i love this ad. even in the winter, copenhagen bikes!

here’s a link to the ‘official’ cph bike culture blog:


sunday short #1: damhus sø

January 27, 2008


i went for a lovely sunday brunch today in vanløse (cph suburb-ish area) with some very nice danish friends. we then tried to walk off some of that incredibly full post-brunch feeling at damhus sø (lake). this was the first (!!) clear, sunny day we’ve had this month, and it was really nice to be outside enjoying it. damhus sø reminded me a lot of greenlake in seattle…there tons lots of joggers, bikers, powerwalkers (watch out!), and more leisurely walkers like us using the lakeside trail.


this little kid was a little less interested in feeding the swans than his father was…


swan close-up (though i was warned not to get too close. those swans are aggressive. : )

ps – kudos to the danish men’s handball team!

det blå hjørne

January 25, 2008


this is one of my favorite architecture finds in copenhagen…det blå hjørne, or “the blue corner,” as it is appropriately named, was built in 1989 and designed by the danish firm vandkunsten. det blå hjørne is located in christianshavn, one of the older parts of the city, and i really like the way that the designers fit this really unapologetically modern (and blue!) building into the neighboring context. i know that vandkunsten won an award from the copenhagen municipality for this project, but i’m not sure about the details. (i’ve put together a slightly longer piece – with more but inferior photos – about this building on my valle blog, as well as two of this firm’s other projects, if anyone is interested.) like its neighbors, det blå hjørne an apartment building…but it’s a kind of funky take on the christianshavn residential status quo. i really like that each “half” of the building mimics the mass and form of the other houses around it, but kind of turns the shape and the idea inside out – for instance, the roof is pitched at the same slope, but in a different direction, so that the “fronts” of the pieces are actually facing the corner, not the street.


“corner” detail…plus a selection of urban artwork ; )


det blå hjørne in its neighboring context…

nature (!) walk

January 22, 2008


just south of my new place is a giant (180 acres or so) nature reserve called amager fælled (or ‘amager common’). it’s reclaimed land that used to be a military training area, but is now a great park with lots of bike trails and picnic areas and wetlands and such. i realize that almost all of my photos of copenhagen so far have been “urban,” so here’s a (small) taste of what the danish landscape looks like…


it’s mostly flat and grassy. but pretty!


wildlife sighting – love the swans in cph : )

islands brygge

January 18, 2008


here’s the view of islands brygge from the langebro bridge…that’s the harbour bath in the water in the foreground.

islands brygge is my new neighborhood…and after having been in copenhagen for five (!) months now, i would have to say that there’s nowhere else in cph i’d rather be living. the location is awesome – it’s just across the langebro (bridge) from the city center, and much closer to school than my previous apartment. so…i can walk or bike downtown in no time at all. plus, the harbor is three blocks away from my apartment and there are lots of excellent stores (mostly i’m talking about anyplace that sells food) very close by. and there are lots of art galleries…which i think prompted certain sources to say that islands brygge is copenhagen’s manhattan…i think that’s a (huge) stretch, but i guess it works as an analogy. also, i like the character of islands brygge. it used to be the part of the harbour where boats from iceland would dock (hence the name ‘islands’ – the danish word for ‘iceland’). anyway, the neighborhood is really well-defined (see map: apartment_mapb.jpg) and nearly all of the buildings are 6-8 story brick walk-ups. so it’s kind of like living in a little self-sufficient enclave…that’s really conveniently located and well-connected to everything else. okay, maybe it is a teensy bit like manhattan. but smaller. and shorter. and with only one metro stop(!). ; ) anyway, here are the photos of the neighborhood, as promised (i had been waiting for a sunny day…but i had to give up or there may never have been any photos!)…i’m really excited for the weather to get warmer so i can spend lots of time at the harbour and maybe try out that harbour bath. ; )


here’s the harbourfront promenade…the old train tracks (from more industrial-harbour days) remain in the pavement. this is a great place to walk or jog…


there are also some park-y areas along the promenade…some public art, some public picnic facilities


there’s the harbour bath (left) that i wrote about in a previous post – you can see the langebro (the bridge to downtown) in the distance. in the photo on the right, you can see my post office – it’s actually underneath the bridge. i’ve seen a lot of buildings-under-bridges in asia, but never something quite this heavily and publicly used. it’s cool, but i don’t know if i’d want to work there. i can hear, and feel, the traffic overhead when i’m mailing my letters and stuff. anyway.


