26 February 2014

Dannebrog

I love flag-days. They always come as a pleasant surprise, and it is a guessing game, what the occasion is: a religious thing or the birthday of another member of the rapidly expanding royal family. It really doesn’t matter. Just seeing the flag in the wind and on the buses, makes everything instantly better. It’s confetti-good. I once tried to explain it, in the Christmas calendar 2010:

To me Dannebrog, as is the name of our red and white flag, is a sign of celebration. From the first time I laid eyes on the flag, it was in the context of good times: hooray, someone gave birth/had a birthday/won the lottery. It is impossible for me to see a Danish flag and not feel instantly better.

People who enjoy national soccer games, will paint their faces with flags, and wear silly flag themed hats, and it is worth noticing that these guys are not the ones going bananas, and beating up people. In fact I will bet you that you are not able to find a single Dane waving our flag in public, who are not just there to share his joy.

Men at work:


The man on the left kept an eye on things, and told them: "be careful, it's Dannebrog". Oh.




Visitors and tourists seem to instantly get how it is a good thing, a sign of celebration. While I have heard snickering remarks from a lot of expats, who just don’t seem to get it. What is so hard to understand? 

A few of my favorite things

We love our flag, kindly suck it up.


20 February 2014

Not so green

Copenhagen is losing so many trees at the moment, at a speed that you wouldn’t believe. Almost 200 healthy big ones are in the process of being cut down to widen a highway, and make more space for cars. Another trick is to squeeze cyclists into protected gardens, effectively rendering them useless. This way a place like the City Of The Elderly (where they moved the cherry trees), becomes a vacant lot for developers. Cutting down even more trees, to flatten a garden that is no longer protected. They will put a nice spin on things of course, using words like “open up” for removing fences and trees that bring shelter from traffic and noise.

Before:

Same spot after: 

80 year old lime trees cut down to widen eight lane highway on Tagensvej, and accomodate more cars. 

In the process exposing demented elderly and children to traffic, noise and even more pollution, on a stretch already deemed above the legal limit. Welcome to the world of not making sense.

A "green bike lane" sounds great too, until you realise it is basically a highway through the middle of a garden with demented elderly and children. Planners even have the audacity to suggest that cyclists will dismount, and walk their bikes along the garden bike lane, to show consideration and enjoy nature. As if.

So if you think things are a little quiet in here, this is the reason. I am investigating, bringing things out in the open, informing people and trying to gather support. The tree group Red Byens Træer (Save the City's Trees) I founded last year, is growing steadily, and is now collaborating with the Danish Society for Nature Conservation in Copenhagen. We are in a dialogue with the City of Copenhagen to implement a tree policy, and put a halt to salting roads in the wintertime.

Copenhagen is the European Green Capital 2014, for reasons not related to anything actually green. We have clean water in the harbour, energy efficient measures in place and a lot of us get around by bike. But our trees are being cut down, and our air is toxic from congested traffic. Things are not adding up here.
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Red Byens Træer on facebook (in Danish)
Red Byens Træer blog, for those not on facebook (in Danish)

18 February 2014

Ding, ding, ding

The light is slowly returning, and with that all the good stuff reappears. It is nothing short of a bombardment of the senses, leaving you almost giddy. Everything is beautiful and interesting again. A worn out chair in a backyard, calls out for you. Whispering all kinds of stories.

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The way it still draws you in, you can tell it was a good chair. Oh.

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And right across from the old chair, the matching painted wall with the pop red berries.

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Like hitting some kind of geek-jackpot. Ding, ding, ding. 


11 February 2014

The tiny harbinger of spring

If you were around Classic Copenhagen in 2012 (some of you were, how cool is that?), you might remember the mini drama. The tiny shoe left behind in the street, on the day that clearly marked itself as the first day of spring:

Mini drama

Yesterday, I had the same feeling. I parked my bike and looked down, and right at my feet there it was: the mini drama again. From now on known as the harbinger of spring:

Harbinger of spring, the mini drama

 It's nothing short of magical.



08 February 2014

17 hours

In January we had a record low of 17 total hours of sun. That does things to a person, let me tell you. February is looking like more of the same, with the one difference that days are getting slightly longer. In a way it resembles drowning, but instead of oxygen, you are deprived of light. Ugh. When we hit spring, I am going to be so annoyingly excited and all over the place with flowers and light and budding trees and breeding swans, that you are going to beg for mercy. I promise.

It's cold, fuck it


03 February 2014

Fog yeah



Fugleøen / The Bird Island.

Fugleøen tilbage som selvstændig stat. / The Bird Island back as an independent state.

More love would be better. Blød Lykke.

Icy humidity.  And the Irma chicken for Celena:


A full day of this.

Fog yeah!