31 March 2012

A spring sandwich

My head is still spinning from the overwhelming feedback and support you have all offered on the Test Tubes. I feel crazy encouraged to make it happen, although I have no idea how. Paperwork, patent, funding, ugh, I wither. But I will give it a go, and keep you updated on any progress. It feels a little bit like we are in this together now.

And while we are on the subject of taking ownership of our surroundings: I passed the sculpture of the giant chicken feet in Nansensgade the other day, and noticed a message hanging from the bike parked next to them.

(The picture was simply too ugly with the bike parked in it, so here they are in a clean shot, as they should be, which is exactly the point of the message ahead..)

It is not a bike parking rack. It is a sculpture. Kindly avoid parking your bikes here because it is a cosy piece of art in our street. Kind regards from Ida, a neighbor who values the atmosphere in and around Nansensgade, please help us care for it. (And on the flipside a bike free portrait of the sculpture.)

How crazy good is that? 



Tadaaa. No telling we were back to arctic winds today. Poor tree.

And a spring sandwich:




29 March 2012

The Test Tubes

Copenhagen has a trash challenge at hand. The City's single solution to the problem so far has been to dispatch costly cleaning crews. Living by the lakes, where people march around with paper cups of coffee, and crossing the bridge every day, I have grown frustrated with the piles of trash.

You get the sense that at least some of them intend to hit the trashcan, but that is as far as they will go. Maybe some have carried their cups for several overloaded cans, because they all look like this at the end of the day on Sundays. And sunny days.

Last week I stopped to take more pictures of the trash at the bridge, and I could feel the anger building up inside. "Look at this mess?" I said out loud to no one. Someone replied "it isn't ours" and I knew that was probably the case, but I got increasingly annoyed all the same. Winding up speaking in a really loud tone. Very counterproductive, don't think I didn't know that at the time.

Right next to the overloaded trashcan... 

I mean: come on?!

When I got home I decided this was the wrong approach. I certainly don't respond well to people yelling at me, or treating me like a child. I wanted to wrap my brain around the problem, and see if I could come up with a solution. Obviously it would have to be something that would make people play along. I came up with the Test Tubes:

Painting. Empty Cups, minus lids. Messing it up big time (new found respect for stencil artists...), ended up doing it by hand.


The Test Tubes. 

The solution?

Day 1.

Day 3. Some people you just can't reach, haha.

When the tube is full (freeing the small trashcan for different kinds of trash), all you have to do is flip the Test Tube, pull out the bottom-stick, and empty it. I couldn't wait to see them in action. I mounted the two on Saturday, and meant to give them a full week before reporting back to you, but the experiment was cut short. The Test Tube report:

Day 1: No vandalism. No cups on the ground. A few cups in one tube.
Day 2: No vandalism. No cups on the ground. A few more cups in both tubes.
Day 3: No vandalism. No cups on the ground. Both tubes filling up.
Day 4: No vandalism. No cups on the ground. Both tubes almost full.
Day 5: No vandalism. No cups on the ground. Both tubes emptied, yay! This means the City got it too?
Day 6: Removed by the City of Copenhagen. I guess the answer to my previous question would be "no", then?

The way I see it, the Test Tubes was a success. If you can make people play along in only five days, there is no limit to how we can play our way out of this mess. I am not done. Not by a long shot.


The Test Tubes won't be silenced:

In The Copenhagen Post (English)
And a follow-up in The Copenhagen Post (English)
So I made them a page on Facebook, if you want to follow their progress:

28 March 2012

Paging the nice Danes

The Danes creep me out these days. Not all of them obviously, but once in a while we are confronted with the ugly side, like yesterday, when a psychopath hunter shot and killed his neighbors friendly ten year old dog (a white Lab, so sad), for trespassing. That's not even the worst part. It turns out that the majority of Danes, agreed it was the right thing to do. I know: creeps! I sincerely hope I don't count any of them among my readers!

And then my Saturday, a day that should by all accounts have been a day of celebration (with a guest post on the amazing Brooklyn Street Art blog, and Tejn dropping me the nicest mail you can imagine), ended instead in the outer circle of hell. Stuck watching the clothes at a table seated next to a bunch of lawyers toasting in licorice shots to "fuck the poor". Outer circle of hell!

All remaining nice Danes: please step up and let me know I am not alone. Because it really feels like it right now. Ugh.

Let's fly away

Blød Lykke: Let's fly away.

24 March 2012

Lock On, Tejn

The first one I spotted was on the corner of the bridge. An iron sculpture of a ship full of people (or is it protesters on the barricades?), chained to the railing. I wanted to scream of course, and make my look-at-what-I-found-dance. As I was taking my pictures, a couple passed by and the woman said: "ah, we have one like that near our house". What? Two? I'll show you the first one before I tell you more.

Signed Tejn. A Danish street artist that I have only seen paste ups from, until now.

