30 September 2010

Last chance

The last couple of weeks the Copenhageners have been packing the weekends with flea- and food markets. We know this is our last chance before the cold and dark returns, and we try to make the most of it. Sunday was the local biannual flea-bonanza, but impaired by the seasonal flu it was in some ways like I was not even there. Yet somehow my camera was on it, catching things I missed (it sounds strange, but it's true), including the red wooden crate that I still kick myself for not buying (I checked, it's gone). 

It was for sale at a cool store in Sankt Hans Gade, and I remember how the guy in the street art gallery next door was impressed by the way this girl had overcome her problems with graffiti and tags. The storefront is covered with letter sized paper, and every morning she pastes up clean sheets where needed. Simple, but very effective. At the time it was all white sheets with the store name printed in bold letters, but the opportunities are endless, and I am really happy with the current edition. Since I was not really there, I'll let my camera take it from here:

Storefront detail in Copenhagen

Worlds coolest vintage wood crate

I love you. Dammit.

(more after the jump)

27 September 2010

Still life

Cough. Sneeze. Shiver. Sleep. Welcome to my pity party.

Ceci n'est pas Dali

Still life

Water work

Ceci n'est pas Dali.

24 September 2010

Peepers justice

This is borderline against the rules, because people living on the street level has a right to their privacy. I went for it because I felt invited, and because I was able to limit my shots to the street view only. It's a perfect micro version of what I love most about my neighbourhood, and the attention to detail is mind blowing. I did vaguely register the spider web, mainly because it messed with my focus, but I was kissing-close and completely absorbed by these people. It was only when I got home and uploaded my shots that I spotted the giant atomic flesh eating spider. I just know I touched it. Eeeeeeeeek.

Norrebro, the micro version

Killer spider, and one man down. Details revealing themselves at their own pace.

Pink lady


Old man

Officer and doctor

The web sucking all the focus, I nearly brushed it away.


23 September 2010

To go or not to go

Unless there are mitigating circumstances, like live music and/or an insanely hot cast, I am unlikely to attend an evening at the theatre. However in an attempt to broaden my horizon I will occasionally go against my better judgement and suffer through another play. Every time promising myself this was the last one (same thing with red wine by the way). But then something comes along, like a really good poster that will make you reconsider things. Remember the cool bear that got decorated by street artists? The same theatre Grob made another, very different but equally cool, and this time I paid them a visit.

They were busy for the opening night tomorrow, but still took some time out to talk to me. The popularity of the prints came as a big surprise to them, and it all started with the bears. They were printed in four color combinations and even reprinted due to overwhelming demand. The perky hot dog comes in two parts, but only one version (the best). "Dinner For One" is a romantic comedy, and I was told that it's the kind of theatre that attracts the moviegoers. I am leaning slightly towards giving the stage another try... at the very least I am getting that poster!

Grob poster

Dinner for one

A poster in two parts, allowing for it to be used separately. Cool, I say.

The bears, the hidden one is heavy duty cardboard silver foil:

Bear poster

The bears were printed on a heavier paper than the hot dog version, apparently making them not so fit for posting in the streets. But this was also what made them stand out, I think, and what made people collect them. I love these posters so much I want to sleep with them!

22 September 2010

The boys vs. the girls

The boys:


At least the war on the environment is going well. 

Design like you give a damn

Mac Daddy (kid in front): Design like you give a damn.

Map of Copenhagen on a bag

(You are here).

Vs. the girls:

Making those straps work for us.

Bike tote

We ♥ our bikes!

21 September 2010

Nanny my fanny

To my disbelief a proposal is on the table to ban music for cyclists. Allegedly we are a danger to ourselves, so recklessly listening to music while riding. And the spokesperson of transport have been quoted saying he is not unwilling to legislate on this. I am still in a state of chock. How did we get to the point where politicians assume the parenting role? Last time I checked the politicians work for the people, not the other way around. 

And it makes me wonder where this will end? If they can get away with this, they can pretty much get away with anything. Some will argue they already are. It is interesting that following the "logic" of the recent proposal, music should also be banned in cars. There is simply no way you can argue this only applies to bicyclists. One guess if a law like that would ever see the light of day.. Listening to music while bicycling is one of the most liberating things in the world, and there is no way I will ever abide by a rule denying me that choice. They might as well go ahead and throw me in the dungeon right away, because I will be a repeat offender. I consider it my right.

I should come with a warning label

19 September 2010

Holy smoke

So, I went to church today. To buy old books, that is. I like the Copenhagen churches, mainly because they are peaceful spots, guaranteed never to be turned into a fast food chain, a parking lot or pimped out to other high bidders. I also think churches make excellent spaces for ceremonies, and if people wish to pray there I have no problem with that. 

