30 June 2014

The Flying Carpet

Friday was the official opening day of the new Israels Plads, the big square next to Torvehallerne, our not-so farmers market. This whole area is a sore space to me. First, they took all the old chestnut trees by Torvehallerne (prompting me to start Red Byens Træer, the tree hugging initiative, so thanks, I guess). Next the city chopped down 80+ trees and bushes to build the new Israels Square. A couple of days before the opening, I snug into a building, and caught the square from the fourth floor. 


The 80+ trees have been replaced by what looks like.. 13? The concrete job is smooth and beautifully finished, inviting in kids on all kinds of wheels. But as you can imagine the noise level is insufferable. The sounds bounces freely between the buildings, like it does on Superkilen. Do I have to say it? Trees. They forgot to factor in trees. 


On the left side outside the frame Ørstedsparken, on the right side the "farmers market" Torvehallerne.


With the entire square raised 30 cm from the ground, they have named it the Flying Carpet (Det Flyvende Tæppe). Underneath it all is a large underground parking lot. If only we had those for bikes.


Zooming in on Torvehallerne. See that white cloth covering the windows? Yeah, they had to do that, to keep the place from overheating. You know, stuff the butchered chestnut trees would have taken care of. Duh. Back on the ground, after opening day:



Props for remembering the trash cans, but it looks like they forgot bike parking on the square (so far only lining the street). Already kids are just throwing them on the ground. Also, this square is adjacent to a handful of schools, Torvehallerne (with close to zero bike parking facilities on the south side), and the busiest train station in Copenhagen, Nørreport (with the green roofs). But since they are not entirely done, it could still be added with the final touches. 


View from the stairs at the far end. 


Behind it all Ørstedsparken, the wildest park in Copenhagen. They tried to take more of it, but the Danish Society for Nature Conservation fought for the old trees, and as a compromise the architects found a way to work around them. A work still in progress, expected to be finished in August.


The stairs in the coveted evening sun. Wait, what? They placed the dominant set of stairs in the shadow, back turned to the sunset? No, they didn't? Again: same thing on Superkilen. Why is it that urban architetcs don't factor in where the sun sets? It is so important to us. Especially in the sun deprived North.

Bouncy floor detail from the fenced in court. Yummy little sprinkles. 


I wonder if the weekend flea markets will return? And the new trees survive? Considering the price we paid for this square in tranquility and trees, it better be a huge success. Fingers crossed.

The Flying Carpet on DAC (architectural details)

28 June 2014


It’s a big day in Copenhagen, with the opening of “Cykelslangen” the missing link connecting the harbour bridge and the evil highway by Fisketorvet. For years cyclists have struggled with their bikes up and down steep stairs, or taken ridiculous detours to get to the bike-bridge, but finally it is here. The smooth, curvy, orange ride in the sky, named after the inner tubing in our wheel. Slange is the same word we use for snake, so my best guess is that foreigners will refer to it as the Bikesnake (or maybe the Snakebridge?). It looks like one too, wriggling its way through glass and steel, liberating us from all the obstacles underneath. Almost like riding the back of a mythical creature. Oh, can you tell I’m in love?

Cykelslangen bike bridge

I sneaked in before the grand opening today, to get some clean shots.

Cykelslangen bike bridge

Nothing begs for bending quite like rules, eh?

Cykelslangen bike bridge

Cykelslangen bike bridge

Cykelslangen bike bridge

Leading right up to the dream ride (ahead) over the water, connecting Vesterbro with Islands Brygge.

Of course some people only do as they are told. Here's one still pushing her bike up the stairs on the slide, because the sign says the connecting bike bridge are not officially open. Never mind it is only a day away. 

Cykelslangen bike bridge

This only confirms that progress is not made by those who don't push the boundaries. They have the rulebreakers to thank for that. You are welcome, lady.

Cykelslangen bike bridge

Cykelslangen bike bridge

Cykelslangen bike bridge

It makes you want to scream: what took you so long? And then you want to hug it and ride over it back and forth and back and forth like a lovestruck fool. Trust me.

Cykelslangen on DAC (architectural details)
Cykelslangen on Google maps: here.

I made a small video of the ride today, just for you:


I think I may have stressed out the little boy in blue. Sorry, little guy.

19 June 2014

Appetite for reflection

Yes, I know: you have seen Copenhagen reflected in a dirty, broken mirror before. But no two glances are ever the same, that is the beauty of it. I don't know what makes reflections so appealing to me. Maybe the fact that they make you question what you see? Make you look at things fresh. What if we ever only see a fraction of what is really in front of us?

Hello lady!

Hello lady in the window, that I only noticed when I got home. 


Freaky how these pictures are all taken from the same position, only bending slightly in the knees. 


Everything is the same and everything is different.





Hi, I'm Sandra and I have an appetite for reflection.


11 June 2014

Hot and cool

Random snapshots of summer in Copenhagen, is the best I can do at the moment. At least I got you flowers. There is a street running parallel to the lakes, Wesselsgade, lined with rose bushes. They are almost at the end of their bloom, and the air on that stretch is intoxicating, an unmissable part of the day.

Yellow roses


Scent pic

Trying hard to capture the scent for you, climbing into the flower. Is it working?

Outdoors is where it's at. If you don’t have a balcony, get creative. 

Fortunately, the EU election was not as poster heavy as usual, but we are still left with this:

Overdue EU election posters

A poor reflection of the party SF (this guys posters are still all over the place). Can we trust them with anything important, if they can't even manage to clean up after themselves? Would you? The strips with the homemade ID-tags were all properly removed, by the way. In case you were wondering.

Rantzausgade, Copenhagen.

Snapshot from Rantzausgade (on map)... something is brewing in this street. The inhabitants are pushing to make it safer for cyclists, and it is alive with cosy stores. Diverse and inviting, Nørrebro at its best.


Stay cool, Rantzausgade! 

03 June 2014

A healing garden

The haunted lot on Jagtvej 69 has been a landfill since that day in 2007, when the People’s House later known as the Youth House, was demolished. The lot has been bought and sold a couple of times since, but that is just paperwork. The overall sentiment is that even though they removed the Youth House, the land still belong to the people. Selling it was one of the worst mistakes the city administration ever made.

Anything resembling a commercial interest on this land, will cause tempers to flare and reopen old wounds. Street artist Shepard Fairey learned that the hard way. Until recently we were in a deadlock, but now something interesting is happening: the people are growing a garden.


Not asking anyone's permission, but just quietly tending to the plants, building stuff like a gardeners shed, raised beds and garden furniture from discarded wood. On the grand opening day, the police shooed them away, let some off with a warning and detained others. But next day people were back, and the garden embraced by the neighbors, stopping by with plants and good advice.




The owner wisely keep the hands out of the hornets nest for now, and police just patrol the area, without harrassing the gardeners. Even Copenhagen's Mayor of Environment, have praised the initiative.


69, to Copenhageners a number synonymous with the Youth House. With a Yin-Yang feel. 

Bybotaniske hemmeligheder

By-botaniske hemmeligheder / Urban botanic secrets.

I talked to a few of the people working in the garden. One of them had helped start another guerrilla garden on Nørrebro, but since the city took over the project, it has been suffocated with rules and regulations. You can't even set up a birdhouse there, without permission. Bureaucracy and overcomplication kills the spirit, which is why the People's Land are perhaps best left out of the city's hands. The ultimate solution would be for a private investor or foundation to buy it back and set it free.


Named in the age of the hashtag #Byhave69.

From a Copenhageners perspective it feels a lot like we are finally on the right track.