31 May 2012

A near miss

One of the first spots to fill up on summer days is The Kings Garden. If you live or work in the city, and you just want to enjoy an hour of sun, this is the perfect place. Copenhagen has a lot of parks and they are all different. What I like about the Kings Garden is the location of course, but also the neatness. If you want to play soccer and be rowdy, it is not really the place (go to Fælledparken instead). The mood is calmer here, even with the roaring traffic on the other side of the fence.

Last week it was summer (and now it is not), and I dragged my overheated body down to "my spot". Funny how you tend to go back to same place, huh? I know this particular area of the garden so well. Or so I thought.... because look what I have been missing all along:

The Kings Garden

Look hard.

Ekko

Hello!

Ekko (1888)

Ekko by Aksel Hansen, calling out since 1888. But it is only now that I hear her.

 

28 May 2012

Do not enter!

Recently four kids from Jutland took a wrong turn in an iffy area of my neighborhood, by Folkets Park (The People's Park). They circled the block once too many, according to a group of at least ten maladjusted gang-types, and were severely punished for their mistake. They were pulled out of the car and beaten, with one of them stabbed so bad that he nearly died. I mean: what the f*ck? And nobody saw anything, of course. Even though it was in broad daylight, and the sounds must have been terrible. 

Despite this being a famous area for these types, and the fact that this has happened before (one Italian tourist was even killed nearby, years ago), we no longer have a local police station in the area. In the one place where we need it the most. 

My reaction is to go about things as if there is nothing to be afraid of. I refuse to be bullied, be it by politicians or maladjusted locals. But today I passed through the area, scouting from my bike as I always do for Spyo on the rooftops, and other inspiring traces of life. And then I got my first threat: Hey, piss off, bitch! (Believe me, this is the nice translation) On a good day, I would have confronted them and talked it out, but I was overheated, and I had a bad feeling about them. Instinct told me to just get out of there fast.

But now I am pissed off. Who do they think they are? And how can they be allowed to terrorize a whole area of Copenhagen? No wonder the adjacent People's House have a hard time making ends meet. Only last week I had this discussion again with a friend of mine: would you tell out of town visitors to stay away from this area, or not? She stands firm on no. I would feel remiss if I didn't. I Copenhagen!? I can't believe that it has come to that.

Vintage Armsrock

Armsrock 2009

Armsrock 2009

In street art terms this is vintage Armsrock, from 2009. Crazy good!

I still think about talking to some sort of representative of these guys. Is that even how it's done? Maybe they are just afraid that I am taking their pictures. Which I would be happy to reassure them, I am not. Any ideas?

The recent incident in the news:
The Copenhagen Post the update

PS! Someone mentioned in the comments that it would be a pity to discourage visitors from experiencing Nørrebro. So to be clear: don't miss my favorite part of Copenhagen, there is so much to see here. The caution pertains only to the specific location of Folkets Park (map). And Blågårds Plads after dark, just to play it safe. The rest of Blågårdsgade is all ours, the cosiest place in town, day and night.

27 May 2012

Weekend snapshots

Path to the library

Guerrilla advertising by the local public library, with a path of literature.

Miss Take

Miss Take. 

Klip / Cut

Classic Nørrebro, I love this sign. Nothing fancy, just letting you know where to get a cheap haircut.

Rat detail

Sneaky hidden rat mural detail, way out of everyones sight.

Test Tube jackpot

Test Tube jackpot on the bridge.

The meeting with the cleaning department went well, in case you were wondering. :-)

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And just a reminder of the upcoming mega street party Distortion, bring out the rubber soles everyone...


25 May 2012

Tivoli

This is strange: I can't even write about Tivoli without getting emotional. The old amusement garden is loaded with childhood memories for me, and fearing that it had changed so much over time that the spirit would somehow have vanished, I have been keeping my distance. But yesterday I finally went ahead and splurged on a season pass. Already in the ticket office, I choked up. Next to me at the counter was the sweetest old lady renewing her membership, all dressed up for the occasion. So respectful of the old garden. I had to sneak a picture.

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Instantly causing me to miss my grandparents. They were the ones who introduced me to Tivoli.

Before we move on, you need to see this:


I spotted it at the ticket office, a mini sheet stamp with the Tivoli characters Harlequin and Pjerrot on my bridge. Sold out. Must. Hunt. Down. Every single postoffice in town until I get my hands on it!

Entering with my brand new pass, I was greeted by the friendliest ticket controllers you can imagine, all bubbly and welcoming. These things matter. And all of two minutes in, I choked up again. Seriously. The Pantomime Theatre with the giant peacock is still there, as a familiar greeting. I knew it would be, of course, I was just not prepared to get so emotional about it. It was a crazy sunny day, with lots of weird shadows, so this will be mostly detail shots. But then you are used to that by now.

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I like how Tivoli is big enough to have something for everyone. As a child I couldn't care less if it was also a garden, it was all about the sweets and the rides. You didn't want to walk anywhere, you ran, pushing for the grown ups to catch up. The sweets never lost their appeal, but now I don't really care about the rides. It is all about the garden, the fountains, the smells, the sounds, the old lamps, the woodwork and the classic Tivoli details. Ugh, I guess that means I am a grown up now.

Tivoli flora

Rosa Sentimental. Yes, I am.

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The rides and the old lamps.

Okay, so some things had taken a turn for the worse. I do think they crammed in too much stuff around the beautiful old fountain in the centre of the garden. Some things should be allowed space to breathe. Maybe someday they will correct that. At least the old if-you-get-lost-we-meet-at-the-fountain fountain is still there.

Cotton candy grain

Cotton candy grain. That smell, mmm classic Tivoli.

Pork sandwich

And the pork sandwich, the grown up version of my mandatory Tivoli experience. I am powerless.

