Happy Birthday Christiania!!

Another amazing day.  Copenhagen, please stop winning me over.

Days like these make me want to stand outside and scream ‘I LOVE MY LIFE’ even in the rainy, cold and incessantly windy days like today.

Today I had the pleasure of sitting in good company while sharing life stories, life experiences and thoughts about life.

Tonight I discovered an amazing new hangout, provided by Not Enough Lava Lamps at the Husets Biograf.

But back to Christiania’s birthday.  Today Christiania turned 41.  41 years ago an amazing group of people decided they were fed up with the workings of the society in which they lived and instead of just talking about it, they followed through and claimed a piece of land as their own, to form a community of like minded individuals to share moments with; to create a new way of life for themselves and their future children.

Today was a celebration.

Also contributing to all the happiness and celebration today, Christiania is finally free.  They finally secured the funds needed to officially buy the land from the government, securing Christiania’s future as a free, self governing society; a self governing society that has been functioning quite well for 41 years.

There was much to celebrate today.

Publically, Christiania’s birthday celebration was known around Copenhagen.  Found inside Christiania there was good music, a plethora of free flowers (if you wished Christiania a happy birthday at the top of your lungs) and the relaxed good vibe atmosphere that attracts Danes and tourist’s alike.

Stepping foot into Christiania I was met by a man with a guitar and his friend singing songs.  Walking along further I ran into a children’s magic show, which I stopped and viewed for a little while.  As one woman disappeared into a trunk no sooner to be replaced by a man I was offered freshly baked bread with butter by a woman who looked just as happy to be sharing her bread as I was receiving it.    I stayed for a little while longer and watched the over zealous children laugh and smile.

My friend Stef and I decided to continue on and explore the rest of the birthday celebration.  I can’t explain it.  Just good vibes to be found in every corner, people laughing, hugging, reminiscing, dancing, singing… you name it and Christiania provided the platform for many a good vibration.  Walking around Christiania is one of my favorite things to do, specifically because of the people you come across.  Everyone seems to be on the same page and will gladly take a moment or two to share their story with you.  The feeling I get when I have a ‘Christiania’ day is like no other.  It’s a magical experience.  It’s a magical place.

While walking around, many a person came up to me, wishing me a happy birthday and I was even lucky enough to receive a flower!  I lovely purple flower!  It was wonderful!  I love flowers!

After walking around and enjoying the many tunes, I decided to stop by Marios’ (the painter) to introduce stef to him.  He was of course outside painting another stunning piece of artwork.  His Greek friend who I had met preciously was also there.  Like an old friend, he ushered us in behind his iron gate and offered us seats around his table with his other friends.

I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to a 50 year old man from California.  I had the pleasure of meeting two men from Copenhagen.  I had the honor to sit and listen to them share their stories with me for at least an hour (I wasn’t keeping track of time).  How wonderful it is to consciously make the time to put myself into a situation and have conversations with people that I wouldn’t normally have.  How blessed I am to listen to another’s human experience and have them effortly listen as I share my story as well.  Every time I am granted one of these experiences I gain insights to life that I would have spent years searching for in the states. Christiania provides that mysterious platform for discourse I never would have imagined possible.

Halfway through our exchange I had the pleasure of meeting James, someone more my age and apparently a really good skater from California.  After exchanging stories with each other, Stef and I realized that we needed to head off to the filmhouse, or we would be late for our movie.  James was headed out into the city and offered to show us Christiania’s skate park.  I had no idea about this place so I took him up on his offer and I am so glad I did.

On our way to the skate park I stumbled across many bountiful baskets of flowers.  I saw a gorgeous sunflower’s yellow petals through the mass of flowers and asked the people standing around how much it would be for me to add that gorgeous part of Earth to my tiny bouquet of purple flowers.  They said all I had to do was answer a simple question.  What was today?  I replied with enthusiasm ‘Christiania’s Birthday of Course!’ and proceeded to exclaim loudly, ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTIANIA!  They handed over the gorgeous mass of yellow and as I added it to my bouquet I replied ‘tusind tak’ (a thousand thanks) and continued on my way with James to the skate park.

 

 

This inside SkatePark was quite the cool hangout.  He seemed to know most of the people as he frequently skated in Christiania.  He introduced us to some of his friends and gave us a show.  I’ve never actually been to a SkatePark or watched anyone pick up a skateboard before, so Jame’s show was quite entertaining.  He is quite good.  Skate Parks are in no need of explanation, and we were quickly off to the Huset’s Biograf to see some films.