a pretty typical islands brygge street scene.


here’s a really beautiful church just down the street from my building; it’s one of the few remaining churches in cph that rings its bells daily, i was told. oh, and on the right – my n’hood 7-11! reminds me of good times in taiwan. : )


this place is right across from the harbour promenade and serves the most delicious (and italian-made) pizza…they have a pizza bianca with potatoes and rosemary that is extra yummy.


here are some examples of the what i would term ‘handsome’ brick apartment buildings in the neighborhood – lots of neat details, very elegant-looking


some other nice features…shops that are a half-story below grade (so that there can be retail on the bottom level and apartments can still start on the ‘first’ floor) – that’s on the left. on the right are some good examples of the many traffic-calming features in islands brygge that make it an especially pedestrian- and biker-friendly neighborhood: speedbumps and street trees that are planted in the road space (causing a narrowing of the traffic lane). planner stuff.


a fun public park with playground equipment and a playing field (court?) and more picnic tables…


a colorful family of bikes that i liked.


oh, this is by far the worst building in the neighborhood – noticeably so – but it’s also my favorite supermarket, the super brugsen.

here’s my nifty metro stop! (at my previous place, i was a mile from the metro…but now…!)


there is also some change going on in islands brygge…


some new and interesting apartment buildings under construction that do a fairly good job of complementing the surrounding buildings. better than the super brugsen, anyway. hehee!

so…that’s it for now. hope you enjoy my neighborhood as much as i do! : )


every winter, the city of copenhagen floods several ice rinks for skating…here’s the one at kongens nytorv. as you can see, it’s in the shape of a circle…i think this makes for extra-good people watching, as you can just sit and watch as everyone passes by…again…and again… : ) the rink was first flooded back in december, and i thought that i might have missed out on it entirely because the weather’s been so warm lately (well, not really warm, but not cold enough for ice)…but not so! apparently the skating will be around until february…maybe i’ll get a chance to go myself sometime. ; )


looks like fun! although the very safety-conscious wear helmets…


and not everyone stays on their feet all the time…those kids on the right seemed to be doing okay…but then….


ow. that can’t feel good. i have to admit (and this is based on more than just watching this one kid do the splits) that the danes didn’t seem to be particularly good skaters…but i feel that perhaps ice skating is more of a novelty here in copenhagen than it was in say, northern minnesota, where i grew up skating every winter. but i digress.


here’s the nifty-but-temporary skate rental building, and the skate queue…


it was really fun to see all kinds of different people out skating


here’s one of the two magical mechanical boxes that keep the rink frozen during not-so-cold weather


one of the “on-ramps” to the rink…you can see how thick the ice is…


…and a few more fun skating photos. i’ve seen this particular square used for a number of other different activities in the past, including flea markets and design exhibits…it’s nice to see that it’s flexible enough to be able to accommodate ice skating, too. : ) nice use of public space, cph!

the three amigos

January 12, 2008


here’s a fun stitch of the rådhuspladsen (city hall square) that i took while i was out biking today…this is the same space in which the christmas tree lighting happened last month.  i really like the three brick towers.  i’m not sure of the name of the building on the left, but the center tower is part of the palace hotel, and the one on the right is the rådhus itself.  the fences and construction paraphernalia in the middle ground are residual from testing that was being done recently for the future metro loop line (!), which will run under the square.