29 January 2012

Sunday







25 January 2012

A house of mirrors

It turns out that Tårnlegepladsen the Tower Playground in Fælledparken, with the mini skyline of Copenhagen, is only part of a major "park lift", with all kinds of projects in the works. You wouldn't think that this playground could get any better, but they found a way to top it: both ends of the big black house on the side (the only one in actual size) have been fully covered in slightly curved mirrors. 

Tårnlegepladsen Copenhagen



Riget/The Kingdom.


During special hours, when they know for a fact that I am not around, the hidden doors on the side open to reveal some seriously warped mirrors. Amazingly we are still not at the point where they alert Classic Copenhagen when introducing crazy goodness like this.



Mirror polished stainless steel.



A two-in-one shot of Fælledparken, the least pretentious park in Copenhagen, where people go to walk the dog, run, play sports, hang out and barbecue in the summertime. I wonder if it will stay mellow after the big makeover? I would like to think that one doesn't rule out the other.



So good. And from what I hear, they are only just getting started...

Links:

24 January 2012

Winter whine

I conveniently forgot what a cold-hearted beast January can be. Oh, man. Something happens this time a year that somehow seems to affect everyone. Grumpy frozen faces everywhere you look, including the mirror. It is not good. But, insufferable as they may be, at least the days are getting longer again, the light is slowly returning. You gotta look at the bright side, right?


Look how big they got. By the way, I may have solved the mystery of four swans becoming six. You probably figured it out already: there are two couples, one have four, the other have six. They made it so just to mess with my mind. Well played, swans.


Maniac seagulls, creeping me out.


One day they will invent the water bike. This was not that day.

Super dog

The dogs of the homeless are cared for better than most. They are usually well-fed, loved and never left home alone in an apartment with a full bladder and nothing to do. This guy is selling the paper "Hus Forbi", about and for the homeless, earning a part of the proceeds of every paper sold.

Citroën 2CV

Car lurking is really a pedestrian pleasure, if I had been on my bike I would surely have missed it. The ultimate spin on the classic traffic pillow: the matching car portrait pillow. It is almost enough to make you forget it is January.

Links:
Hus Forbi (in Danish only)

22 January 2012

The royal subject

Every time we have a royal birthday or anniversary (which is pretty much all the time), we face the same discussion: does a monarchy even fit in the 21st century? Is it reasonable that we have someone overspending public funds because they were born-, or simply married someone royal? I have always had a soft spot for our Queen Margrethe. For some strange reason I consider her untouchable, even if she only pops into my life for about ten minutes at the end of the year. But she is the only character left standing in this fairy tale, as far as I am concerned. When she retires (from the look of things not any time soon), you will probably find me closer to the other camp, rooting for a change. I don't exactly see us as a republic either, but clearly the concept of a monarchy is ripe for a modernisation. I recognize that they do work for the country, and as such should be compensated, but 340+ million crowns a year? 

I might have felt more protective about our royalty if I sensed they were sincerely engaged in our society. They may be, but it doesn't really show. The show mainly consists of flashing expensive wardrobes, having babies (another one rumored to be on its way as I write this)(it annoys me that I even know this, but there is no escaping these updates), cutting ribbons and waving from boats, balconies, luxury cars and golden coaches. Financed by a country with an overwhelming share of citizens struggling to get by. As much as I love Queen Margrethe, it just doesn't seem right.

Margrethe II Princess of Denmark 1966

Once upon a Princess, 1966.

This year marks the 40th on the throne for Queen Margrethe II, celebrated with a ride in the golden coach through the streets of Copenhagen, the balcony appearance, parties, dinners, concerts and most importantly cake:


1972-2012 40 years for Denmark


The Margrethe cake by La Glace, since 1972.

(Someone and her big mouth just got themselves crossed from the royal Christmas list, hahaha)


20 January 2012

Unseen Copenhagen

There is a whole side of Copenhagen, accessible only from rooftops and private apartments, just itching to be explored. Once in a while I catch a glimpse of something familiar from a different angle, and it makes me fall in love with my city all over again. I had a meeting the other day at the top floor of an old building in the historical centre, and the first thing I did was rush to the window and take in the view:

A super rare view

Utter coolness. This only fuels my desire to (find a way to) explore the hidden angles more. And it makes me think of the CphCph guys, climbing roofs and tunnels, like undercover agents mapping the unseen Copenhagen. Crazy beautiful stuff:


CphCph The unseen Copenhagen from CphCph on Vimeo.

Ah, I am so inspired!

links:
CphCph
CphCph in the news (in Danish)


17 January 2012

Get lost

Get lost. I can't recommend it enough. And I mean that in the nicest way possible, of course, haha. It's just a matter of making space for surprises, allowing for time to be "wasted". Although it never is. Not really. If you live by the sea, you may take long walks on the beach. Living in a city, the landscape is urban, but it is the same sense of peace and belonging. I think well in laundromats, I relax riding my bike wherever it takes me and I enjoy drifting and getting lost in the backyards of Copenhagen. 

