28 November 2012

Battle of the bottles

The deposit on bottles and cans is pretty high here. There was a time when collecting them was for children, but those days are over, it is now a serious business. The professional collectors have entered the market, and they have come a long way to sort through the garbage cans of Copenhagen.

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Check out this super cool invention, making it possible to cover longer distances and keep the harvest safe.

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He was not comfortable with me taking pictures of it, as witnessed by his anxious elbow. But it was too good to miss (I was seriously impressed, but the more I tried to explain it to him, the worse it got. I may have broken a number of unwritten rules right there).

Knowing this is someone's living, it is not unusual for people to leave their bottles behind on the ground or on the bench, to spare the collectors the humiliation of searching through the garbage cans. But they do anyway, of course, as every bottle counts.


This is the latest thing, a clever move. And good for the lakes too.

I had sort of gotten used to all that, but lately I have noticed elderly natives joining the collectors, and that really hurts. Living in Denmark is expensive because everything is taxed out of orbit, and because food prices are controlled by a few giant corporations, keeping them artificially high. The fact that people who have worked their whole life, and now deserve a break, have to go through the garbage to make ends meet, kills me. But I am afraid that it is only a matter of time before I will get used to the sight of that too.


25 November 2012

Schhyyy...

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20 November 2012

The party poopers

There is something I have been wondering about: how come we are not encouraged or even allowed to shape our own city? We are not allowed to humanize our own neighborhood. Unless you have the funds and the power to pull the strings, in which case you can create public spaces to your own taste, and build opera houses and shape the city any way you want.

And of course you are allowed to promote your own message, and take up seemingly unlimited amounts of public space, so long as you, again, can afford to pay for it. Then, you can say pretty much anything, advertise, bully, belittle and promote unhealthy messages and merchandise. But if you leave precious art as a gift to the people, it is removed. And, if you are caught leaving it, you will be fined or even sued.

Most recently what I can only assume is the city, overnight disassembled the swing garden on the bunkers, and removed the magnificent Tejn sculpture. It was such a happy place for as long as it lasted, crowded with children and people stopping to admire and photograph the art. Striking up conversations with other admirers. It was pretty magical. How come the city is allowed to destroy parts of Copenhagen, on our dime, but at the same time we are not allowed to add a single thing?

Hot dog on the lake

Hot dog on the lake, haha, this is so good!

Hot dog

The city occasionally leaves "souvenirs" in the lake, like giant inflated condoms or vodka bottles. I can smell the propaganda a mile away, and it never makes me feel anything but irritated. This is the real deal, pushing nothing but my happy-button.

And last week someone left this small installation, perhaps inviting us to sit down and relax for a minute?

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Once in a while these little set up's appear. But they rarely stay for long.

The message is clear: this is not your city, you are merely a guest here. House rules are set up by an uninviting host, who would really rather that you didn't feel too comfortable. A mindset making people less inclined to assume ownership of their own city, and feel protective about it. Like cleaning up after themselves, and reminding others to do the same. Indifference sets in. When I become mayor of Copenhagen, this issue is going to be on top of my long list of improvements. Move over, Mr. Jensen.



18 November 2012

Three plus three

When it comes to blog readers, I have been lucky. In my three years* online, I have only deleted a handful of comments (not including spam, of course). It basically comes down to two people, instantly recognizable to me. One is just plain sick. The other is more of an anal case, correcting my phrasing and chastising me for asking to get paid for my labour, in the specific case of Superkilen. Mr. Anonymous (I am pretty sure it is a "he"), is convinced that I weed out comments that don't agree with me. Hahaha. He just rubs me the wrong way, you know? Why should I invite him in to crap on my carpet? I think not.

But, to be clear: the way I see things, is that it would be boring if we all agreed on everything always. I don't mind at all that you don't agree with me on things like for instance the metro/construction mess and graffiti painted vans. That is okay, we can still be friends. I know that you know that already, I just felt like saying it anyway. 

Luk

LUK / Shut it (hahaha)

Hugs and a happy Sunday to you!

