On the Move

All moved into my new apartment:)  Or should I say, ‘Temporary Housing’ until my roommate moves out of my old address.  It’s a nice 3 bedroom place.  Huge living room:)  If I had my hoops I would hoop in here for sure! I hope my roommate takes a while to move out so I can stay here for a little bit:)  It’s like my bachelorette pad!  I even bought a cute new coffee machine that is like a Keurig but 10x better– a Tassimo!  It bews espresso and latte’s and cappuccinos’ and more:)  It’s the perfect addition to my new place!   Went grocery shopping and restocked my fridge… now on to reading 🙂  Good Night Copenhagen  

Favorite Spaces

I forgot how much I loved being a student.  I am fully back on my student schedule, which consists of staying out until the sun comes up and sleeping until it goes back down again.   In all seriousness though, I do love the freedom that comes with being back in academia.  Nothing compares to the perfect moment when you discover that cozy café to call home for weekly study sessions or relaxation time.  Knowing that you aren’t tied down with a 9-5 is also an amazing feeling.

Being a student allows you to give yourself the time you need; the time to grow—both from your studies and what you learn about life from the world around you.  I am so blessed to live in a place that gifts me with many amazing people to meet and share my story with.  Copenhagen and I think Europe in general allow a greater amount of communication with a diverse group of people… its crazy how comfortable everyone is meeting people.  This is surely the most welcoming city I’ve ever stepped foot in.

I found the cutest little café tonight.  This is the place I’ve been looking for.  I foresee many evenings spent here.  It is a nonprofit café housed in an old, charming house with large, soft sofas, fireplace and retro wallpaper.  The barista’s are all volunteer, and they send their surplus to India and Sierra Leone.

About Cafe Retro

Cafe Retro is a nonprofit café . This means that the profits from your coffee go to humanitarian projects in third world countries instead of our own pocket. The projects we are even, and that means that there is a minimum of administration and that we have a close contact with the people we support.

Cafe Retro is a creative café . This means that we besides serving coffee, nachos and beer also hold concerts three times a week, exhibiting art on our walls and regularly invites you to theme nights, knitting club, salsa lessons, music quiz and much more. The musicians play for free, and those who hires musicians also work for free. Like those who organize theme nights, teaches dance, wash the café floor, building a new bar, reading poetry, editing the website and everything else.

I love to support places like this and the atmosphere of this café couldn’t be beat.  It is perfect and it is my new home!

Sunday was another gorgeous day spent exploring.  Amy and I decided to see first hand why the Danes are so crazy about brunch.  We went to Café 22.  It was a brunch!  There was an extensive buffet to choose from, so we each ordered that and a coffee and sat and ate to our hearts delight in the Copenhagen sunshine.  It was a gorgeous day by the canal (which the Danes refer to as lakes) and I had quite an enjoyable morning with a lakeside view.  Then we biked home.  The wind was crazy today and made our bike ride quite hard, but we figured it was just the earth balancing us out for all the food we stuffed into our mouths at brunch.  After a lazy afternoon, I rode my bike to a park to read some of my book and got caught in a downpour forcing me to leave my park spot and bike the entire way home in the rain – freezing the entire ride home.  Nothing tea and a warm shower couldn’t fix however! I was warm enough in no time!  Now its off to bed, hopefully I’ll pass my Danish oral exam tomorrow!

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

Acting upon something not completely thought out might get you exactly where you want to go, but it may take a while to get there.  I’ve always enjoyed the ride however.  Acting without vision is just reacting to life.  If you have no real vision, well then how can you say that you are truly living?

I was lucky enough to have a fabulous daydream turn into my reality.  I am now living and breathing every painfully wonderful breath my dream has brought me.  The experiences I’ve had during my 3 weeks in Copenhagen haven’t been the easiest to deal with.  They are new and hurtful and I wasn’t sure how to deal with them at first.

This past weekend I experienced a life so different, a world so far from what I’m used to in America that I have been jolted back to that initial feeling I had about Denmark.  Life is just different here.  I can’t really explain it any other way.