The way I see things, freedom of religion is a given (or at least it should be), and that includes the freedom to live without one. One thing I can not digest, is when people get preachy or attempt to force me to live according to their beliefs. And with the information available to us today, I just don't get how anyone can substitute common sense with religion. Like justifying a ban on condoms.

In Denmark we had our run in with religion too. Before the Mohammed cartoons launched, I was not aware that this was an offence punishable by death. And to be honest I still don't get that. I grew up in a country where we deal with political and other difficult issues through satire and cartoons. Blaeksprutten and other publications like it was a stable under the Christmas tree, and in the summerhouses you could go through the old issues to get an idea about what life was like all the way back to the 18th century. It is a part of our core. And I take offence when someone, for whatever reason, tries to bully the pen.

Blæksprutten anno 1891

Blaeksprutten, the year 1891. 

On my way to the book market today, I crossed paths with the members of another religion I don't subscribe to: the hard core soccer supporters. That is not to say that I am against soccer. What I do mind is the creep show that surrounds it. This spring they broke free of the path lined up for them and destroyed the flea market, and it seems the police have adjusted the escort accordingly. The streets were packed with police, and buses with backup and dogs. In part to protect us from them, and in part to keep them separate from the supporters of the opposing team. I understand cheering for your team, and having a party, but where does it state you must spread hate and fear?

18 September 2010


I always loved a good treasure hunt, perhaps that is why I am so addicted to the fleas. It is not necessarily about taking something home, other than the pictures of course, it is the thrill of the hunt that is so intoxicating. It can also be a hidden detail in an unexpected place, only to be discovered if you look real close. Like the bloodsucking creature hovering over the bank on the corner (oh, the irony). One day, after years of simply passing it by, I looked up and there it was. How did I miss that?

A majestic pair above another bank, overlooking the Caritas fountain (bouncy apples, remember?).

Lucy in the sky, completely wasted on the pedestrian street, I fear.

Naked woman climbing the sky

And today's catch: the hidden owl. No flashing arrows or any other clues to his existence. Just an owl hanging out overlooking Henry Heerup's childhood home (coincidence?) and part of the Assistens Cemetery. Maybe he is guarding someone? I like that thought.

And that concludes the exercise for today. I feel that I have earned my couch time after this. 

And some of those toxic Swedish cinnamon buns...  

16 September 2010

Why, Copenhagen... are you flirting with me?

Fall is all over the place, with fickle showers of light to heavy rain. Of the kind that makes you unfold and pack down your umbrella every other second. And then all of the sudden the sun hits, making for some heavenly magic:

How beautiful is that? And right after I caught this, a yummy guy rushing by on a bike blew me a really good kiss. Was it only yesterday I said they don't notice? I take it back.

15 September 2010

Paris, part two

Although it is always a pleasure, the Paris part of my trip was dedicated to business. I did the fashion fair (khaki, more khaki, muted colors and only very few prints), and stopped by all my suppliers. Look at this amazing handpainted leather I got my hands on:

Handpainted snake

One thing Paris does for me is bring me back in touch with my feminine side. In Copenhagen I get the feeling that no one cares whether you (as in I) make an effort or not, and I sometimes find myself... sliding. But it never fails, after only one day in Paris, I always feel like painting my lips red again, playing with my hair and getting back in the heels. The reward is instant and unmistakable, being a woman is just so much more fun in Paris. My budget this time around was tight, but I did manage to squeeze in a trip to the Chanel flagship store in Rue Cambon. It was the only way to get my hands on the very limited edition of khaki nail polish that had me all girly. What? Did you think I was a reasonable woman? Haha. This is not a fashion blog of course, but I think the attention to detail in packaging here deserves a standing ovation:

Embossed folding card for the receipt, and a classic white Chanel gardenia for the bag. 

Even the trees lining the Seine were on board with the khaki/camouflage thing.

Camouflage tree

My grand finale saturday consisted of a double flea fix, first Vanves (the best, if you ever go, try to get there before noon), then the Clignancourt/St-Ouen, and the cherry on the cake: the near-heart-attack as I came dangerously close to missing my flight home. I am aware that I did not make any part of that day look effortless. But it was all worth it.

Vanves flea market, see the polished claws.. she was set on destroying my shot. Instead she made it.

No, no, no, NO pictures!


Pigs at the opera. This one I am just now realising I want. Once again my camera knows best.

Pigs at the opera

Closer, baby, closer:

14 September 2010

Paris, part one

It was not love at first sight for me, Paris, frankly I thought it was highly overrated. But that has been the case of so many of the best experiences in my life. Food, music and most importantly people I did not take to first off, have later turned out to be among those I cherished the most. I have visited Paris more frequently than any other city in the world, but still no two trips have ever been the same. Certainly no one resembled this one.

