30 April 2015

Dear April, I am sorry

I can’t bring myself to leave April as the month with only one post. That is just too sad. Although I don’t really mind the gentrification issue taking the headline. If only I could do more, than just describe it. My next post was all set up to be about ideas for Copenhagen, but then came Paris. Five full glorious days in one of my favorite cities.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to not noticing all these things: infrastructure, bike parking, garbage solutions, urban planning, tree care... exhausting! At least noticing street art is a party, not a job. It's time to dance:

It's time to dance

Art Grove.

Confetti

Yummy confetti sprinkle detail.

Grief

This wall is an ever-changing medley.

Je suis Charlie

Traces of Charlie everywhere. So touching. Je suis Charlie.

Street art

The Pakistani art Porsche

The Pakistani art Porsche. Completely covered in Pakistani folk art, a gallery on wheels. Whoa.

Sometimes people are the art. It always feels like stealing, when I take pictures of people in the street. Temptation:

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Merci Monsieur. 

And the layers, the random yum.

Entrees

Classic Paris.

Roof forest

A roof forest. Oh.

Surviving

A tree that finds a way, through it all. My hero. Sometimes I wonder, how it took me so long to realise just how much I love trees. How happy they make me. This is true for everyone, I think: Everyone loves trees, but not everyone are aware yet. Knowing it makes it so much better.

Heavenly dogs

Trees and dogs. My idea of heaven.

And for dessert one of my favorite moments. I can't really explain why, but this just made me so happy. Pure gold.

Mosaique street repair

Maybe because someone fixed a problem in a beautiful way.

Pink mosaique

 

14 April 2015

The big bland

My neighborhood is under attack by the gentrification monster. Think of it as a sort of central suburbanization, a cursed blandness. When a bank bought a whole block down the street a few years ago, it really sped up the process. First order of business was locking down everything. Before there was an antique warehouse in the back, and you could make a shortcut through the backyard, now it is a fortress. All the street level apartments facing the lakes, were converted into a row of fancy restaurants, run by the same owner, and on the corner we got yet another Copenhagen luxury bakery. The official kiss of death.

To make matters worse, apartments are bought by parents under beneficial conditions, subletting to their offspring at a song, and twisting the playing field for everyone else. Prices are skyrocketing, and there are very few affordable apartments left to rent. I want to run down the street like the crazy woman, in a bathrobe with curlers in her hair, yelling of them all to go home, and leave us alone. Picture that.

Petrified house

Fortunately, some areas of Nørrebro have not been gentrified yet, it almost makes you grateful for the butt ugly social housing blocks. There are no fancifying those. And, if you look in the cracks, you will find that there is still resistance.

Resistance

Rantzausgade is still the real Nørrebro, where you can find free books in the street. Sharing and recycling is spreading like wildfire. We have become better at giving unwanted stuff away, swapping and making sure things are put to good use, rather than cluttering up landfills.

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Gratis bøger / Free books (in English too). 
Thrown out on Monday evening, if no one wants them.

I hope Rantzausgade won't be chewed up and spit out by the big, bland gentrification monster any time soon. We need the oxygen.

I can't breathe

I can't breathe. Solidarity with all people of colour. Roller graffiti by Satan.