Tonight I must have had some sort of religious experience, only because I would have never dreamed of an event like this taking place in a church.  Imagine some very relaxed electronic beats, set to colorful moving fractals and shapes and images projected across the front of a church.  A gorgeous church that was probably built before America even existed.  Imagine yourself walking down the aisles only lit by candle light, trying not to step on any of the people curled up on mattresses with blankets and pillows across the floor of the church.  Try and just take all of that in.  It was so surreal to me; I’ve never seen anything like that.  And the music!  I can’t even begin to explain how amazing the music was.  The music in Copenhagen is really drawing me in.

I sat down in an empty pew at first, and sat in awe of the images and sounds I was hearing.  The show was stunning and I found myself immediately drawn to the sights and sounds.  I was instantly hooked!  I moved along with the generous beats for about an hour, and then moved to an open mattress on the floor.  Laying down while this light and music danced around me was another unusual experience, but one that I am glad I had.

I really don’t know how else to explain the show tonight.  It wasn’t weird in any sense, but remarkable somehow.  The lights and music dancing across the front of a cathedral is just beautiful.  Kerouac one said that the only truth is music. It’s beautiful really, how music can instantly change the way things are seen.  Bringing to life again memories long forgotten or jolted back to where you were that one special summer… you know the one.

I know I will never forget tonight, and when I close my eyes and remember my first church experience in Denmark, I’ll take comfort in knowing that I made the right choice moving here…for these very experiences.

Here is a poster for this weeks show and next weeks… which I will be attending!

Listen to the language of nature

It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to, the feeling for the things themselves, for reality is more important than the feeling for pictures.

Tonight I met the most interesting man.  He was the painter I had met yesterday while leaving Christiania.  His name is Marios Orozco and I had the pleasure to sit down and chat with him for a couple of hours tonight, Monday August 20th.  Have I told you my fascination with all humans in this world?  I guess it’s more of an appreciation for all types of people.  I feel in my heart that I am supposed to be some sort of teacher.  I look at every experience as something to learn and grow from; with human interaction at the top of the pyramid.  I feel completely comfortable asking people the question, “what is your passion in life and how do you sustain it?” I usually love the responses I get from everyone, but here in Denmark I have met some very down to earth people who lead fascinating lives.  Of course I think everyone I’m meeting right now is amazing and interesting, but I’ve never lived in a place where you can meet and interact with someone from a different country practically every hour.

On to Marios.  His story is quite interesting.  As far back as he can remember he has had a paintbrush in his hand.  He was accepted to a Boston Art school, but turned it down for a better place in the world.  Denmark.  Originally from America, he moved to Denmark when he was 19 years old.  He had heard about this place called Christiania through some of his friends who appreciated the true feeling of freedom that was to be found inside the colorful Christiania.   His mother is Danish so he had known a little bit of Christiania’s background before officially moving to Denmark.  Accepting the offer to live in a friend’s house for a month while he was vacationing to another country, he moved to Christiania.  He was drawn to the place immediately and had said that it was the first place that he had ever really felt home in.  When his friend returned a month later, Marios -having no where else to go- decided to set up camp in the fields and has been living there ever since.

This was 30 years ago. What a time the 70’s and 80’s must have been in the world.  I can’t even imagine how different it must have been, just picking up and moving to a different country and calling a tent in a field your home for an unknown period of time.  Crazy.  It was a different time.

Upon moving to Christiania he fell away from his artwork and focused on music.  He was in a local band for fun, which slowly turned into him producing his own work.  He stayed in the music industry for a while, and when his health began to start failing him changed his path in life, did some soul searching and found painting again.  This was about a year ago.  He is truly talented.  Marios hasn’t painted in nearly 30 years– yet his artwork shows years of experience.  His paintings convey perfectly the unique feeling experienced when walking around Christiania.  It is very tranquil walking around the grounds, over the canals and seeing the unique, colorful houses.  He paints with oil which gives his paintings the energetic flavor of Christiania.  I kept thinking, is there any better place for an artist than the beauty found in this place?