I always have to stop by Andedammen (the duck pond) just to say hello, and make sure they are still afloat. As a child, fishing for the ducks was a must. Even if you didn't catch three with matching bottoms in the right color, you won something, and felt like a monster duck hunter.

The Duck Pond

Classic Tivoli

Diamond checkers, it just wouldn't be Tivoli without them.

Vintage Tivoli lamps

And finally: the famous restaurant Grøften, 125 years old, and still going strong. 

Grøften

The classic colored light bulbs are my favorite Tivoli detail, I hope they never replace them. I would even make a deal with the environment to never own a car, if it meant that we could keep some of these bulbs around. Okay, then? Okay.

Sign detail

Crazy nostalgia.

Now that I have a pass, you can expect a lot more Tivoli goodness coming your way.

I won't be able to stop myself.

(Link to Tivoli)

 

22 May 2012

Test Tube spam

I know things have been quiet here lately, but it is not an indication that nothing is happening. Quite the opposite, actually: just when I thought the world had forgotten all about them, the Test Tubes are making themselves heard all over the world. First they made it to the US in The Atlantic Cities, and next they appeared in the ideas column of British The Independent. How crazy is that? And then, after mercilessly spamming them with Test Tube mails, I finally heard back from the cleaning department of the City, saying they think the project sounds interesting and that they would like to hear more about it. Tomorrow. Uh. I will let you know how it goes, of course.

Light and shadow

Trashcan shadow. I spotted it from the bikelane and let out a victory yell. I love light and shadows.

Oh, and I know this sounds unlikely, but I am pretty sure it is summer in Copenhagen?! White legs and happy Danes everywhere you look. Full report to follow.

Summer in Copenhagen

PS! I have made a Facebook page for the Test Tubes, for the non-twitter population, to keep up with the riveting development. End of Test Tube spam. For now.

***** UPDATE *****
 (spoke too soon, haha) 

The Test Tubes on The Copenhagen Post


19 May 2012

Missing: brain

Little presents from the streets of Copenhagen:

Fish ain't cheap. For unknown reasons it is important for Bert that we know that.

Fish aint cheap

Not a chair

Not a chair.

Not a chair detail

A lot of work obviously went into not making a chair.

Lock and key

Lock and key (haha).

Slacktivism

Slacktivism. Stop at nothing 2012.

Slacktivism? The opposite of active? That pretty much defines me at the moment. If my brain and my energy does not return soon, I may have to form a search party.

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14 May 2012

Unheard

It was just another public phone conversation, in the middle of the busiest spot in Copenhagen. She was wearing a red coat over a white lace dress, leaning against a juicy mint green bike in her chunky patent leather shoes. I didn't hear a word she was saying (although people are not shy, are they? The things I wish I could unhear...), but her shoes did all the talking.

The phone conversation

Mid conversation..
 
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...undefined..

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Wrapping it up.

Maybe it is just me, but I found this floor show strangely entertaining. I have a feeling I will be checking out shoes in conversation mode, a lot more from now on. Maybe that'll teach them!


12 May 2012

The master plan

Today I was happy to be reminded that some things are better in the rain. And with this fall-like spring weather, stormy, freezing and wet, it is important to focus on those parts. Under normal circumstances I would not subject my camera to this craziness, but after a week of waiting for the perfect weather conditions, I grabbed an umbrella and hit the road.

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Yesterday, in a rare ray of sun, I passed this guy relieving himself on a brick wall. I was running late, and had to shoot him from the opposite side of the road, casting a nice shadow.

1

When I returned today it was like a whole different story. Up close and wet he seemed distressed.

2

Mad details!

4.5

It is drop action like this that makes me long for a monster camera with a monster macro lens.

Of course, misery loves company:

4

The family man.

5

Crazy good, when wet!

6

And just a reminder that without rain there would be no spring...

Cherry blossom

...or snails.

Eye contact

It is all part of the master plan.


11 May 2012

Proof of life

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(stressed out/lots to tell/words to follow)

Have a cosy weekend!


 

06 May 2012

Earn it

Everywhere you look, someone is trying to sell you something, or push their own agenda. We have been spammed so hard that it now takes something extra to get our attention. Not surprisingly the coolest and most effective moves come from the underground. Like "Muliggør" (enable). This word has been stenciled to paper and pasted up around the city, with no clue to what it was about.

And then the other day I spotted this "laundry" airing on the bridge (where else?). And with that I finally had to investigate. It is a part of massive campaign for Bolsjefabrikken (the Candy Factory), the cultural house that moves around in vacant industrial spaces. The current space is now for sale, and they are trying to raise the funds to buy it, so they can stay put.

Muliggør

(My sweet friends, happy and clean. So cool, Copenhagen!)

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The city desperately need places like Bolsjefabrikken, where creative minds can meet and play. So we can advance from this kind of communication:


Right now you are part of an experiment. Download our app. Create your city (skabdinby.dk)

Come on? This is bad. And who scans QR codes anyway? It is placed there by the city, and they are obviously trying to do good. If I did not take such a special interest in making Copenhagen a better and cleaner place to live, I doubt I would have looked it up, but as it is, I did. I managed to stay on the site for all of thirty seconds before my eyes glazed over. Way to drop the ball, people.

This one I spotted today, on a corner of Istedgade:

Catch the cyclist with your eyes, not the door!

Catch the cyclist with your eyes, not the door

Istedgade is one of the creepiest roads to cross on bike. Cars (well: drivers) have been reported to pass through at a speed of 70-100 km/h, and sometimes they pass so close to you that you are almost touching them. I am happy to learn that they are looking into ways of improving things.

The lesson for the attention seekers out there is clear: Ask not if you can have our attention. Earn it.