28 November 2013

25 November 2013

An icon a day

In the somewhat neglected Classic Copenhagen talent category, falls Emma Sivell. A Copenhagen based English illustrator, who first caught my eye with the Copenhagen skyline compilations. The clean and to the point graphics really hit me in all the right places.


Recently she launched the Icon a day project, with yummy daily slices of Copenhagen. Sometimes I wonder if a place is not seen more clearly, through the eyes of someone who didn’t grow up in the midst of it? I invited Emma to introduce herself:

I started illustrating Copenhagen about a year ago - my first piece was a cycle infographic featured on Copenhagenize. Then I moved on to buildings and Danish designed lamps… last Christmas I found myself taking my 8 year old son to Tivoli to photograph different design elements… I was definitely starting to display the kind of obsessive qualities necessary to run a blog, but didn't have the time. I was leaving my full-time secure job to go back to freelancing and needed to focus on that. A year on - I have a bit more time, but not masses. I wanted a project that would build, grow, change direction. I'm hoping that the Copenhagen, icon a day project, will be just that.


This reminds me that I have to tell you about DØP, the organic hotdog vendor. Soon.


A Tivoli lamp.

The Icon a day series launched on November 1st 2013, and are scheduled to go on for at least a year. I'm always exited when people make gutsy moves, and follow their dreams, only good can come from that. And I have a feeling that we are going to be hearing a lot more from Sivell Ink, in the future.


21 November 2013

Thank you for the music

Sometimes I will see something, and it will turn into a thought (that will turn into a train of thoughts). Sometimes it will just ignite a word or a feeling, a memory or even a song. And I have zero control over these things, I am just strapped to the ride.

Like it was the case with this piano. I passed it right before dusk, knowing it was too shitty to shoot. But I still had to dismount, and show the poor thing some appreciation, as it stood there, gutted and exposed. All I could think was: thank you for the music. And then ABBA started singing in my head.


Gutted piano
Piano gut detail
Thank you for the music

Dammit, here we go again...

..thanks for all the joooy you’re bringing...

19 November 2013

Election day

Wow. I have to say: I never thought a local election would be such a roller coaster ride. Today is the day, and this is the most informed I have ever been, on the parties and candidates. I even attended my first election meeting (which was such a letdown that I for a while seriously considered making a statement, by not voting at all).

With all the work I have done with Cykelrepublikken (the NGO for bike friendly cities) and the trees, I have become aware how important it is, to have the right people calling the shots, locally. But it doesn’t end there. The thing about democracy, is that you can’t just cast a vote every four years, and then let others do the work for you. You need to be involved, keep an eye on things and let them know if they have gone astray. You need to participate actively, to keep democracy healthy. It is not so much a duty as a right: don’t let anyone take your city away from you.

Election spam

Especially not this guy, hahaha.

All of the posters from this party pretty much crumbled one week in, and they just left them like that. It tells you a lot, right there: a bad decision (on the cardboard), and no follow-up to correct your mistake. Well, at least you know what to expect.

Mere kage! Dovne Robert / More cake! Lazy Robert

On the opposite end of the scale you have Denmarks most famous welfare client, running for office as "Dovne Robert" (Lazy Robert) a nickname invented by the press. He promises to work for more cake. The strange thing about this is, that candidates must pay for their own campaign material. And welfare will not even buy you busfare, let alone costly, weather resistant posters.

Oprør fra bunden

Rebellion from below. Lazy Robert. Something is fishy here. Worst case scenario: someone is using him to divert attention and votes from a party that could actually make a difference for the less privileged.

Back on the "right" side of politics (as in wrong, obviously), this guy has the audacity to demand more space for cars. Here, they have three rows and around the corner they are demolishing homes to build a parking facility. What's the magic word, then? "More." Unbelievable.

På tide med flere p-pladser, stem på Rasmus Jarlov (aldrig i livet!)

Sign reads: About time with more parking space. Vote for Rasmus Jarlov.

The easiest on the eye is not surprisingly the ones who are not trying to sell you anything, but just make you think. Ah, I missed you street art.

Forbrug uden ansvar / Irresponsible consumption

Consume without responsibility, List $, the Greed Party.

Frihed til forbrug / Freedom to consume

Freedom to consume. List $, Liberal Arrogance.

Oh, fellow Copenhageners, please vote wisely. 

15 November 2013

Four more years

Today it is exactly four years ago Classic Copenhagen was born. I could call it a blog, but to me it is so much more. A lifeline, perhaps. A self discovery tool. Through writing about Copenhagen, I have grown to love it more than I even thought possible. About two years ago, something changed: I went from writing about Copenhagen, to getting actively involved, and now there is no undoing it. This is what I want to do: fight for my city. To preserve what needs to be preserved, improve what stands improving and better what needs to be fixed.

