27 December 2016

The big kiss

On top of the list Things I Forgot To Share 2016, is the big kiss. Remember the troubled bike and pedestrian bridge that kept getting delayed? Inderhavnsbroen, or The Kissing Bridge, as it was nicknamed for its sliding function, just didn’t seem to catch a break. It was close, but no cigar for years, until one summer day.

On July 7th the internet starting buzzing: it is opening today! The City first denied such an event, but eventually caved and announced the good news: the bridge is ready for traffic. The grand and official opening was scheduled for a month later, but what was the sense in postponing such a blessing, for thousands of daily commuters? 

The bridge is a crucial link between central Copenhagen, Christianshavn and Amager, without which cyclists and pedestrians have been forced to take a senseless detour alongside heavy traffic. Needless to say, we had been aching for this kiss. So bad.

This new connection forms a straight line from the lakes, a popular bike-route which has prompted the city to widen the bike lanes. During construction we share the available infrastructure, and on this happy day that coincided with a red carpet EU event. Crossing a red carpet on bike, on the sidewalk with smiling police officers standing by. Surreal.

Oh, Copenhagen

Compared to the space the cars next to it takes up (wastes), this widening is not much, but to cyclists it makes a huge difference. It reduces tension and creates safe passage for riders at all paces and of all sizes.

A few shots of the almost-there-hold-it-hold-it bridge.

Pedestrian side of the bridge. A bridge that really feels more like a road, with a wide, bidirectional lane for bikes and separate space for pedestrians. What it may lack in grace, it makes up for in functionality.

Beautiful underbelly, tickle, tickle.

Copenhagernes picking up on the rumors, flocked to witness the first kiss.

First two to cross the bridge: Mayor of trees and bikes Morten Kabell and Klaus Bondam, of the Danish Cyclists Federation:

Second two to cross the bridge: the girls!

A fine moment in Copenhagen history.

The wise delay of this post, gives me the opportunity to follow up with the effect of our much anticipated piece of infrastructure. Six months in, it is deemed a resounding success. Numbers of daily users have by far exceeded all expectations. In November the city announced a count of 14.150 cyclists on the Kissing Bridge, in just one day! It has been attributed a crucial part of the reason bikes outnumbers cars in Copenhagen, for the first time since the 1970s.

No one cares how it long it took to get here, or at what cost. A kiss this good is totally worth it.

Kissing links:

08 December 2016

The Bicycle Doctor

Last week I hit the brakes hard by the sight of a parked cargo bike, with an oversized wooden beer crate. So good! I had to fight a honking woman in a toxic pile of metal, to get my shot with the proper distance, but it was totally worth it.

The bicycle doctor, Nansensgade

(If ever there was a brewery less deserving of such an honor. Let it be an ode to the vintage edition. The old brewer Jacobsen gave so much to Copenhagen: art, beauty and nature. It is only the current administration, blinded by greed, destroying everything at warp speed. May they burn in hell.)

The fantastic bike was parked next to a bike shop in Nansensgade in central Copenhagen, where I was greeted by the Bicycle Doctor, Odai Darweesh. This is a small and ultra cool bike shop where you can get your bike repaired, or have a new one built from scratch. You start by picking either a new frame, or one of the vintage 1980s frames, which will then be completely restored and looking as new.

The bicycle doctor, Nansensgade


On a wall you may choose from spare parts, like the cut out heart crank (custom made by a Danish metal smith) or the wooden handlebars (handmade in Poland).

The bicycle doctor, Nansensgade 
Custom made wooden handlebars.

The bicycle doctor, Nansensgade

The heart crank with a blurry shot of the good doctor, diagnosing a customer's bike.

The Bicycle Doctor is from Syria (did I mention: foreigners make everything better). And as he speaks English, a young boy asked his mother what the man was doing? The mother replied that he was a bicycle doctor, which is now the name above the door.

The bicycle doctor, Nansensgade

But back to the amazing cargo bike, with the giant wooden crate: it is hand built and can be made in any color and with any logo you desire (I am thinking the perhaps coolest Danish brewery Mikkeller needs at least one). It is fit on a long john frame, and is reportedly not too heavy to push. They cost around 20.000 DKR, but the prototype is for sale at 14.000 DKR. Santa, baby...

21 October 2016


Usually, when I feverishly dismount my bike and let out a loud UNbelievable!, it is not a good thing. Today was a happy exception. There were indications that this would happen last month, when I noticed an addition to Queen Louises Bridge.

