18 November 2011

Hairy times

For the month of November Danish men are growing moustaches to raise awareness of prostate cancer. The Australian Movember movement has recruited 7000 men, and the Danish Cancer Society have launched a similar initiative, making for some hairy times. And we are not just talking faces:

Blød Lykke salutes Movember
Kiss and love a lot

Soft Happiness / Blød Lykke

You gotta love a cross stitcher, what an effort.

Even the buses are on board:

Mo bus

When something is hyped out of orbit, my gut instinct usually tells me to run in the opposite direction... but as was the case with the glass fiber elephants/cows/Christmas trees, you are not really allowed to frown upon a good cause. We'll all just have to pucker up and kiss grandpa.

Links:
Movember Denmark (in Danish only)

15 November 2011

Happy Bear Hug Day

Forget about this 11/11/11 business, it is all about today: Classic Copenhagen turns two. Can you believe it? Almost everything about it has come as a surprise to me: how it has fuelled my love for Copenhagen, how many hours I would spend here and how crazy rewarding it is. I never thought that I would meet so many kind and inspiring people this way, on and off screen. Now that two years has raced by, I am getting real exited about what is ahead. It has been and still is a learn as you go experience for me, starting out I wasn't sure exactly where I was headed, but it has somehow evolved and picked up pace until the point that it is all I want to do.

You are a big part of that. Even when you don't comment (and I love it when you do), you are still around, the house is never empty and that means a lot. Ah, life is funny. Just when you think it sucks, the sun comes out, the blog turns two and you want to throw around bear hugs like there is no tomorrow.


Happy Bear Hug Day to everyone!

13 November 2011

Hygge and heart

During the last couple of years the public space of Copenhagen has been democratized. It is somehow no longer considered solely a place for advertisers and pre-approved projects, but ours to inhabit and care for. This liberation owes a lot to street art, changing our perceptions of public space, and showing us that we too can have a say. It is still only in the early stages, but it is spreading like wildfire, leaving a trace of poetry, art, political statements, public furniture and guerrilla gardens. I found this strapped to the Metro construction site fence on Town Hall Square:

Democracy Has Room For Us All

Demokratiet har plads til os alle / Democracy has room for us all

From the attached note: This project came about as a response to the act of terror in Norway...  ...Democracy and the democratic process are not bound by a particular colour of skin, a particular geographical origin or a particular belief system, or none as the case may be. Democracy simply consists of people, including the ones we do not agree with or don't like. "Democracy Has Room For Us All" are words translated into something as simple as yarn and human hands.

Scrabble E

Fried democratic egg

Democracy Has Room For Us All

Crochet handshake

Democracy Has Room For Us All


The perfect combination of hygge and heart, this is Denmark at its best.

12 November 2011

Goodbye to an old friend

Every day I pass the corner of the lake with the Nile and the rounded benches. I always check my boys to make sure that they are all right, and yesterday was no exception. Only this time something was terribly wrong, I saw the damage right away: the beautiful old tree was gone, chopped up in two neat piles on the sidewalk. From looking at the remains, I am pretty sure it was sick, but that doesn't make it any less devastating. I have to wonder if pollution have played a part in weakening the old tree, with the city's highest level of exhaust particles on this very stretch? A level so toxic that those of us living near the lakes are discouraged from opening our windows during the daytime. Damn you traffic!

No matter why it had to go, it shouldn't just be send off with a shrug. It is not just an old tree, but a piece of Copenhagen history, just imagine the things it has seen? People who can't get the least bit emotional over the magnitude of this loss scare me, but then I am also made of butter. I think the old tree at least deserves a ceremony of a kind, a thank you for a lifetime of absorbing noise, cleaning the air and sharing its beauty. Imagine, it was around for this:





This is one of the few pictures I have where the tree is actually in the shot (the tallest one, near the left corner). In a way all my pictures of that area have revolved around it, either by being my cropping point, or the one I was standing under to catch the sunset. This is how I will remember it:

The last picture



09 November 2011

A roof party

Just because you don't have kids doesn't mean you can't be moved by a good playground. Every penny spent on children's wellbeing is a good investment in my book, and this one is crazy good. I stopped by the park Fælledparken last week to get my shots, and a few parents and children had already jumped the fence to check it out. The grand opening was today, so they may have added a few things since last week, but I really can't imagine anything topping this:

Tårnlegepladsen / The Tower Playground

Copenhagen Stock Exchange

Copenhagen Stock Exhange (or as we call it: Børsen)
 
City roof

Marble Church dome

Famous dome of Marmorkirken, the Marble Church. The tall building in the back is Rigshospitalet (also known as the place I was born, or Riget/The Kingdom), with the helicopter landing pad.

City Hall and Round Tower slide

City Hall and the Round Tower slide.

This is quality stuff, a sign of respect. I have a hug for whomever built this, come and get it!

Rundetårn

Our Savior's Church/Vor Frelsers Kirke, with spiralled tower and ultra narrow stairs. Just like the real thing.

The Round Tower

Skyline on the playground

I know, this one is picture heavy, just one more:

City Hall

Let the roof party begin!

Practical stuff:

There is a manned building (actual size, haha) open from 10-15.30. In the summer months from April to October you can borrow toys, and outside the building there are tables, benches and a barbecue grill. Bathrooms (including handicap friendly ones) are open from 9-17, and the address is Frederik V's Vej 4. Here's a map:


Vis stort kort

06 November 2011

A to Oooh

With the weather changing indoor flea markets are back, and they are more popular than ever. Being broke is not just for students anymore, the recession has changed our spending habits in a big way. But even if the economy were to correct itself overnight, we are in a new place, and I doubt that we will be returning to overconsumption anytime soon. Recycling is fun and everyone can play, it just makes sense.

Yesterday I stopped by two flea markets. One with a ton of children's stuff (so boring), followed by one that blew my mind. It was a rare evening event (we need more of those!), taking the flea experience to the next level with a cosy DJ and crazy good food. And a few other things that really rocked: there were no entrance fee (some charge you as much as 35 crowns, so rude), the sellers were all private and the customers were cool. It sort of felt like a trip to another country.

There are not a lot of photographic evidence from the inside because my hands were too busy stocking my wardrobe, but I found lots of good stuff getting there. I don't subscribe to the "A to B-ism" of transport, if you make it all about the destination you miss the journey. And everyone knows that after A comes Ooooh:

"Tanzania" by H.B. Mruta 1991

"Tanzania" by H.B. Mruta



Don't let your jaw hit the floor on its way down, haha. I am in love with this mural.



Drama.

 

People on Vesterbro are much better than on Nørrebro at claiming the streets. This spot had two colorful wooden benches and a small urban garden in old milk containers, properly chained of course.

Enghavevej

At the flea market entrance, with the street name painted on just in case: Enghavevej.

The fleas masterminded by the bar "Mesteren og Lærlingen", at KBH Volume.

And this is how you spell "hygge".

This... I can't begin to tell you how yummy it was. When you go to the fleas some other places they mock your stomac lining with disgusting and overly expensive sandwiches made from soggy white bread. This meal is the best surprise I have had in a long time: mashed potatoes with a stew, pickled cucumber (still crunchy, like classic Danish cucumber salad but in chuncks mmmm), marinated fruit (how kinky is that?) and lots of fresh herbs on top. So. Good.

Giv dig tid / take your time

Giv dig tid / Take your time Wisdom and a kiss on a classic cross-stitched traffic pillow.

I am a sucker for a happy ending.