30 April 2014

Summertime... wait, what?

Welcome to the twilight zone: 20 degrees and clear skies. Men in shorts, and women in skirts and dresses. People eating ice cream and tanning on the grass. In April? I just can't get my mind to catch up. Of course it won't last, nothing ever does. All the more reason to make the most of it.

Danish summertime 1950s edition:







25 April 2014

Superkilen revisited

Remember Superkilen? With the award winning red square, the bike highway and the giant octopus? Our first glance was in August 2011, back when the floors were red, the trees were alive, and it all looked so promising. It managed to stay presentable and appear in working order, just long enough for the fancy opening shots, and the many prestigious awards. And then it fell apart. 

First obvious problem was the epoxy floor that to the architects surprise turned slippery when wet. In the wintertime this led to heavy salting that in return killed almost all the trees. The City of Copenhagen just took a considerable chunk out of the city budget to fix the floor, but the trees are not so easily replaced. And who knows if anything can even grow there?


This is unfortunately a common problem here: architects throwing in trees not suited for the climate, and/or with poor living conditions, causing them to succumb quickly. The criteria seem to be, the chosen trees just have to grow fast and look nice for a short period of time. Like the poor imported palm trees by the giant octopus on the black part. I will spare you the pitiful sight.

The red square, not so red anymore. Same spot, before: here



And while we are at it, perhaps it wasn't the best idea to place a huge loudspeaker system in the middle of a square, and invite everyone to share their playlists? Unless you really don't give a damn about the neighbors.


Other things to be aware of, when designing a public square: where does the sun set? In Copenhagen this is where the light deprived citizens will gather. They will sit on the dirty floor uncomfortably close to others, just to suck up the precious rays. Don't block that spot with a bike rack, okay? That's just spiteful.



And, even if this wasn't the sunset spot, it is inconveniently placed, only very few people use it. It is simply too far from where you need to go. Check out the telling (lacking) traces in the snow below, same spot in the wintertime:


The mirabelle plum tree behind this wall is in safe distance, and still alive. Proving how important trees are to the public space. Just imagine this picture without it. Ugh.





The first harbinger of spring. It is a basic human need to be able to follow the changing seasons, in the city. We need the trees to absorb the noise, filter the polluted air, keep our basements dry and create oxygen. And, we need the confetti:


Architects should not be rewarded for destroying trees, and making their living conditions impossible.

By what can only be considered a miracle,  a row of cherry trees further down the path, survived.







 Hang in there, little cherry tree.

Previous posts on Superkilen:
A coming attraction Aug. 2011
Superlove Dec. 2011
Greetings from Classic Copenhagen June 2012


22 April 2014

Finding peace

Tejn just released a fresh batch of welded iron lock ons in Copenhagen. A peaceful collection that has made its way to the Brooklyn Street Art blog today. I guarantee it will put you in a good mood. Look for tiny hands, oh.






20 April 2014

A smooth ride

When they talked about replacing the cobblestones in the historical city centre with flat ones, to accommodate cyclists, I immediately got a bad feeling. Just recently the parallel pedestrian street was scarred with polished, slippery little square tiles, and I was afraid they were going to use them again. But oh.

Last week I saw the finished project, and it is perfect! Not shiny and slippery but merely a subtle difference in appearance. The overall feel of the historical centre is respected, but the smooth bike friendly cobble stones make a huge difference, to cyclists. 

The road is still blocked for cars, while the concrete is drying. Peaceful.



I was crouching (as you know, my favorite position for taking pictures, haha) in the bike path, so the cyclists rode around me, but once they passed, they went straight back to the smooth part. It just draws you in.


Well done, Copenhagen!



12 April 2014

A moment on the bike lane

Saturday early evening, laid-back atmosphere with plenty of room between cyclists. I am pushing my granny bike, finding myself habitually overtaking another cyclist, when I realise I have reached the perfect speed. I don’t want to slow down, I don’t want to ride faster, everything is perfect right there, but this man is right next to me, and now it is almost like we are in the same room. He looks over at me, and say: “it’s the perfect speed”. I agree with him, the breeze created by this perfect speed, is intoxicating. 

We ride silently, side by side in a sort of understanding, for one block, and then I tell him I am going to make a turn at the next corner. While we are cycling, he stretches out his hand to shake a hello-and-goodbye, say "it's been cosy" wish me a nice day and a happy Easter and continue in his perfect pace.

Cyclist shadow



04 April 2014

The new sexy

Once in a while I encounter a bike that just stops me in my tracks. This one called out for me, I tried to ignore it, but it got so loud that I had to dismount further down the road, and go back. The last time I encountered this level of bike goodness, was with the honey bunnies in Jægersborggade. It was that long ago, and it is this good. Prepare yourself...


It really should come with a fanfare! Try and make one in your head.


Padded foil seating, and an intricate strap-system/seatbelt function. Equally good for passengers and fragile goods. Shiny silver and orange, it makes me want to scream!

SUCK. Hahaha. Good luck stealing this one, see how far you will get before someone recognizes it and make you return it to the rightful owner! And the goodness just goes on:

This bike is a rock star. 

What's better than shiny silver and orange? Shiny silver, orange and turquoise.


Antipuncture.


There was a time when men in polluting and noisy cars speeding down the street, were considered sexy. That time has past. Today, sexy is a man on a loaded cargo bike. Mmmhh!