Do I need to bring you up to speed on our beloved bridge? It is the one connecting Nørrebro with the inner city, where people years ago began to hang out, to take in the sunset and the show. Where the city since wisely reclaimed the space hijacked by cars and returned it to pedestrians and cyclists, by widening the sidewalks and bike lanes, and adding more benches.

Classic bridge scene 
Note the suspended wires above.

Vintage postcard from Copenhagen, of the bridge in its former glory. The wide sidewalks are back, and the cars are now down to two lanes, which should really be the maximum in any city center.

Dr. Louises Bro / Queen Louises Bridge

The one thing that never worked on that bridge, were the suspended wires for the street lamps. For decades swans have crashed, trying to cross from one lake to the other. The city attempted to improve visibility with reflective discs, but even with that the swans were unable to reach the right altitude, with devastating results.

Over the years I have watched three swans crash, and it just rips your heart out. Swans only mate once, and they stick together: when one is hurt, the other will stand guard. A sight that will haunt you forever. I once asked the animal rescue team if they tried to fix them, but the stress of the treatment is too much for wild animals, so they are put down.

Queen Louises Bridge, waterside 
F*cking wires, winter edition.

Last month I noticed new grounded lamps were added to the bridge.

September 21st. Dared we hope?

I located the ones responsible and asked what this was about? "You must be referring to our swan safety measures?" Yes! Yes, yes, yes! Oh. We are back in the dungeon, today was dark, gray and rainy and I was not expecting much from it as I turned the corner to cross the bridge. But then... THE WIRES WERE GONE! 

Swan safe bridge

The city did something right, and it made me feel like blogging again. UNbelievable. 

29 August 2016

One down

Sometimes I wish I could go back to not noticing the urban trees. Even if that meant not enjoying them as much, far as I recall it was a blessing to be (tree)worry-free. The eyes were free to take in other sights (like garbage and street art, bikes, sunsets and confetti). How do I get back to that?

Urban plants

It is not like it hasn’t paid off. Big and irreplaceable trees have been saved, and the constant pressure has even had an impact on local politics. I just miss all the other things. And taking pictures. Maybe I just need a good and long vacation. Preferably in a place where trees are not mistreated and cut down left and right for no good reason. Any recommendations?

Keep calm and stay weird

(One down..)

End whine.


27 July 2016

To hell and back

It is the season for festivals, and there is something for everyone. Some of them take place in the city, like puppets for children, jazz for someone not me and Peestortion for the young suburbia, to name a few. Others are wisely placed in designated venues. Of the multitude of offers, one is the only, for me: Copenhell. The rock and metal festival on Refshaleøen, the venue in the wild by the old B&W shipyard.

In chronological order, these are a few of my favorite things:

Copenhell 2016

Getting there. Oh. Biking is recommended, with an easy ride ten minutes from the city centre. From a certain point, the streets were lined with signs, fences and helpful staff on every corner, guiding you safely to hell (and back, even, they were posted there all night).

Copenhell 2016

Easy access and plenty of parking. To the untrained eye, this may look like clutter, but it is in fact in heavenly order: all bikes are standing upright, and in groups pointing in the same direction.
  Copenhell 2016

For the bike deprived, there is a special bus: route 666. If you didn’t love this festival already..

Copenhell 2016

Entrance greeting: A field guide of hand signs.
  Copenhell 2016

The giant 2000 m2 and 60 meter tall Fenris wolf mural, by Victor Ash, a Copenhagen-based French artist.
  Copenhell 2016

The hills, nature’s perfect seating arrangement. From here you have a prime view of the main stage. Trees keeping you safe, as always.
Copenhell 2016
 Copenhell 2016

The Royal beer purse (thankfully a Carlsberg-free event). Saving time waiting in line. If only you could save up the trips to the bathroom the same way...

And then there is the crowd. In many ways a festival compares to a small society, with unwritten rules and standards that sets the tone. Copenhell to me, is a perfect example of a healthy society. There is no aggressiveness. Zero! No pushing, no yelling at anyone, no grabbing, no making anyone uncomfortable, no matter how or where you differ. It is somehow universally understood that we all share the love of the music in common, and everything else is just left at the door.

  Copenhell 2016

Another thing that really touched me, was how they had made room for people with special needs. Lining the side of the stages were guarded and elevated platforms built for wheelchairs. The grounds tested by wheelchair users before opening, and special paths paved, for access. This is my kind of society: before all rooted in human decency.

  Copenhell 2016

  Copenhell 2016

I caught an uncluttered moment of the setup. Wolf obviously approves.

Copenhell 2016

 A young metal fan on his father's shoulders. We come in all sizes and shapes.

Copenhell 2016

Copenhell 2016

Alice Cooper’s giant Frankenstein. A magic moment, can I please have it back? 