Talking with Marios was as easy as talking to a friend not seen in a while.  You know the ones I’m talking about… they have such interesting stories and experiences to share, its amazing when you realize that this is all that one single person has experienced in this life.  Marios shared his story with me so easily I had to stop myself from asking him question upon question upon question.  Again, I wanted to get home before dark, so after he practically gave me a tour of all the work in his studio (which I wish I could have photographed more of, but I didn’t want to be snapping too many pictures) I politely excused myself, thanking him greatly for sharing his time and his story with me.  He invited me back to sit with him any time.  I will definitely take him up on his offer.  He has had only one gallery show, but I hope he has another so I can take others to see his work.  I can’t wait to go back and hear more about the history of Christiania, and what it was like growing up there.  I think ill come up with more questions for next time, but I hate that interview-y feeling.  I love when experiences are warm and personal like the conversation we had tonight.

After that I rode my bike home throughout the city.  I still can’t believe that this is my city.  This wonderful place with these astonishing people, the history found on every turn and the bike culture that I just can’t seem to get enough of – it’s still warm though I have a feeling biking in the cold is a LOT different!  It was a very pleasant evening and I am so glad I got to end my day having met this truly impressive personality.

Pictures of his work can be found on his facebook, so go ahead and take a look if you are interested.  Posted below are some of the photo’s I was able to snap of his house and his work.

The people you meet…

Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them so go out and start creating. Life is short. Live your dream and wear your passion.

This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love. All emotions are beautiful. Stop over analyzing, life is simple. When you eat, appreciate every last bite. Open your mind, arms and heart to new things and people, we are united in our differences. Ask the next person you see what their passion is and share your inspiring dream with them. Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities only come once, seize them.

 This was what I made my facebook status today and wow am I ever glad that it was.  I lived every moment fully today and I was rewarded so much by the beauty of the people in this world.  

 Lets just say today was perfect.  A short while after waking, Amy and I rode our bikes (a NEW & different way mind you) to get to the park of Copenhagen called Vesterbro, which used to be the meatpacking district in Copenhagen.  It has now changed into a hip and happening type place to be.   It was once known for its infamous red light district. Today it is one of the hippest places (this is also where I went to my new favorite bar, Jolene).  I think you can still find parts of an active red light district however.
Amy and I enjoyed our 40ish minute bike ride into the city.  We were going to a flea market.  We got a little lost, but having google maps helps a lost.  We turned around after realizing we had turned right.  Only a 2 minute detour, but

‘Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself’ — we found our way and our friends however the flea market was closed on this particular Sunday.  We decided to go to a park instead.

The short ride to Frederiksberg Park was beautiful and since we had been around that area the night before, we somewhat knew what direction we were headed.  This park is breathtaking.  I seriously don’t understand how one City can have so many beautiful places to have a picnic, or a short bike ride through.  This is the largest park I have seen in Copenhagen and it really is beautiful.  We stayed there for a better part of the afternoon, and ate the bread & dip we had been munching on from the day before.  I also had some nectarines.  YUMJ  We walked around a little bit after relaxing in the shade, and realized that the park bumps up to the Copenhagen Zoo!  Right to the elephant cage!  I got to see 3 elephants today and they just looked so happy and phant-tastic!  I then biked over to Christiania to enjoy the free concert at 6, and was greeted with some of the best experiences!

 

