a cunning use of flags…

August 31, 2007

(probably only those that are familiar with the comic stylings of eddie izzard will get that one. but it still refers to the graphic, so there you go.)


so i’m off to moscow-st.petersburg-helsinki-stockholm for the next 2-3 weeks…during which time i will not be blogging. i promise there will be lots of fun photos when i get back, so don’t go completely away…!

på gensyn!


food=mad! mad=food!

August 30, 2007

well, i had to go to the madfestival…


emma and i went on tuesday, excited by the promise of cheese and beer. this part of the festival is held in tivoli, so you just purchase admission for the gardens and you’re free to roam through all of the food goings-on…like “delitown,” and “madalléen” (food alleys!). it was really fun. several restaurants had booths, and lots of places were giving out samples of delicious and assorted food items like potato chips, tomatoes, spelt crackers with honey, and cabbage. there was a special area for local, organically grown produce. i was too full by the time i got to the potato stand, but there were some potato/apple open-faced sandwiches that looked mighty tasty…!


here’s emma with our beer and cheese and bread! yum! i definitely got my cheese fix for the day (and then some)/there were also some events going on, like this cookoff (hey, what’s that on the big screen? why, it’s…smorrebrod!)


here is the stand that was serving the “beer and cheese menu” – the nice folks at delimo og jacobsen


even the roofs of the stands were decked out in food! this one seems to be a (dare i say it? oh well…) mixed “green-roof” salad! (groan…). the coffee/cupcake stand had strawberries planted on its roof. pretty cool. emma pointed out that tivoli is a garden, after all, so they do go all out to do a good job with the plantings. it definitely added a nice, foody touch.


here’s me at the coffee stand and with dessert #1, a cupcake (which had more frosting than cake). (all photos of me courtesy emma!)


…and dessert #2, a lovely dark chocolate-marshmallow creme-marzipan creation…

i got dessert #3 to go. for tomorrow. (chocolate mousse.)


the entrance from inside the gardens…the nighttime lighting in tivoli is really impressive. i’ve also heard that they put on fireworks shows every saturday night, so i’ll have to check it out sometime. overall, this was a wonderful and gastronomically satisfying experience…the food festival definitely gets a thumbs-up from me! it’s too bad they only do it once a year…

where i live, where i work

August 30, 2007

well, it would probably be nice to share some important things like…where i spend most of my time (when i’m not on my bicycle…oops, i haven’t photographed my bicycle yet). anyway, here is my apartment. i’m subleasing it until mid-december, at which time i’m going to have to find something else (hopefully something a little cheaper and a little closer to school). it’s sure nice to have a studio apartment, though! it’s also good to be cooking for myself again. thesis and china don’t leave a lot of time for things like that, and it’s one of my favorite things to do. my building is part of a complex that surrounds a courtyard, which is where my bike lives. it’s designed with a single-loaded corridor, so i have windows on both sides. which is great for air circulation and light and such. i especially love the big window/door by my desk…i can open it up all the way and feel like i’m working on the deck. sort of. if my view at school wasn’t even better than this (read on…), i’d have a hard time working there instead. oh, and the food at school is great, but i’ll get to that in a minute, too. here are some photos of my place:


this is the main street on amager (the island that i live on), amagerbrogade. my building is the one on the right-hand side of the street. (i live on the side that turns the corner and goes out of the photo, not on the street side)


here’s the interior…love that light!


and my kitchen…


here’s a view from my balcony of the courtyard space that my building shares. my bike lives in the long shed in the foreground.

