30 April 2013

Fried brain

This is going to be a this and that post, because my brain is fried. A little glass:

Broken beer bottle

The cyclist's basic nightmare. A weekend special, always keep an eye out on Sundays, and don't get too close to the sidewalk.

Sunday I crashed the flea market in Jægersborggade with a packed bike's worth of stuff. I nearly parted with this beautiful glass brooch, until I realised it could be used as a freaky lens. This is exactly why I still have too much, too weird stuff cluttering up my house.

Copenhagen in a brooch

I seriously need a break, so I am on one. View from the train:


To be continued... 

(And I promise next time I will be back with something more than just a fried brain)

25 April 2013

A useless currency

Yesterday I got two emails with requests to use my pictures for credit. It happens all the time. My camera is dying, and all these generous offers of photo-credit are useless when it comes to paying rent or buying new camera equipment. There should be a bank for photo-credit deposits, and stores where you could spend it. If you pay with photo-credit, you should also be obligated to accept it as a currency, wouldn't you say? Otherwise you are just telling people that their time and effort are worthless.

As an alternative to this useless currency, I have come up with a fixed low price for commercial use of my pictures online. One of the ladies (employed by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of all places) took the time to get back to me with this: "thank you, but we found the same motive elsewhere free of charge". Can you believe the nerve? I look forward to the day, someone volunteers to do her job for free. At this pace, it won’t be long.

Har du shoppet dig lykkelig?

Har du shoppet dig lykkelig? / Have you shopped your way to happiness? by Gal Kunsti.

21 April 2013

Would you look at this crap?

This is me, any given day of the week: WOULD YOU LOOK AT THIS CRAP? And every single time, my friend will look at me in slight confusion: what? This is an example:


Most common response: oh, I didn’t notice that. How about this, then:



I will then bring up examples of entire public squares in Copenhagen destroyed by wall-to-wall spam, like this:


"Byens Hegn" the city's metro fence. Allegedly there to display selected street art. Lamest excuse for raking in advertising money that I have ever heard of. 


Again they would say, is there even advertising there? Didn’t notice that either. 

So what is the big deal then, you may ask? Well, it is pretty serious. This spam filter that we have developed on places like the internet, is now applied to our daily lives. We (most people) don’t see our surroundings anymore. We are simply blinded by full body ad buses and taxis, even houses covered in scaffolding wrapped in ads and overloaded fences and metro stations. Or the flickering screens at shops, banks and gas stations, and inside taxis, buses and trains.

Copenhagen metro eyesore

Full body advertising is the only language spoken here. This is the metro.

And what is behind this advertising? You probably guessed it already...

Advertising behind more advertising

More advertising, blinking at you manically from big screens. Because with the most expensive public transit in the world, you just haven't paid enough for your ride. 

But it is not just advertising that goes in the filter. Litter goes in the spam filter, too. As does any non-commercial attempt at communication, even the beauty of the city, hidden underneath it all. This eye-rape is the equivalent of yelling at people uncontrollably, how can you expect anyone to listen when you actually have something important to say? Mostly I am just afraid that it is too late to intervene. The fact that no one seems to notice it anymore, completely unaware of the high price they are paying... is it too late? Please tell me you see it too?

(I can't tell you how much it kills me to show you something so ugly, dammit!) 

(I have to leave you with something beautiful, OK?)

On a recent trip to Malmö, Sweden, I was blown away by the simplicity and raw beauty of the new train station. Here, the customer is valued, and not treated as a cash cow. Raw concrete walls, and what is displayed for your viewing pleasure? Beautiful old strips of movies of train rides across the world.

Malmö trainstation

Made to look like you are on the train, as the landscape passes you by.

Copenhagen has a long way to go. 

And Sweden rocks!

(end rant)

17 April 2013

Rickshaw goodness

I joined the first Ageless Cycling event “Cykling uden alder”, the great initiative offering elderly rides in rickshaws. (Remember when we went to pick them up?)

Cykling uden alder

Check out these rockstars!



