17 August 2014

Silent Sunday, good vibrations

Mercedes Benz
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 Good vibrations
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  Cute butts


09 August 2014

Costa del Lakes

Like someone hit a switch, we went from high summer to something that closely resembles fall. Daylight is fading, evenings are turning slightly colder and denial is in the air. We have got that part down to a fine art. The sunset side of the lakes is right next to a busy road, heavy with congested traffic, noise and exhaust fumes you can almost taste. But turn your back to all that and it's Costa del Lakes. Paradise on earth.

Costa del Lakes

I love the resilience of Copenhageners!

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See how easy it is to pretend you don't have cars speeding by at 50 kilometres per hour? If getting your beverages from the cafe across the road, means having to play dare with traffic, so be it.

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We are reclaiming the public space inch by inch. 


02 August 2014

A declaration of war

It’s been a hectic week. One thing that had my blood at a boil was the parasitic business “Cykelstativet” (the bike rack), with a simple concept: stealing people's bikes, and holding them ransom. A double payoff, as the owners of shops and buildings would have to pay a steep subscription fee for this “service”. I feel sorry for the poor souls, who returned to find their bikes stolen. We depend on our bikes so much, losing one can cripple a struggling household.

Fortunately, quite a few of these bikes were reported stolen (not everybody found the ransom instructions), the media picked up on it, forcing the police to take a stance. It took them a week to return with the verdict: removing people's bikes is theft, and asking ransom not legal. You don’t say?

What infuriates me the most is not that someone came up with such an evil plan, but the fact that stores were willing to declare Copenhagen cyclists war. The majority of Copenhageners get around by bike. I mean, come on? Among businesses that consider cycling customers a nuisance are Danske Bank (the curse of our country, this bank, devoid of social responsibility), a mediocre jewelry company, that deserves no mention here, and even a bar, “The Moose”. Slow clap. 

It would have been so simple to install a bike rack in front of the business, like it is done all over Berlin, for instance. Perhaps with a small greeting: Welcome, my non polluting friend. No? I guess not. Even though it would have been cheaper to install than this crap, and the subscription that goes with it:



Of course this is a symptom of what we have been saying all along: there is an embarrassing shortage of bike parking options in Copenhagen, both in the commercial and residential areas. Cars have all the road space, and they are fighting tooth and nail to keep it that way. Until the city comes up with an appropriate solution, our only option is to use the streets and block the sidewalks.

24 July 2014

Come rain or come shine

Copenhagernes will look back at this summer, and call it the best in years. It really is. But it is also too damn much with this crazy heat wave and endless sleepless tropical nights. It just crosses a line when your brain starts melting on you. Not to sound ungrateful (feel free to remind me of this come the dungeon), because I also love the long days, the clear skies and living in a skimpy summer dress. As always, it is about making the best of it. Come rain or come shine.

It is kind of poetic how the shadow only comes alive in the sun. The two of them put on quite a show these days.

Light and shadow


Half and half


Shadow stairs

Fleeting shadow-stairs, to be enjoyed while they last.

The summercycle goes from one extreme to the other. After a while of boiling heat, burnt grass and suffering trees, nature compensates with heavy rain. Followed by more complaining, of course. Until you remember the puddle action.

Floating Copenhagen tourists

Toying with Copenhagen tourists. Making them float...

Sliding Copenhagen tourists

...and slide. Without understanding the words, I knew they were talking about the strange girl crouching before them in the street. "What’s she doing? What’s she doing?"

Smiles. I think?

 “Aaaaaaahhhh” this was the moment that they realised what I was doing. Ha. Thank you for playing.



20 July 2014

Silent Sunday, in the red

Poppylove

Slagter / Butcher
 
Please

Wet kiss 
 ♥

14 July 2014

Cykelslangen in The Guardian

Wow, it turns out the world just love Cykelslangen, our beautiful orange cycle snake by the harbour. Everybody wants one, and today I wrote an article about it in The Guardian. Somebody pinch me! 

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/jul/14/bike-lanes-bridge-copenhagen-new-cycle-snake-cykelslangen





07 July 2014

A guilty crush

There is a new swan on the lake, the latest addition to the pedal boat fleet at Kaffesalonen. Before developing an opinion on them, I went to take their picture. First impression was good, as they resemble my favorite bird...
 Swan fleet

...and are shameless flirts:

Hello!

Hello!

But after a few days, I noticed that the real swans were huddling in the lake corners, suggesting they were not amused. However, in the most recent development, they seem less apprehensive when the fleet is not in motion. It is my hope that they will eventually get used to the steroid version of themselves.

New swan on the lake

On the upside, the swan boats are to tall to enter the other lake, under the bridge, leaving our birds some refuge. Again, I wonder if anyone is looking out for the interest of nature here, or if urban wildlife is just left to fend for itself? And if we keep pushing, will they eventually leave? Mixed emotions on this one, oh.

 

30 June 2014

The Flying Carpet

I have been trying out a new camera. It lives in a phone, a Huawei P7, to be exact. My last experience with a camera phone was my vintage Nokia, so as you can imagine my mind is pretty much blown. And at the same time I feel like I am cheating on my old friend, the Powershot. Oh. One will not be replacing the other, as they have different qualities, but I cannot promise you I won't go overboard on crazy filters, from time to time.

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. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/classiccopenhagen/14540648214/

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. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/classiccopenhagen/14542152665

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

https://flic.kr/p/oa3jvP

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.

https://flic.kr/p/obPrP8

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:

https://flic.kr/p/nSy2D7

Getting a vintage postcard vibe here, can't believe a camera phone can do this.

https://flic.kr/p/o9XqCA

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. 

https://flic.kr/p/o9UBaL

View from the stairs at the far end. 

https://flic.kr/p/oa3iBz

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.

https://flic.kr/p/o9XqeQ

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. 

https://flic.kr/p/o7ZT3m

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.

Links:
All the pictures from this post supersized in an album here, for a closer look.
The Flying Carpet on DAC (architectural details)



28 June 2014

Cykelslangen

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.


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



UPDATE:
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. 

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

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Everything is the same and everything is different.

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