 

This Film House is the one I have been searching for all my life.  The cosy atmosphere, the perfect amount of people, the location right in central Copenhagen, the movie posters everywhere!  What a perfect place for me!  If I were to ever own a business it would be a film house mirroring this atmosphere found at the Husets Biograf.

 

We were going to watch two films:

19:00 Școala Noastră / Our School (2011) Mona Nicoară

21:00 Être et Avoir / To be and to have (2002) Nicolas Philibert

 

I’ve never cried so much during a film before than during the first film.  And that is all I will say.  I’m thinking of using this film in further academic research of mine.  I will not say anything further as not to spoil your experience.  They both come with high recommendations from me as well as Sun Dance (so don’t just take my word that it is simply a moving picture).
The Film House was like I said, amazing and I snapped a few quick shots with my camera phone.  I apologize for the quality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
I also managed to take a list of the rest of the films’ being offered at the FilmHouse.  I will be going back again and again… this may be my newest favorite spot in Copenhagen (I swear it changes every week).

 

Stef and I chatted about the films for a little while after leaving the film house, with another classmate of ours that we met during Orientation.  We decided it was best to cycle home, after declining a bands invitation to come listen to them play (some band members were outside smoking a cigarette before their set and suggested we have a listen… on another night I might have, but I really was quite tired after being up with the workers this morning.  I apologized and immediately regretted it as I cycled away during their first song.  They had a black keys/ even jazzier feel to their style.  I was really digging it.  But I cycled home instead.
It was a nice cycle.  It finally stopped raining and surprisingly there was no wind… even on Amager.  Perfect end to a pretty perfect day.

 
The people you meet.

People you meet.

Meet You.
People.

Simple Song

I’ve moved back into my old place!  (Finally).  It’s nice being back in a kollegium and around other students.  Families are nice, but honestly I would rather hear the shouts and screams of some happy 20 year old than a screaming crying baby.  A kollegium is a much better environment.  Hopefully I will soon be getting new roommates and then the apartment won’t feel so lonely and echo all the time.  It has been nice having my own space; it will be a little weird when I have to start sharing again.  New roommates means a trip to ikea though… and I sure do LOVE ikeaJ

 It’s kinda funny.  I swear the Janitor’s (basically like the RA’s of our building—except they are in no way shape or form RA’s – more like glorified babysitters who fix our elevators, listen to our complaints and move us to different apartments when our roommate turns out to be a giant—well—you know) I swear they all huddled together before I moved back in and asked the question, ‘how can we make this up to her…?  I know!  Let’s re-do her apartment!  What American girl doesn’t love new floors!’  oh Lasse, Bent and Anders… let me describe them as best as I can for you.  Last Wednesday I met with them at their office and they told me that I would be moving back!  Bent took the stage and said, ‘now we’ve decided to re-do the entire apartment so you are getting new floors, painters and coming, and they are cleaning everything as well’ Lasse hurriedly stood up and ran across the room to get the book of floor swatches to show me which ones I would be getting, all the time making comments to Bent and Anders like, ‘I’m sure glad we didn’t tell her about the ghost at her old place’ and then turning to me with a smile.  Lasse loves to joke around.  Anders proceeds to come over and stand with his arms crossed being a typical quiet Dane and Bent proceeds to shows me the floor they have picked out.  Lasse pipes in, ‘well I would have picked an uglier color… more along the lines of puke yellow’.  Nice Lasse.  And then they all look up to me smiling, almost as if to get my approval… which is funny because I had no say in this situation.  I just get a new cleaner apartment 2.0!  ScoreJ  But in all honestly, this place needed to be re-done.  It was disgusting.  When mom and I first arrived we spent probably over 5 hours cleaning the place and when Mads finally moved out he left it a complete mess—and took all the dishes (which explains the need for a trip to ikea).  They’ve been doing construction on it all week.  I prefer the hardwood… but my room still has the hardwood floor, the new floor is a vinyl type grayish blue. 

All moved in and so happy about it!  Onto what’s new in my life.  Which isn’t much.  School takes up most of my days.  I spend the days I have class (which is only Monday, Tuesday and Thursday… or in Danish Mandag, Tirsdag and Torsdag) at the library and on campus.  I work a lot better in the library, plus it gets me out of the house and on my bicycle so I can be active.  I enjoy school.  There is a LOT of reading but honestly everything is so interesting I don’t mind it.  I’ve made some friends from classes and we go to the Student Film House (Husets Biograf) every Wednesday night to watch some interesting films for a cheap price.  30 kroner for one 40 for both.  Tonight’s theme is back to school and we are watching two movies on different schooling systems (I think one is about gypsy children and the other is about an innovative teacher from France).  It’s nice to go with other media majors, because we grab coffee after and discuss the films.  We are all such nerds! 