The five in front, on a quiet Sunday. For any other day of the week, I would suggest some form of sign, urging people to be patient and not stress out the driver or the fragile passengers. People can get really irritable on the bikelanes, if they are slowed down.


The following. 

Ole's mor

Proud mom of Ole, the man behind the initiative. Utter coolness.

Ah, just looking at these pictures makes me smile, it was such a good day. 

A.K. cycle chic

I was reminded that hanging out with good people, puts you in a good mood. It is so simple, really.

09 April 2013

Everyone counts

The first thing I spotted when I returned from Amsterdam, was the small memorial site on the bridge corner. At first it was only flowers, but in the coming days pictures and small notes were added revealing that the hot dog vendor had suffered a heart attack and passed way too early. I was not a customer, but I was touched that someone cared enough to remember him this way. The idea that we are not invisible in this world, and that someone will remember you when you are gone, comforts me.

Broens pølsemand

I wish I knew more of the locals, and that we were better at maintaining a community spirit. That it was not just about the individual co-ops and their little fenced off backyards, but rather the understanding that we are all in this together.

Last week I spotted another memorial site by the lakes, with flowers and candlelights. I talked to one of the locals, who were also wondering what it was about, he too felt the need to know. The site is widening and today I saw a guy adjusting some of the flowers, scattered by the wind. I asked him if he knew who had passed, and I was oddly touched by his reply: "No, I live down the street, and I come down here at night to light the candles. My friend was killed by a bus in Rantzausgade recently, so I know how much these memorial sites mean" (Ugh, I didn't know how to respond, having read about the poor guy on his bike, in that insanely dangerous street so unfit for cycling).


Now I need to know what happened here. Not knowing is like accepting it doesn’t matter, and I need it to matter. I can’t even tell you why.

08 April 2013

Odes to Copenhagen

Mellemblond "Et Øje"

Ulige Numre "København"

Ukendt Kunstner (feat. Murro) "København"

And a the suggestion from a reader:

Tina Dickow "Copenhagen" (Lazy-Loop remix version is the only one with Copenhagen pics)

06 April 2013

The pedestrian pace

On the rare occasions where I leave my bike chained and encounter my neighborhood by foot, I always spot different things. Like this old painting left for sale in the street, showing a vintage street scene from Copenhagen, possibly Town Hall Square.

Vintage Copenhagen street scene

I watched an old man with a cane linger in front of this, for a while. At first I waited impatiently for him to move on, so I could get my shot, but then I realised it probably brought back good memories. What is a five minutes wait, anyway? Must learn patience, ugh.


Curly words in the tunnel by the lakes.

Curly words

No matter how slow you go by bike, there are things you are bound to miss. Smells too. Just remember to breathe through your mouth.


This is quite possibly the coolest rear view mirror I have ever seen. Classic Copenhagen Award good. In a category to be announced at a later point.

Copenhagen cup litter

And spring also means we are entering the cup litter season. As a rule people will go to great lengths to avoid dumping cups. They don't just discard of them, like they do cigarette butts, but rather they place them at elevated points. I cannot unsee this crap now, how about that?


Oh, I am in a good mood today, this spring thing is tricking my brain into thinking I am in love. It is the weirdest feeling.

I hope you have a really nice weekend too!

04 April 2013

Rusty love

I'm just gonna go ahead and call this spring. Daylight is back, the lakes are slowly defrosting and street art is coming out of hibernation. Tejn has graced Copenhagen with another heavenly batch of rusty, recycled scrap iron lock on's.

Tejn lock-on street art sculpture

Tejn lock-on detail

The attention to detail really get to me, one visit is never enough.

Tejn lock on

A hammered tank.

Tejn lock on sculpture



Is it even possible to portray these creatures without talking to them in a soothing voice and give them a gentle pad on the back before you move on? I think not.


If I had a gallery, this would be the show. I just want to climb up on a roof with a monster megaphone and alert people to this crazy goodness. Is this not the most generous thing you have ever seen?

More Tejn on the blog here and here