I met up with my friend Ina from Germany and we sat on the hill listening to the first live band.  She was an okay singer, so we decided to walk around (Christiania is actually a pretty good size place, and the houses and waterfront there are breathtakingly gorgeous.  We walked, and we came to this little bridge (which is important in my story later) we sat down by the water and just talked about the differences we’ve had from being American and German.  Now I love to people watch, and this couple came and sat down by the waters edge on a blanket and I soon realized that they were meditating.  Just right there in the sunset, amongst everyone enjoying nature and the moment they were in.  It was beautiful.  This man proceeds to take out this instrument which I find out later is a didgeridoo!  Something from Australia originally.  He plays this strange instrument so beautifully I am sitting on my rock mystified.  He plays for a little while longer and then has his picnic dinner.  I start talking with Ina again and soon realize that I have to take this moment.  I go up to this man and ask him if he would be willing to play again, since the first time was so beautiful.  He then tells me that he is not as good as his girlfriend, and directs me to the girl sitting beside him.  I introduce myself to her and she invites me to sit down on the blanket with her, and shows me how to play this didgeridoo.  It is so simple!  She offers for me to try and I practically spit into this thing but manage to mimic the sound she made pretty well.   She says im a natural and lets me keep playing on the thing.  I really wanted to hear her play however, so I soon handed it back to her.  She was really good, actually extremely good.  It was the most beautiful music I have heard in a while.  Very well played.  I thanked them for sharing their time with me, and went back to Ina so we could walk back to our bikes together (it was getting past 8 at this point). 

 

We start crossing over the bridge and as I gaze out over the water (which has been decorated with some form of art, a teacup set, a sculpture of the little mermaid, and another piece farther away) I realize there are locks locked to different parts of the bridge.  The only reason I know why this is so special is because my friend Jessica (who is also doing a 2 year Master’s program here) told me the story of how her and her boyfriend showed their commitment to each other.  Instead of a ring, or the promise of marriage, Danes commit there love to one another in a different way.  They go to a bridge (I think there are a couple of these bridges throughout Denmark) find a beautiful spot and lock the lock to the bridge.  Something is usually inscribed or written on it.  They then throw the key out into the water and lock there love together.  They can then go visit the spot where they made the commitment to each other every now and then and remember the beauty of the moment.  It really is such a beautiful promise.  That was the bridge that she locked her love to, and there were numerous other locks to be found along the way.  I looked at a couple of them, and shared this story with a German lady who had overheard my conversation with Ina. 

We had to get going, as the sun was starting to go down, Ina and I parted ways and I continued on.

 I passed by a beautiful building that was painted extremely colorful and I saw that there were some postcards for sale.  As I examined them closer I realized they were postcards of his various pieces of artwork.  I bought 5 and started a conversation with the guy, whose name is Marios Orozco.  As we got to talking we somehow got on the topic of how long he had lived in Christiania for, and he said that he has lived there for the past 30 years.  He told of how it was not always this peaceful happy place (Christiania) and how in the beginning there was a lot of hatred and hard times.  We then got to talking about his painting and he invited me inside his studio (which was his house right behind him).  I was greeted by a room covered in amazing artwork, floor and walls covered with paint, and some very relaxing music, which I later discovered he helped create and produce.  I told him that I would love to come back and take pictures of some of his work, and asked if he wouldn’t mind an informal interview so I can get to know his story.  I really am fascinated with the History of Christiania and how it has turned into the place it is today.  I got his contact information and told him I would be in touch and back later that week to look over more of his works, and see what he has to say about life in Christiania and Denmark.  Amazing really, the people here.  He invited me to stay with some of his friends and have a beer and chat then, but I had already been distracted so many times trying to get home that I had to decline.  I will be back to talk with him however, and take pictures of his work so you all can see!

I started walking out of Christiania and managed to catch the tail end of the second band playing the free show.  They were actually really good so I stopped and listened to the vibes.  Primetime Massive was the band name, and I really liked the end of their set.  I listened to 3 songs, and then walked my way to the metro finally to pick up my bike.  The bike ride home wasn’t bad, and I really have started to love biking in the city. 

 Who knew I could have such an amazing experience with people here.  They are just so open and free and willing to share their story with anyone who will listen.  This was honestly one of the most amazing nights I’ve had here in Copenhagen.  I love the goodness in the people I found today.  I love the connectedness I felt to the world.  People watching is one of my favorite things to do, and I am glad I learned something from each of the people I met today.  I can’t wait to go back and semi-interview the artist.  And I can’t wait myself to get back to the waterfront and read some Kerouac novels or Bukowski poems. 

 What a great end to the most amazing day.  I loved my mantra for the day.

 Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them.  Go out and start creating. Life is short. Live your dream and wear your passion.