Even though the summer has come to a close and the weather is screaming autumn (and the Danish autumn is not what I am used to… pretty much it is gray every day.  And it rains constantly.  I saw the sun for about 5 minutes yesterday and honestly that was it) there are still things to do in Copenhagen.  Not the overwhelming amount that plagues the city during the summer, but it seems there is always an interesting art or music show to go too, and of course the museums always have rotating exhibits to keep it fresh.  I’m glad there isn’t SO much to do, because then I would feel like I was missing out because I am always studying.  It’s a good mix Copenhagen… you’ve got it down! 

But the cold already I wish would stay away a little longer.  Currently it is 13 C and it got down to 9 C the other night!  BR! 

 Off to Christiania today.  They are celebrating there 41 year anniversary with live music and fun and hygge – it will be a nice way to get out of this rainy weather

 

My Racing Thoughts

I made crepes tonight.  Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Blueberry and Strawberry.  All delicious crepes sitting in my fridge to much on for the week… my little campus treat to myself.  I think they actually turned out okay… surprisingly this whole cooking this isn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  I actually like cooking for myself!  Honestly I think it’s because I actually have the time to cook proper meals for myself now that I find joy in cooking up something yummy.  Before, when I was go-go-go every minute of the day, it was what was quick, healthy and fast and out the door.  Now I get to plan out my meals, shop for the ingredients and come home and whip up something delicious!  Also, I plan to learn Copenhagen by where the grocery stores are—HA!  But seriously, it’s a good way to find out what prices are, if every place is pretty much comparable and a good way to get to know different parts of the city.  Like I said… I enjoy getting lost on my bike here.  It’s wonderful to end up down at the beach, or in a forest, or right smack dab in the middle of the city with a giant Castle hovering over your right shoulder… the wonders of Copenhagen.  The other night some residents of Signalhuset and I went down to the forest and had a bonfire that I found out lasted until 11pm.  I left around 9 when it got dark.  I didn’t realize how much I actually missed a good bonfire.  Another thing I missed was the fact that smores aren’t included on the regular during bonfire’s… Mom’s sending me some though so hopefully I’ll get my package soon!  Then I can have a proper bonfire and everyone can actually understand my crazed need for smores.

It’s getting cold here in Copenhagen.   The weather is turning.  It’s crazy how the city reflects the changing season… everything is slowing down.  Even though I’ve only lived here for –oh- a month and a half now, I notice the streets freeing up again without as many tourists crowding them.  The kids are back in school and the family’s are back from vacation.  I myself am back in school and life is taking a more structured pace of daily routine and academics.  Autumn is in full swing and with it brings many a change.

I find myself with the strongest desire for a job.  Not just because if I don’t have an income soon I’ll be back in the states in a year, but because I miss routine.  I feel like I’m on a long vacation.  I get up a little later then what I’m used too, have lazy mornings checking and sending emails, cycle at a relaxed pace and meet my study groups and work on my academics.  Aside from my ‘lost cycling’ I don’t really do much else… and honestly I don’t know how to handle that.  I only have classes 3 days a week and I go to campus the other 2 days just to get out of the house and do something.  Who wants to stay home all day?  Not me… I want some other form of structure to my day.  I’m not complaining, having all this time dedicated to my studies is great!  It’s just not a structure I’m used too.  This is the first time in my life where I haven’t been working or had some club or extracurricular to attend.  I’m not used to having all this time on my hands!  It’s nice because I’ve been able to use my free time to get out and see the city, but still…

Living next to the beach is a nice change of scenery.  I like cycling down the pier at dusk and watch the sun set.  The clouds here are indescribable.  Every time I set my gaze towards the sky I know I will be rewarded by some incredible pink or purple or orange montage of shapes and textures.  I blame the coast happily for that.  I’ve also found a wonderful spot on Amager beach.  From the Amager beach I climb a slight hill and watch the planes land at CopenhagenAirport… I’ve practically lived next to an airport my entire life and never in my life have I found a more relaxing moment then when I cycle down beach side and watch the planes come in.  I think it’s how precise the whole process is.  The planes come in every 2 minutes and it’s just something else at dusk, when the sun is setting behind you and these massive 747’s are coming in blazing so bright and brilliant and so close if you feel that if you close your eyes you can almost touch them.  It’s just a different moment.  One that I have come to enjoy on my lazy evenings in Copenhagen.