It turns out that these installations are called Lock On's, a phrase cornered in street art by Tejn himself. I must have overlooked his earlier specimens, somehow. Although I don't see how that is even possible? Well, he got my attention now. These days our street artists are never more than an email away, and he kindly explained his work to me. The sculptures are made from salvaged scrap iron, collected from places like our cultural battlefields Christiania and Ground Zero on Jagtvej 69 (former Youth House). He then welds it together and returns it to the streets, for a second life.

Lock On street art

Lock On, chained and locked with found bike locks.

They are all fantastic, but my true love is this woman, triumphantly holding a wrench over her head:

Dress made in part with iron from Godthaab Hammerværk, possibly a gardening tool. There is something crazy poetic about how something discarded from the past, turns into a contemporary or even futuristic piece.

The funny thing is, every time I made a stop to take pictures of one, someone would come up to me and alert me to another. I found six! Feeling like the winner of a monster treasure hunt. It is more than I could squeeze into just one post, but they refused to be left out, so you can find them on proud display over at the Brooklyn Street Art Blog. Lock On, Tejn!


Have a happy weekend!

21 March 2012

The floor show

For the bikes:

Road bike light

Serious ground control: when the light is on, you will make the green light ahead if you keep a steady pace.

Bike lights

Whoa you very much!

The anti-bicycle rant

Against the bikes. The bike parking rant, by local bar Kalaset.


For all of us. Stop ACTA.


Because you're worth it

For you.

18 March 2012

This and that

Highlights of a week gone by. In short.

No sleepwalking

No sleepwalking! (As in me on Saturday, seriously hungover)


A guest star by the lakes.

Full house

 Full house on the bridge. Every evening.

Sexy sink

Sexy sink.

Crazy sexy.

And crazy cool coats for the flour at my local Irma. Way too expensive, but cool al the same.


The moment I have been waiting for.




15 March 2012

Early bloom

Spring is a too kind, and way too misleading word for a day like today. Not even a single drop of sun, or glimpse of sky, just an ocean of grey. I am not whining, mind you, just stating a fact. Not a day goes by when I don't inspect the trees for the magic appearance of buds (the early ones I showed you were from an unidentified and hopelessly optimistic plant in my backyard). And then the other day, like someone out there just knew that I would die if I didn't see something soon, this appeared:

Yarnbombing on Kultorvet, and the new floor all done. In this end, at least.

Waiting just got a little easier.

13 March 2012


The exiting thing about living with four seasons is all the firsts. My spring highs consists of the first soft ice (not there yet), first spring flowers (snowdrops, crocus and eranthis), the first window cleaning (so not there yet, haha) and the return of the outdoor flea markets. First one of the year was Sunday, right down my street, and I really couldn't be bothered to rush it. How strange is that? It was too close to home for me to feel stressed, so I only got there by the end.

Current obsession: mirror images and reflections. As you have probably noticed..

Ah, how much better that shot would have been without the car. 

More and more of the local antique stores are going out of business and fashion stores, galleries and cafés are taking over. The market had a little too much fashion mixed in for my taste, giving the old fleas the feel of a fashion outlet, ugh. The funny thing though, is how the locals set up improvised shops on the sidewalks, making it more of a community event. It has been my dream for a while to launch "Swap Sundays" on the playground, something half flea market and half swapping event. Maybe I will pull myself together and do something about it. Can't you just see it happening? And maybe some of the small bikeshops will come along and sell us fresh pancakes and hot coffee?

Collecting cosy, cool and funny hangers has lost its charm, the world has caught on, and they have become too expensive. On to the next overlooked item, that is where the fun is. I got three cigar boxes full of developed film in 1950s paper containers, that a seller was about to throw out. Free is the new cheap.

11 March 2012


Lately I have been exploring the borough Østerbro, and I am beginning to think I may have been to hard on it. It still don't see myself living there, but I finally understand why some people would want to. For the elderly it must be comforting how it is like time stands still, like living in a film set of the last century. There is a polished politeness to it all, if you know what I mean?

Cafe Bopa


I wish we would see more of this neighborhood pride on Nørrebro.

And I get why small families would want to live on Østerbro as well. Where else would you have a giant sculpted wooden fruit garden for the children?

Fruit garden playground

How great is this?



Wooden apple

With an orange, some pears and a small strawberry plantation peeking out in the back. So cool, Østerbro!

The thing I have overlooked somehow, is that Østerbro is more than neat little candy colored houses. There is a wild side too, with an industrial area and a waterfront. I simply had to push through all the neatness to get to it. Actually I was looking for a well hidden piece of Bert, that I had been alerted to, but I couldn't find it (that will teach him for leaving it out of my reach, haha). Instead, I found this:

Ecco call

Once spring really sets in, I am going to look into this area some more. I have a feeling I am turning a whole new leaf of Copenhagen here...