ok, so that’s where i live. i like it a lot, and it’s great to have a bicyle again. there’s an amazing bicycle culture here, much like in the netherlands. the public bicycle infrastructure is great, and everyone rides…to work, to school, to the store; young, old…you name it. it is kind of strange that the last place i biked with any kind of regularity was shanghai, and i have to say that the bicycle ettiquette here (very polite, stop for buses, lots of hand signals) is WAY different than in china (everyone for themselves! defensive biking = certain death!). i’ll have to temper my forward biking ways. so anyway, one of the places that i bike a lot is to school, at the royal danish academy of fine arts. i got the valle scholarship this quarter, which supports academic exchanges between scandinavian universities and the university of washington. it’s a great scholarship, and i feel lucky to have received it. i chose to study in copenhagen because i’m interested in a particular architectural evaluation program that was started here (by one of my advisors at the royal danish academy, prof. gregers algreen-ussing) and also because denmark is turning out some crazy and amazing modern-yet-contextual design. you can read more about this and see additional photos on my valle blog, if you’re interested. my school is on the island of holmen, which is situated between the main city center and the island that i live on, amager. lots of islands here in copenhagen! the school used to be located in the central city, but moved to holmen nine years ago and currently occupies a collection of old naval buildings. all of the buildings have been refitted as offices, studios, and classrooms – and they are great spaces. i still can’t believe how amazing my office is (those who saw my thesis location in condon hall will understand…). let’s break for some photos:


here is the main axis into campus (which is across the street in the photo). the building that you see at the end of the axis is the new copenhagen opera hall, which has generated tons of controversy. it is also located along a significant axis within the city form (part of aforementioned controversy)…if it hadn’t been built in this location, you would be seeing amalienborg palace and frederikskirke instead. i can imagine that the folks at the danish royal academy had a few opinions about the siting of the opera building…


this is our admin building


and this is the building that our office is in…a converted barracks, i think


here’s the other side of that building…the opera hall is just across the canal!


and here’s the office i’ve been going on about…and emma hard at work in the office! (emma’s been in copenhagen on the valle since may…we’re sharing an office right now, but she’s taking off pretty soon). notice how she’s working hard…and i’m taking photos out the office window. (thanks for the photo, emma!) this is a great place to work. i wish architecture grad students at uw had spaces like this! okay, the annex is great…but does it have a view like….


…this?? yes, that’s the opera, with the harbor and the dome of frederikskirke in the background. i can’t believe this is actually the view from my office…i love it!

here is the canteen (kantine), which has great food (and lots of smorrebrod choices!). the cafeteria food here is really, really good. i look forward to school lunches…


and yes, those are pv panels above the skylight! the building generates enough energy to power itself! sigh…

here are some more photos from around campus:

img_6534.jpg img_6575.jpg img_6539.jpg img_6543.jpg img_6549.jpg
top: outdoor sitting/lunching space, studio spaces, and the main auditorium

bottom: the exhibition hall, and a light-pattern-detail that i really liked (if you can’t tell by the skies in these photos, it was a great day to be taking pictures!)

and, finally, some maps! i’m going to try to put more maps on the blog this time…


copenhagen/amager relationship


home, the city, and school!

grab bag

August 26, 2007

here are some favorite images from my first week in copenhagen…

so, after my delicious lunch of smorrebrod, i took a walk around the park. the copenhagen parks that i’ve seen so far are really nice (this one, being formerly the king’s, is particularly fancy). it was great. there were lots of people hanging out, eating, biking, watching puppet shows…


rosenborg slot (rosenborg castle), at one end of the park/kingly axial plantings

family picnic

goose fountain/park edge

this is the “marionet teater,” which was excellent. granted, the shows are aimed at the under-5 crowd, but it was enough to keep me interested for a while. there are performances twice daily here during the summer!

yesterday’s story had a nautical theme. you can see the marionette masters, clothed in black, operating the fishes…



August 25, 2007

i thought it would be appropritate to start with a post about food…


right now there’s a food festival (or “madfestival” in danish) going on in copenhagen – lots of great events all around the city, dedicated to nordic cooking traditions! today was my first venture into the madfestival events…danish open-faced sandwiches, or smorrebrod. these sandwiches are especially great because they can be made from almost anything, and because the bread-to-filling ratio is particularly low, much more so than the usual sandwich at home (note how you can’t really even see the bread in the photo). the ingredients are always artfully arranged…each a tiny, edible design project! they’re easy to make, and there are many restaurants around copenhagen that specialize in smorrebrod (ida davidsen serves 250 different varieties!). these two (roast beef with toasted onion, tomato with guacamole), my lunch for today, were prepared by the students at copenhagen hospitality college, the proceeds from which benefit youth cancer patients. the sandwiches were delicious, and i’m looking forward to more delicious festival events…