Exactly nine years ago I rented a furnished apartment in Paris for the first time. I was sitting on the bed when a Danish friend calling from Sicily told me to turn on the TV. This was only moments before the first tower collapsed. Like anyone I know, I will never forget this moment, where I was and how it took days for it all to sink in. I have been in Paris since, but last week was my first time back in that apartment, and the years have not been kind...

Now, I have decided to spare you the whining (you are welcome), and not go into detail with the elaborate water damage, the agency forgot to tell me about. The "Worst case scenario" cry was posted from a Starbucks (I'm sorry, you call that coffee?), and it felt so good to get that off my chest. I took the computer home, and decided to take it all in stride, after all this was Paris, and the break I really needed. And then the curtain rod fell out of the wall (I swear), like someone yanked it out. It fell down on the electrical cabinet, disconnecting everything. The agency did not have an emergency number, so I spend the dark night in the bottom of my private hellhole. The funny thing is that once they fixed it, I only saw the improvements, and from there on the trip turned around and became everything I hoped for.

Paris was where I first discovered Mr Brainwash, so it was only fitting I bumped into this one. I want to elaborate on this, but I feel like I have been talking your ears off already... I'll leave you with the pictures:

Mr Brainwash
Rue du Seine street art

The Beatles/Kiss mashup.

Rue des Archives, a gallery with a show I did not make it to:

Gallery in Paris, streetside

 And the action on the wall next to it:

Bonom 2009 street art

Bonom 2009

These masks were all over the place, but most of them were half hacked off. I sort of get that...

Plaster mask

And there is no way around this shot, even if it is a lame drive by version:

(to be continued...)

12 September 2010

Road tripping

About two weeks ago I left for my three-city-break, starting in Amsterdam. Whenever I need a break the most, it takes me at least a couple of days to calm down enough to enjoy it. And I really, really needed this one. Of course sometimes the universe decides to crap all over you, and make everything twice as hard. But I kept on schedule, and from Amsterdam I went with my friends on a road trip to fulfil a long time dream of mine: catching La Braderie, the 2-day monster flea market in Lille, France.

It is an event that takes up the whole city, roads are closed, traffic is diverted and everybody hits the streets with flea-stuff. Some areas are reserved for professionals, coming from all parts of Europe, others are stores selling out old stock, and others again are private citizens clearing out the attics. It goes without saying that you have to dig through crazy amounts of crap, and even then you will have to beat two million visitors to it. But all that is part of the charm, and besides we all have different tastes. My co-fleasters were shamelessly mocking my very first Braderie scoop, the €2 vintage light bulb advertising ashtray (the joke is on them, of course).

In some ways the Braderie reminded me of Queensday in Amsterdam. On this one day everybody is allowed to hit the streets with what they've got, making for a giant flea market. We don't have anything like that in Copenhagen, but I think we are ripe. Okay, back on the subject:

Part of the attraction of flea markets to me is the rush I get from taking pictures. Or as the case was here: stealing them. Because the sellers were adamant about this issue: absolutely NO pictures. I don't know the rules about this in other countries, but here anything that is out in public, you can take pictures of. And if you ask for permission first every single time, you are considered a nuisance. I would have loved to ask them why I was not allowed to take my shot, but the subject was a minefield, and my french is not all that... So I did what any shoot-a-holic would, I stole my shots. Because not catching this would have been the real crime. I hope you agree.

(Buckle up, this post will be picture heavy)

Ultra cool books

Something about this sight really gets my blood pumping. Maybe it is how the sides of the books are utilised. I love the rubber stamped name, and I'm a huge fan of painted sides, see the marbled one peeking out in the corner?

Cartoon stripes painted on glass

Hand painted cartoon stripes on glass, the paint looks ink-based, and it is applied from the back, one of my favorite things, glass painted from the backside, yum yum yum. I still kick myself for not buying these. But I was telling myself I do not have the room to display them. My eyes are so much bigger than the space I occupy...

My other love: expressive old mannequins. One day I must introduce you to my friend "Skrige Marie".

Overpriced yummy

Jieldé industrial lamps, the original made in Lyon since the 1950's. They are reproducing them today, but I still love the old ones, and these colors...

Spelling it out

 Words are my friends.

Target value

Pinball machine cover, one of two. This was my first encounter with an overprotective seller, and I am happy I started with the cover I loved the most. I broke his rules by taking these pictures, and I have no regrets. Target value!


These are the kind of things I love finding on a flea market. I just now noticed how the number 7 on the big one looks like "2" upside down. Speaking of time, only flea markets can make me get up this early. I beat everybody else by a full hour. Including the sellers...

Savon Petit Roi

Crazy cool mural

This may just be the coolest mural ever. Check out the detail.

I could go on, but I fear you may die from exhaustion.

(next post: Paris. All aboard?)