 *Whoa: missed the big three year anniversary by three days.. hey, who's counting, right?


14 November 2012

Bruised

There is something about the colors and the mood of this season that reminds me of a bruise: the darkness, the blues and how everything turns yellow towards the end. But, instead of healing it all dies. Seriously, I feel like I am on the doorstep to hell. I'm trying to remind myself that it is not really dying, but just going into hibernation. And that the cycle of life will bring it all back on the other side of the dungeon. But for now, we're bruised.

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(Remember when this one was a baby? How fast they grow up.)

Yellow Jaguar 
Yellow! 
The dungeon, by night

12 November 2012

Troubled water

Copenhagen is gutted in part by the construction of the new metro ring. The stations are placed in fragile locations like by the old canal houses on Gammel Strand and the Marble Church. Or in densely populated neighborhoods, wearing the locals down with noise way above the legal limits. A lot of us think we would have been better off with trams, the less invasive, much cheaper option, up and running in a fraction of the time. Or: people could just get on their damn bikes, gasp.

The next stop on the metro's path of destruction is the lakes. To some the lakes are just considered vacant space. The fact that we use them without actually using them, doesn't seem to register with these people, so what better place to store the soil from the surrounding metro stations? On the Osterbro side, half of the last lake, the last one with any wildlife left, is about to be laid dry. As it will be closed for access, they have set up a temporary bridge. I first encountered it at night.

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This part will soon be a pile of soil:

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The daytime experience:

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The galvanized railing. It bothers me a little that I like it...

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...but it is irresistible.

It is the strangest feeling to see the lakes from this brand new perspective. Soon this sight will be gone, and some even speculate that it will never return. I sincerely hope that is not the case, but then I wouldn't put it past them. We will know sometime around the year 2016.

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I wonder if I will still be blogging about Copenhagen then?


10 November 2012

Tagelicious

Here's one fresh from the "I was wrong" category: I used to pity the owners of vans and trucks, for suffering uninvited paint jobs. Some of them nicer than others. But now that I have had some time to think about it, I realize that I was wrong. Seeing how these vehicles are owned by businesses, and generally operated by random and reckless drivers with little regard for the safety of others, or even the condition of the van, it is a big safety issue that they can be told apart, and if need be: identified. 

By having an instantly recognizable van, there is no getting around anonymously anymore, making the decorators of these killing machines nothing short of a safety squad. I salute them!

Free your spirit

Free your spirit.

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Another upside: if you don't want to have your truck designed by random strangers, you are forced to have it decorated yourself. Trucks have gone from crap to canvases:

Nuclear power? No. Thanks.

(personal favorite, of course)

And on the reverse:

Atomkraft? Nej tak

Atomkraft, nej tak / Nuclear power, no thanks.  

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Meat packing district yum.

Copenhagen graffiti truck

Mmmm and this one. I know it's not a van, but it is too good to leave out.

Citroën Acadiane 2CV
Citroën Acadiane 2CV

It's tagelicious.


06 November 2012

Little big thing

What does a bike have to do to put me in a good mood? Here's a hint:

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I have a feeling it works the same for the owner.



03 November 2012

Catch of the day

Crazy as it may sound, I sometimes forget that I live in a beautiful city. It is impossible to walk around and appreciate every inch of it every moment of your life. But in the back of my mind I know that it is out there, and once in a while I have to kick start myself and go hunting. Today's catch:

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I was circling this orgy for quite a while. It is right around the corner from me, but somehow I haven't really fully appreciated it before today.

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Something is making me think they had a lot more fun back in those days...

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The feet, haha, like one giant person in front, with a foot on each side.

And along the lakes, on the dirty side (where inhaling the heavy exhaustfumes makes your lungs hurt), someone mounted fancy birdhouses in the old trees.

Fancy bird house

This is my street, right behind the tree and lake. The first place that ever felt like home to me. I am superglued to this area, I bet you can tell by now.

Welcome to Denmark
Welcome to Denmark, birds.

And a cosy weekend to you.