Copenhell 2016

A declaration of love.

And then the shitty sky had to burst. Of course it did. And no one told me that the rain poncho’s were sold at the wardrobe. Why did no one tell me? I had to pull out the backup camera. The one where it doesn’t matter as much, if it drowns..

Copenhell 2016

Die hard fans lining up for the next gig.

Copenhell 2016

Thank you, Copenhagen.

Copenhell 2016

If this is hell, I'll see you there. Next year. 

19 June 2016

Slices of Copenhagen

Unexpected stop on the way home today: "make room for the turning ladies and gentlemen, please."

Escorted in style

Escorted in style.

Riding in style

Riding in style.

Turning in style

Turning in style.

It turns out, this is the annual stylish non-sweaty bike "race" Copenhagen Classico, involving beautiful outfits, a modest pace and breaks for coffee and champagne. I was in the wrong lane of this one today.. After the short break in traffic, the friendly guards parted with the words: "Thank you for your patience". 

No, thank you!


16 June 2016


Religion scares me. The never knowing when you break some invisible rule, and unleash unimaginable consequences. I just can’t deal with it. Fortunately, I live in a country where religion is not rubbed in your face, it is a private matter (as it should be), and you are not expected to live by the rules of others. That to me is freedom.

We don’t use our churches as we used to, so quite a few of them have been closed and sold off for other interesting purposes (this deserves a separate post). The remaining churches have to adjust and embrace the modern living. Gays are now able to be married in church (the priest do have the right to opt out, and step aside for a more understanding colleague), and churches are used for concerts and other community gathering events. 

My neighborhood has the best churches. Not good enough to pull me in, but they do come pretty close. By Brorson’s Church in Rantzausgade, I had to make a stop for this arrangement: Church benches cut out and mounted on the street fence.

Outdoor church benches

Outdoor church benches

An invitation to sit down and have a conversation with a stranger. As in that friend you still haven’t met.

Outdoor church benches

Church is trying to lure me in..

By Saint Stefans Church (Stefanskirken) on Nørrebrogade they recently had a banner advertising a Dylan sermon, to celebrate his birthday. On Constitution Day this was replaced by a reminder to love your voting rights.

Elsk din stemmeret / Love your voting rights

Reads: Love your voting rights. Stefanskirken is the rock star of Copenhagen churches.

And finally religion snug its way into my life, as a picture of mine is now the cover of a book, published in German, about... religion. Remember this shot? My first appearance on the Brooklyn Street Art blog, such a good day.

Coexist (my first book cover photo, yay!)

And now my first book cover photo.

As it happens I am all for coexisting. Let’s just all get along, shall we?

12 June 2016

Love is love

I have a lot to say, and I will say it more often in this space, I promise. But for now just this: homophobia is moronic!

28 May 2016

Investment and returns

Slowly things are returning. The beloved, welded and happy hand-holding street art chairs on the bridge, disappeared over winter. They were left there for a long time, but one day they were gone. And then, by some miracle, they returned. In a fresh lick of paint and with a slight alteration, but still the sweet, happy faces. Squealing-good!

Return of the happy street art chairs

Welcome back my sweet friends, you were missed!

Return of the happy street art chairs

This time they are signed, by Urbansteel_Cph.

Return of the happy street art chairs

And we have seen major development on the tree front. Relentless pressure from citizens and NGOs finally paid off: Copenhagen has adopted its first Tree Policy (as of May 2nd 2016). It is not a quick fix, the obstacles for the remaining street trees are still massive, but it is a big step in the right direction.

Summer under rescued bunker trees

When the heat sets in the best place to be in the city, is under a big tree. Remember how we saved these bunkers and trees, with all the blog noise? It was how it all began. Incredible how much has happened since then.

Another big event was the liberation of the Ladytree. The majestic ginkgo in my street, miraculously spared in the new construction plans on the grounds. It was so close to being completely swallowed by ivy that on the day they removed it, they all agreed that it would have died in less than two years. My sweet tree. Five men climbed six floors up, and meticulously removed the ivy. It took them a full day.

Liberation of the Ladytree

Liberation of the Ladytree


Before (same time last year):

The Ladytree before


Liberation of the Ladytree

And it is only just in spring mode. It is going to be interesting to see how it will act unrestrained.

Seriously, I can't think of anything more meaningful in the entire world, than to fight for and save trees. I could do without the constant worry, but it seems to be a package deal. Still trying to work that part out. 

And you know what else returned?



Ooooooh, I had no idea just how crippled I have been, until the flip-n-macro returned.

Let the fun commence.