If I didn't, I would have missed this precious strip of art vanishing in a backyard on Nørrebrogade. It smells like something from the 60s or maybe 70s? I am trying really hard to come to terms with the fact that it will be gone by spring. Practicing the "oh, well, that's life". Not quite there yet.



Is that a top hat blowing off the little guy on the roof?


Stuff like this just makes me so happy.



13 January 2012

Wishful knitting

In the middle of a massive construction bonanza on Sankt Hans Square (heat, this time), our yarn bombing trooper Blød Lykke (Soft Happiness) have comforted a lonely tree. Judging from the embroidered wish list, I date it a mid to late December piece, making this a huge oversight on my part. I must have passed it on several occasions, but this was the first time I noticed it. I tell you what it is: the construction mess have a blinding effect on me. Looking at something ugly is like having your eyeballs sanded, almost physically painful. With the overwhelming amount of construction work in Copenhagen, I have learned to block it out. At the apparent cost of missing the very highlights I live for:

Copenhagen yarn bombing


Two hearts

Blød Lykkes ønskeliste / The wish list

Wish list of Soft Happiness. Love for all. Snow + beautiful winter weather. Kisses + hugs, yes please.

Hearts

The effort put into this... that's love.

Knit bombing in Copenhagen

And the double take:

Pip / Tweet

Tweet.

That should keep you warm until spring?


11 January 2012

Hi

On days when I am out of words, it gets really quiet here, but I am thinking it doesn't have to be that way. There may not be words, but there are always pictures. Always. Copenhagen says hi:

Gammel Strand

About once a year the water rises a meter above the usual level, and that day was Friday. Gammel Strand in the historical centre, undergoing major construction for the upcoming Metro station. An incredibly fragile location.

High tide

Thorvaldsens Museum

And these guys just cracked me up:

Pidgeons with delusions of grandeur

Delusions of grandeur by pigeons on the Storck Fountain. Hahaha.

Storck fountain

Why should the pretty birds have all the fun? 

(Words making their way back, I can feel it)


 

07 January 2012

Give me a sign

The master plan of having one part of the world doing all the manual labour (the others), and the other half (ours) doing all the thinking... it is just not panning out. Because, big surprise: not everybody is cut out to sit on the bench and get a higher education. And the ones that already have one, now sit on their hands waiting for the jobs that were cut. When they did the math, they forgot to count in the human aspect. As I see it, the solution is simple: we need to revive the dying trades, call in the craftsmen and have them pass on their skill to the next generation, while there is still time.

On one side
I have had this idea brewing in the back of my mind for a while, or.. it is more of a matchmaking plan, really. In the old days Copenhagen were famous for its street signs, hanging from above the store, making it easy to see from afar if there was a bakery, a barber or a cobbler in the neighborhood. Some signs were three dimensional, others cut, painted or welded, but they were all informative and beautiful. These days we are mostly down to eyesores: soulless industrial run-of-the-mill signs, and full body stickers.

The match
On the other side we have a generation of kids roaming the streets, with an obvious love for painting and coming up with creative ideas. Sometimes it turns into plain vandalism (I get the frustration of not fitting in the single box provided for you), but I am sure that if given the opportunity, at least some of them would appreciate learning the craft of sign making. And perhaps even take the trade to the next level? I smell a huge potential here. Can someone perhaps see to it that this match is made?

One of the oldies still hanging in:



Of course the coolest Copenhageners are already on board. Teteria on Vesterbro:

Teteria tea sign

Harbo Bar in Blågårdsgade:

Harbo Bar

And a few steps further down the street, This Issue:

Hand sign

The classic hand painted sandwich signs are good too. Personal, informative and cosy, you want to hang out in this place before you even set foot in it. A good sign.


Can we agree this matchmaking business should be set in motion, or what?

04 January 2012

Old school

If the global financial meltdown is good for anything (other than the change we all long for, of course), it is how it has put a halt to real estate speculation, and bland "urban lifts". The places the sharks go for are the ones they can buy cheap, evicting the original inhabitants, and re-sell to a brand new and wealthier group of people. Enter a sea of beige and fancy overpriced juice bars, I call it the new ugly.

Over the last ten to fifteen years Copenhagen has lost so many special places, the old school Copenhagen, gritty and authentic. A city needs those places to be complete, not everything can or even should be regulated. And the scary part is that once they are gone, that's it, there is no "reinstall". Money can't buy this:



Auto special

Painted glass, mmmm.

Blue shoe

All this in one place..

Murals

...it is almost too good.

F for fred (the peace street car)

F for fred. The peace line.

For fred / For peace

For fred. For peace.

I feel it.