I’ve been here how long already?!

and I already feel so at home… which must say something about how amazing Copenhagen is… given the circumstances of my home life right now.  Quick update on that, I am probably moving this week so it will be another stressful week and I try to repack and then unpack.

I’ve been having a great weekend!  Friday I went out with my roommate Amy and some of the friends we have made from Danish class– we had a picnic dinner and then caught the end of an awesome reggae fest beside the canal.  Then proceeded to bar hopped around Copenhagen which is so simple and easy to do and every bar seems to be just as good as the last.  I still can’t get over how the night life here really doesn’t get kickin until AFTER 1am. The bars and clubs stay open all night– usually until 6am.  It is rare for a place to close before then! Consequently, I’ve been staying out later– I was out until 4am the other night!  But it’s really easy when everyone is partying that late– Group Think at its finest!  I don’t mind enjoying the night life… it really is something here.  Saturday Amy and I took a long walk through the park to Norreport (kindof the hub of Copenhagen) and went shopping in the glass covered market there… we decided to have a semi picnic lunch and bought a loaf of fresh rosemary bread and some delish spread.  We caught the end of the Pride parade (this week it was Pride week in Denmark)  and wow the people in the parade were having a good time… the Pride party lasted all night long in Rådhuspladsen, which is the city hall sqaure.  Amy and I then sat in a park for the rest of the afternoon eating our delicious bread and enjoying the amazing weather.  After we biked home I did some laundry and such, then it was out with friends.  

Its about a 30-40 minute bike ride from my house to anywhere really in the city so we left for the night around 8… went to a jazz bar (and found out later that there was no jazz that night– HAHA) but we stayed there until around 11ish… then biked over to the old meatpacking district (YES THIS IS WHAT IT IS STILL CALLED NOW!!!)  which is now a hip area full of nightclubs and bars and such, and we were going to the bar Jolene, but when we got there around 11:30 it was really empty and nothing seemed to be going on, so we walked around and found this other bar which seemed to be pretty popular… (oh and everyone just drinks in the street here like its no big deal).  This bar had a MASSIVE crowd outside, so we went there and chatted for a while with our group… I met a girl from Spain, a girl from France, 2 girls from Germany, a couple of Americans and a girl from the UK.  we all just chatted and mingled… then around 1 we headed over to Jolenes and decided to start the party and just went in and danced… I LOVED THE MUSIC THERE… I actually went to that bar in Copenhagen when I was here last summer, I’ve always wanted to refind it!  I can’t even explain the music, its like electronic but not annoying — you just have to experience it… but then we stayed out until around 2:30 and then decided to bike home with my roommate and a new friend Georgia (who also lives here in signalhuset).  It was nice biking home with friends, I don’t think I would have done it alone… if I lived in the city maybe, but its just really dark out in Amager (where I live).  But you can see the stars and they are just beautiful!  

Me and Amy were thinking of donig a kayaking tour through the canals today, but I heard they are a little pricey and take a while… we’ve just been having such amazing weather that if I am ever going to go swimming in Copenhagen this weekend would be it haha– but Im kindof not feeling that so much today so I think we might have lunch in a park– i’ve been doing that a lot also, its so much fun! and then Christiania tonight for the free concert at 6!  A bunch of my new friends went to Malmo (Sweden) today, apparently they have a giant festival that starts this week, and goes all week!  So I might have to go during the week at some point– if im not moving.  Malmo is only like a 30 minute train ride!  Its so cool that everything is so close here.  I think i’ll also go to OctoberFest in Germany this year 🙂

 

Anyway, short update for the weekend.  I will start a job hunt this week I think before Orientation and everything starts for my Master’s classes next week– I’ve got 3 JAM PACKED days of orientation and I couldn’t be more excited about starting my classes.  One of them is Organizational and Institutional Analysis —


This course provides an advanced introduction to the theories and analyzes of media organizations and institutions and their interaction with society and culture. 
The course describes, inter alia, journalistic production processes, media market structures, public media regulation, organizations internal structure and external relations, users’ access to and experience of media, methods of empirical analysis of the media and their users etc.