And as half of blogging is the interaction with you, and knowing that you are still around after all these years (some of you have been along for the ride, from the very beginning), I want to thank you. It feels like a joint effort, somehow. Is that weird?

So far, I have been thanking you by not whining about the evil dungeon. I am not sure how much longer I can hold it in, though. Most nights start at four in the afternoon, and mostly it goes straight from grey to black. But once in a while, we get this: sunset on the bunkers, and the beautiful old trees, you helped save.

November sky


Happy birthday, Classic Copenhagen.

I would like four more years, please!


09 November 2013

Vintage virtues

On my way to the sweet tree-signs the other day, I caught some really cool house-action out of the corner of my eye. It was built by a foundation back in 1895, by the publishers and brothers Soldenfeldt. Back then the workforce in Denmark carried around a book “Skudsmålsbogen” in which employers made notes and graded the labour*. The book was mandatory and as the brothers had cornered the market, they made a fortune.

The Soldenfeldt brothers were famous for their great sense of social responsibility, helping out the poor, leaving instructions in their will to create a foundation, and build this house for women in need. “De Soldenfeldtske Stiftelser” was built by architect H.B. Storck, and the sad terracotta women, representing the female virtues at the time, are sculpted by Carl Aarsleff.

I find it suspicious that moderation, diligence, patience, purity, humility, faith, hope, love, peace, vigilance, wisdom and truthfulness, are all passive characteristics. Don’t make waves just mop the floors. Clearly I would have sucked as a woman, at that time.

The master plan was to return on a brighter day, but the wait got too long (failing at the third virtue, right there), so we have to make do with grainy shots.

De Soldenfeldtske Stiftelser / The Soldenfeldtske Foundations

Hiding in plain view, making me feel blind for not seeing them before. Sneaky house.

Behold a selection of the virtues:

Flid / Diligence

Flid / Diligence. Incidentally the only woman who look even remotely happy. Check the yummy copper detail.

Reenhed / Purity

Reenhed / Purity.

Ydmyghed / Humility

Ydmyghed / Humility.

Tro / Faith

Tro / Faith. (I like that women were accepted to the house regardless of religious belief)

Fred / Peace

Fred / Peace.

Klogskab / Wisdom

Klogskab / Wisdom.

Sandhed / Truthfulness

Sandhed / Truthfulness.

I found a lot of information about this house (in Danish, of course) at the Soldenfeldt.dk site. It is a pleasant surprise to see Copenhagen history preserved to this degree, not just the house, but also the detailed background story. These guys deserves to be remembered, for their generous contribution to Copenhagen.

In case you want to see it for yourself, here is the address: Sortedam Dossering 85 (with a view of the lakes), link to map here.

* Unsurprisingly the Skudsmålsbog led to abuse by employers, and by 1920 the dreaded book was abandoned.

04 November 2013

The shitstorm

With the local election coming up, it is nearly impossible to take a decent picture of Copenhagen, that doesn’t include poster spam. It is everywhere! As a change from the last time around, the spam ceiling is lifted, and anything goes. One really obnoxious guy, from a party I refuse to advertise here, easily posts up to thirty in a row. Somehow they have got it in their minds, that saying something repeatedly and REALLY LOUD, makes you listen more. No wonder people are starting to take them down. No wonder there is mocking.

Det er jo altid det samme

Det jo altid det samme, smil lidt mer / It's always the same, smile a little more.
Jeg tror selv på det

Jeg tror selv på det, smil lidt mer / I believe in it, smile a little more.

Stol på mig! Trust me!

Stol på mig! Smil lidt mer / Trust me! Smile a litlle more.

Posterspam mocking

Only three days after mounting day, we had a monster storm that was later upgraded to a hurricane. It got rid of some of the spam, but it also took out at least 400 trees in Copenhagen alone. Bunker trees and Ladytree is still standing, but five of the transplanted cherry trees didn’t make it.

In memory of our lost friends

A moment of silence for our friends who fell victim to the storm October 28th 2013. VerdensSkove.org

Broken tree

Broken tree

It's crazy to think some people were out in a weather that could do this to a tree. I even saw people on bikes, from my window. 

Storm victim


Scaffolding peeled off buildings, this one on the roof across the lakes, looks like a sneeze would finish it off.

Gutted chestnut tree

A fall storm is nature's way of pruning. Any tree that survives this shitstorm, should be preserved with everything we have got. 


Ah, the lakes just don't know how to look bad.