27 February 2015


I have been holding out on you. But only because I don’t know where to begin. About two years ago, I crashed an outdoor flea market with some friends and a small pop-up stall. I used to love the fleas passionately, but as owning things lost its importance, so did the chase. Now, it is about something else entirely: salvaging, recycling and reducing waste. The chase is fun again.

With the pop-up stall, I realized how much I had missed the feeling. Exchanging stories and knowledge about the odd little things. The process of matching unwanted things with the perfect owner, and seeing them light up with excitement over the newfound treasure, there is nothing like it. I can’t even begin to explain how much sense it makes to me. I try to book a flea market stall at least once a month, now.

Things have a way of finding me. Sometimes attics are cleared, and boxes of unwanted stuff is thrown out into the street. I can’t bear the idea of things that could be used, going to waste. It kills me. Sometimes I will find something that is broken, and fix it, or just make it into something different. Sometimes all it needs is a good cleaning, and a nice presentation. The important thing is that it gets a new life.

If something is of no use to me or anyone I know, I make sure it is forwarded to a recycling centre. Key is to discard only of what is completely useless. Broken does not necessarily qualify as useless, good quality can usually be repaired. The worst offender is things and clothes made in recent time, nobody wants that. Which should make us reconsider our shopping pattern. There is so much good stuff out there, and so much of it is going to waste, you wouldn't believe what I have rescued from the incinerator.

A few weeks ago I passed a large container on Østerbro, filled with the estate of an old Copenhagen photographer. The people loading it, invited me to take what I could use, and I grabbed a bag worth of old photographs, wrapped in paper. It was only when I got home and unpacked them, I realised that I should have taken more, oh. One of the small packages read "children", and turned out to be vintage black and white photographs of young Danes, dating back to the 1960s.

All these photograps are by Henning Nielsen. From the tender moments captured, and the way the subjects (on all his pictures) respond, you can tell he was a good man. I wish I could have met him.

Focus... bike... go!

Some things never change. 

And the portraits, so many, so good.

I haven't been able to figure out the exact location of this, yet. 

What cars are good for. Ha.


Pure gold.



  1. exciting! I miss the garage sales that we were having every Sunday in Santa Monica. All you had to do is put a table or a blanket in front of your place! I found an armchair for $5 and it fit perfectly in my home, and we could sell/give unwanted stuff easily. In France it's more complicated, you have to pay a lot of money for a stand somewhere, and when you selling stuff very cheap it's not worth it. You have to carry it (rent a car) and carry the unsold back. It's for professionals. There is always ebay and similar... So now, the garbage bins, the big stuff are controlled day and night by either organized groups that will threaten with violence anyone approaching the bin, or by guards/fences, so the other ones don't pillage the bin. Hum, charming. Especially in the chic neighborhoods, where people throw away valuable things. The days where you could find your furniture for free on the streets of Paris have been over for many years now.

    1. Oh, garage sales! I have heard about those. In Amsterdam on Queens Day (the queens birthday), everything turns into a flea market, people empty the attics and closets, and have a party in the streets. Flea markets are on the rise in Denmark, but you still have to ask permission, and you don't just pull out a blanket and have a flea party, unless someone planned for it.

      It really is a pity that the recycling market is so tight in Paris. We are seeing more professional crews hitting this scene in Copenhagen too, and it does get creepy at times, but I refuse to let them bully me. And, there is always the recycling/swap centres, I have to make a post about those soon.

      From what I read about Paris, they are working to improve the environment, with the air quality and the bikes and public spaces. Maybe they will look into recycling and swap stations too? I hope so for you. : )

    2. Yes, I think they are trying, but car owners hate that. It's crazy how people get attached to their cars in a city that clearly doesn't need them. Paris would be wonderful without cars, not only about the air quality (we do get a lot of pollution) but also about people's behavior. I'm sure smiles and a kind of kindness would resurface.

  2. Oh, it makes me so happy to hear that I am not alone with this. I feel exactly the same! People have become so used to cars taking up all the public space, that they no longer question it. They even accept that so many die from pollution.

    Car owners act like it is a human right to own one, and park it at other people's expense, taking up shared space. Not to mention polluting the air, moaning about congestion, while being the very cause of it. Insane. I hope it will change.

  3. I absolutely love flea markets and thrift shops! To leisurely browse through them (with coffee in hand) is sort of my idea of paradise ;)
    I have to say that you struck it rich with this find! It would be so cool to find out who these children ended up becoming!
    XOX to you!

    1. The anticipation of a good flea market is almost as good as the real thing, ha. I'm totally hooked, the hunt is intoxicating.

      The children are all old now, I wonder if they are active on the internet? Judging from the cars, some of the pictures could go further back than the 60s. 50s maybe? I love these pictures so much. : )

    2. They are a real treasure!
      I will be in KBH at the beginning of July.... save a flea market for me ;) xox

    3. Perfect timing for all the outdoor fleas and coffee to to. : )


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