AND the

Art of Sound in Cinema: course in cinematic sound studies

In this course the students will learn to critically engage with cinema sound by way of film soundtrack analysis. The course will address questions as well as aesthetic choices in the communication and cognition of sound in cinema, video and digital media in a basic level.
The classroom discussion and related theories in soundtrack analysis will deal with narrative discourses that arise from the different strategies of converging sound and moving image to make meaning. A number of relevant film soundtracks will be discussed and analyzed

 

SO EXCITING!  I Can’t wait to be back in Academia 

 

Smores

A quick update as I head off to bed…

Today was a great day!  After Danish class (which didn’t completely kick my butt– I still don’t know anything but I struggle through) some friends and I went to the beach!  It was such a lovely day to go to the beach!  Sitting in the Danish sun is definitely worth it, it is absolutely gorgeous when it isn’t hiding behind clouds!  I also am continuously fascinated that I can see Sweden from where I am.  I saw the Coast of Sweden just sitting on the beach today– and SO many windmills!  Love that daily reminder to go green:)  

We biked to the beach from campus and it was only a 15 minute bike ride, and spent all afternoon there.  I studied a little bit of danish while soaking up some rays… the sun makes everything better! Around 4 we started the bike ride back home.  I had some mail from the Bank and my telephone company over here, which stresses me out just a little because I know when I get a letter I have to put aside at least an hour to sit down and translate it and then figure out how the heck to actually do what the letter told me.  That is definitely the most frustrating part… all my bills and important things are sent to me in Danish– gah!  I ran over to bilka to get some more food, I think i’ll start making sandwich’s and bring them to campus with me.  I managed to get a pretty decent size tub of grapes for only 11 kroner, some more apples for snacking.   I picked up some rye bread for 9.50 some tomatoes and lettuce and some cheese for sandwich’s as well.  I spent 75 kroner on everything… not too bad but again, not what im used to spending for food in the grocery store.  

Then it was off with some more friends for a BBQ in the park.  A lot of the exchange students already have mentors here (I have not gotten one yet– sad face) and they take the men tee’s out so they can ask questions, get to know some Danes, and of course some Danish places.  It was quite nice.  Every little grocery store here sells a little tub of self lighting charcoal in a foil baking pan for 15 kroner.  We just pop whatever we want on top and voila!  Instant BBQ– when we arrived I saw that they were roasting marshmallows!  I immediately exclaimed Oh are you making smores?!  And was greeted with a look of confusion.  They all asked me to repeat myself and I said Smores!  you know with Hersheys?  They looked at me like I was from another planet.  They didn’t even know what a Hershey bar was!  So I explained it a little further.  You take Graham Crackers- and was stopped again– What’s a Graham cracker– like a biscuit?  I was shocked and astounded that these people had never heard of Smore’s, Hershey bars, or Graham Crackers– I felt like I was from another planet.  So after some more detailed explanation of how you usually make it around a campfire, and you smush it all together to a pile of yumminess, I finally found a wikipedia page from google and showed them each a picture and what a proper smore looks like.  Granted they were all still confused, and said that I probably wouldn’t have much luck finding graham crackers or hershey bars in Denmark — (Oh MOM!  Looks like you will have to include THAT in my care package!!)  

But seriously… the rest of the night everyone kept calling me graham, and I was just sitting there in shock that no one knew what a Smore was.  haha I am just SO american.

Also found out that no one refers to undergraduate education as ‘college’ its Uni- or University.  Also the whole Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior thing is completely lost on them.  Oh me and my American ways.  

Whatever. I’m bringing Smores to Denmark– I can’t wait til they taste a proper one… they will know why I got so crazy over how they could have never tasted one! 

Also, on my way home, I saw a girl with hoops.  Naturally I ran up to her and asked her where/how/when she made them.  I got her number and she told me that she has started a workshop where you can come make hoops, and that they have started a group that hoops in the park.

WIN FOR TODAY:)  Denmark is gonna be a happy place… all I need is Smores and Hoops apparently! 

 

Night for now:)