28 July 2013

The scare

Over on twitter someone wrote: twelve swans found dead in Peblingelake. Of course I went into amber alert. Especially since we have been there before, back when most of the swans were poisoned. Living by the lakes, I was afraid to look, but I needed to know. Choking up on my way there, expecting the worst. And... nothing. Nothing but pink light and reflections and lakes so unreal in their beauty, that I half suspected them of lying to my face. The scare turned out to be a good thing because without it I would have missed this:

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All there, as far as I could tell. Including the couple with cygnets, one lake over. Ah.

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The city just chopped down two giant chestnut trees on the other side, below the two towers leaving a bald spot. It is incredibly hard for urban trees to survive in Copenhagen, and the loss is felt even more when it is the old ones. They replant, of course, but odds for newly planted trees are not good. In the corner you can spot the trees on the bunkers, that survived the flattening plans. Ha for that, at least!

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The lake pavillion.

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As far as I know, there are no guidelines for how to behave around the wildlife, when you rent a paddle boat. Especially around nesting time, the swans are stressed when you get too close. I would like to see some kind of measurements in place, for that (as I write this, I realise it is probably something I have to intiate myself).

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The sunsets are pink and orange and red and amazing. We are mid heatwave, it is probably the first real summer in Copenhagen in years, which is why you don't hear from me so often these days. I'm too busy charging the batteries and taking it all in. Ah, I hope you have a fantastic summer too.


22 July 2013

16 July 2013

Micro excitement

It is the high season for travelling. Foreigners come to Copenhagen, and the Copenhageners leave the city to be foreigners somewhere else. When the inhabitants leave in large numbers, you really get a sense of how much a city is shaped by those who live there. Things are calmer here in the summer months, with less cars in the streets (ah!), and lots of outdoor activities. Everyone hangs out everywhere all the time. The excitement is to be found at the micro level. It is my favorite place to look, anyway.

Skateboarder

The referee 
Quiet afternoons make room for exploring. I love that we still have places like this in Copenhagen, untouched by developers. Please leave it be.
 Tobaksrygning strengt forbudt!

Tobaksrygning strengt forbudt / Smoking tobacco is strictly forbidden.

Din mor's Bauwerk


Raleigh Tourist de Luxe

Another kind of urban oasis, just as important as the green ones. Both lets you breathe a little easier.

Micro excitement is not much, but it is everything.


12 July 2013

Free the weeds

There is something I have been wondering about: why are house owners vigilantly removing weeds and grass from the sidewalk? Everything is burned, salted or poisoned. And, why do the city fight nature to the extent that they prioritise dispatching an army of weed-fighters, to keep it... what? Neat?

Urban weeds

Butterflies live here, you know. And bees, insects, food for birds.

Today I spotted a man by the concrete bridge tunnel, burning all the beautiful wilderness down to the ground. I asked him why. He put his flamethrower down for a second, “I don’t know, I am just assigned to do it.” A familiar response.

City destruction

Carrying a big tank of gas, burning everything down on his path.

Last year I asked a man from the cleaning department, who also happens to be a gardener, the same question. Why are weeds and grass fought so hard? Is it because the roots destroy the pavement? "No". But why, then? "I don't know, maybe because it is easier to keep tidy". See? No one knows, it is just how it has always been done. Worst reason for anything ever!

Hvorfor?

I entitled this picture, taken last year, "Why?". Poison and salt to kill grass. I just don't get it.

At the flea market I got caught in the rain, and waited it out in a doorway. This made me so happy:

Mini plantation

Besides soothing the eye, the roots keep rainwater from going into the basement. Nature knows what it is doing, why can't we just allow it to help us? Below, one of the few houses in my neighborhood, letting it grow the way it is supposed to:

Beautiful wilderness
 
Weeds

How is this harmful to anyone? Whomever is responsible for this act of mini-rebellion, is my personal hero.

If this is just about some misguided sense of aesthetichs, I think it is time we address that. We have the right to enjoy what nature has to give. And, surely the city could use its resources and manpower in better ways? What is your take on this madness? I would really like to know.


08 July 2013

Green

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Keep (make) Copenhagen weird!

Make Keep Copenhagen weird! 

Bert

A Bert garden in the Østerbro end of the lakes. Zoom is required for the full experience.

Bert on Byens Hegn

If you see what I mean?

Bert flowerbed

Subtle, but sweet.

Gro i byen / Grow in the city
 
Gro i byen / Grow in the city. Guerrilla gardening on a traffic sign.

I like what they are saying with this, but it also stings a little, knowing that it comes from a longing. There is an overwhelming need for more green in Copenhagen. Sadly trees and the upkeep of urban vegetation is not a huge priority here. We are working to change that, urban trees are so incredibly important.

Occupy Gezy

#OccupyGezi. Copenhageners support the fight for Taksim Gezi Park, one of the few remaining public parks in Istanbul, scheduled for demolition, to make room for yet another mall. The Turkish government grossly underestimated the people's love for this oasis. Last thing I heard, the plans were put to a halt, but the developer have a month to appeal. Fingers crossed for our tree loving friends.

Sometimes I get the feeling that we are all in this together. A lot of the problems we face are the same, and they can almost always be traced back to greed and profit. You get a sense that the people of the world have just about had it, with this agenda. And not a moment too soon.

03 July 2013

Hey? I'm back!

The single best birthday present I ever got, was at the age of six, a cardboard suitcase full of Lego. That is, until now. It is not even my birthday yet, but someone couldn’t wait to top that suitcase. And did he ever: I got my eyes back. A sibling of my beloved G12 camera, with the macro and the flip screen and everything. I missed it so much. I am so happy. SO HAPPY!

Copenhagen manhole cover

Fiona Sørensen 11 år / Fiona Sørensen 11 years old

Manhole cover, designed by eleven year old Fiona Sørensen in 2007, marking the 150th anniversary of the Copenhagen sewerage system. I wonder what she is doing today? To be able to do this at eleven, the sky must pretty much be the limit.

Don't let a kiss fool you

Graffiti van. Don’t let a kiss fool you. 

Don't let a kiss fool you

What bitter BS is that? I say: don't be a fool, and miss a kiss.

PS! For the live version of Fiona's work, check the corner of Købmagergade/Krystalgade by Rundetårn (map).