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.

18 April 2016

A magic moment

This is my street. I take this road almost every day, and usually my eyes wander to the big old trees on the Sølund grounds. I keep telling the big beech and the Ladytree, that they are home free. And to brace for major disturbance in a couple of years, when three blocks of buildings are to be demolished.

But today something else caught my eye. Down the street a crow was walking alongside an old woman with a walker, keeping her company.  

(Side note: Row of cars to the right, used to be a sidewalk. Parking trumps pedestrians. Ugh.)

Halfway down the street, the bird was signalling for a stop, by wandering a little ahead, and giving the stare. 

The old lady obeyed, and pulled out a bag of bird snack. 

Crows are so incredibly clever.

 After dining, the bird and the old lady exchanged looks, and it took off. 

I approached to ask what this was about? "Oh, I have two pairs of crows who follow me around," she said. "It is important to be in contact with animal life, even when we live in the city." 

What a magic moment.  

26 February 2016

Bike parking heaven

The suffering of the trees brought me to the tree (and bike-) mayor’s office, and with that I finally got my ticket to bike parking heaven: The in-house bike parking facility of City Hall, designed by Martin Nyrop and built in 1905.

There are no signs leading the way. If you have business there, you know the way, otherwise it is a well-kept secret. I located a ramp at the back of the building, and confirmed with a guard that I was on the right track. Entering City Hall with your bike. I hope they get a kick out of that every day..

I pulled my bike up the ramp, and entered a fancy, guarded reception area. Surely I was not supposed to bring my bike here? But I was. Continuing into the “parterre”, the bike parking level. Pretty sure that my bike let out a squeal.

Bike parking parterre, City Hall in Copenhagen

Employee bike parking facility at Copenhagen City Hall.

Bike parking parterre, City Hall in Copenhagen

Daylight seeping in through a matted glass ceiling, travelling five stories down. They really knew how to design with daylight back then, by the use of balconies.

Bike parking parterre, City Hall in Copenhagen

Sturdy brass-lined ramps, no banging metallic sounds here. Sounds are muffled, with acoustics like a cosy living room. Oh, how I love good acoustics.

Bike parking parterre, City Hall in Copenhagen

No bike parking against the wall. As if anyone have the heart to lean a bike against a corduroy upholstered bench?

Bike parking parterre, City Hall in Copenhagen

(major repressing of backup-camera-whining here, ugh)

Bike parking parterre, City Hall in Copenhagen

Pampering continues with polished copper faucets.

Bike parking parterre, City Hall in Copenhagen 
Adding a new word to my vocabulary: parterre. Between the basement and the ground floor.

Bike parking parterre, City Hall in Copenhagen

Looking down the in-house bike parking facility, from the ground level, not a bike in sight. Perfectly planned in 1905, you have to wonder why they didn't continue this way of thinking? Today bike parking is a mere afterthought, in Copenhagen. Even train stations are still built with insufficient bike parking space and outdated solutions. They should know better. After all, they park here every day.