I’m getting stronger on my bike… and also miraculously obtaining better balance somehow.  Today I was able to cycle HANDS FREE for about 5 seconds!  Now that is an accomplishment.  One handed I can cycle fine.  But Look!  No Hands for a little!  I feel like a little kid practicing my cycling hands free… I always get a few genuine laughs and smiles from other cyclists.  The wind here gives a nice resistance workout on many of my cycles, and I enjoy the challenge.  I also take it upon myself now to race the cars on my way to campus.  Most of the time they win, but someday soon I will beat one… I can just feel it!

I find myself surprised at the fact that it’s the middle of September now.  I wonder when the novelty of Copenhagen will wear off.  I think I’m slowly getting used to the fact that this is actually my home now.  It’s been weird living in this temporary housing, just because of the fact that I still don’t feel completely at home.  I have a move at some point lurking over my head and then I will finally be settled (2months later).  I do like living on my own again though, and somehow this is completely different then my undergraduate living.  I feel more domesticated somehow- something I didn’t think I would say about myself for a while.  Maybe it’s the fact that I’ll be here for 2 years.

Random musings from a Monday night.  Enjoy.

Fall is in the air

I saw a very interesting art exhibition on Friday.  It was in a small gallery, more of a room in a basement.  It was labeled ‘an interactive video installation on generation fucked-up’. It was pretty much an installation of music videos.  However I found the concept to be quite interesting.  You have two options, listen to the soundclip that correlates directly with the video, or listen to the soundtrack on an mp3 player on random so the music doesn’t necessarily sync with the images on the screen.  It was an interesting way to watch a music video.  I wouldn’t have called it art, but then again… that’s just my definition.  I watched each of the 12 videos with the songs attached to the images on the screen, and I listened to a couple songs on shuffle while moving around from screen to screen.  Even though I didn’t understand any of the Danish music playing, I still managed to get some message of the ‘fucked up’ generation.  The cinematic value of the videos made up for the fact that I couldn’t understand what I was listening to.  12 different directors created the 12 different 3-4 minute video clips and I enjoyed each of them.  I got to talk with the artist for a bit after, I didn’t realize he was the man singing on the videos.  It had been quite successful also; there was a line out the door the first day!  I’m glad the room was somewhat empty as I don’t see how more than 5 people can fit comfortably in there… HA!  Another interesting visual and another interesting person met.  Successful day.  I also biked past a tea shop called the madhatter… I will have to try this out today on my way to the coffee festival!  Fall is in the air and it is quite gorgeous… autumn is definitely my favorite season.  Godt Weekend!

September

Today was a great Sunday, after an excellent Saturday.  I successfully went flea market & second hand shopping Saturday, in the inner city of Copenhagen.  It was really nice visiting these shops.  Each shop we stepped foot in was clean, organized, and pretty popular!  I found a rain coat for 280 kroner, which yes is something I would pay new for in the states, but here in Copenhagen I found it cheap… so I was happy… it’s a nice rain coat… some of the clothes we found were ripped or falling apart.  Still it was a successful day hunting for the bargains!  I have a better idea of both the city and the prices of everything here!

Amy and I cooked a Mexican style feat in my kitchen last night.  Its super cute we ate on my floor.  I bought a cheap rug from Bilka and we dragged an end table from Amy’s old room over to my new place and we dress up the table and  sit Indian style on the rug and have a really good time eating on the floor.  On my 2 plates and 1 cup and the forks and knives I managed to take with me.  It’s kinda nice though, living the simplistic life.  Less dishes I thinkJ 

Sunday was fun, we went to the Carlsberg art gallery (when he died he left his entire personal art collection to the city if they would display it all in a museum for all to see).  Kinda cool if you ask me.  Boy the collection he has!  I could have easily spent 4 + hours in there but only spent  2ish.  Amy and I ate our lunch on the steps outside the museum, and then biked over to the Carlsberg brewery for the tour.  Which was actually really interesting, and 2 beers were included in the price.  Carlsberg actually brews a nice lager that I really enjoy.  I like the home style feeling I get from Carlsberg… it’s been around since the 1847 and J.C Jacobsen wanted so badly to be involved with the public and leave so much to them… He has a nice estate too. 

 

We caught a little bit of the art festival that we went to earlier in the week, and caught the end of a musical act that was quite good.  It was a European Regina Spektor feel. 

I got to swing on a swingset in the square.  That was fun… I haven’t been on a swing since this summer… I really miss playgrounds (yes I still go swing on swingsets every time I have the chance… you should all try it again)

 

Now I’m home researching books and class material for the start of school this weekJ  Goodnight all!

 

 

 

Read more about the history here:

http://www.visitcarlsberg.dk/HISTORY/Pages/Default.aspx