31 December 2015

The year in pictures

I have been asking myself where the year went. What happened? The pictures bring it all back. What an utterly hellish year, this has been. Globally, locally and personally. No sugarcoating that one. It all ended with the death of the camera, perhaps to punish me for so infrequently pointing it at anything interesting.

January.

Red

Signed Redie.

Plywood decoration on one of the many constructions site fences in Copenhagen. Behind this wall a high rise in the making (Panum Institute), visible from nearly every angle of Copenhagen. This painting is breathing somehow, compared to the neutered versions found on the many metro construction sites, where artists go through a screening process and everything is neatly organized. And boring. Sorry, but it is.

February.

Poetry

Snow. At this rate, I am not sure we will see that again in Denmark. Reports of blooming cherry trees. In December?

March.

Hold that car

In a picture, the struggle to stay afloat in a world that is crumbling around you. The horror of the attacks in Paris and Copenhagen taking its toll. 

April.

Children's urban garden

From a school yard, just across the happy house. A bittersweet encounter. The human need for nature and watching things grow, is why children cut out soda bottles, strap them to a fence and plant a vertical garden with watercress.

May.

Running

For my own sanity, I need to get out of Copenhagen more. Current mood is that of one being swallowed by a whale (December speaking).

June.
Come June things picked up. Five street artists were commissioned to work on a handful of Copenhagen murals, and my camera was zigzagging between endangered trees (that we miraculously managed to save, yay!) and mad talent firing at five huge walls simultaneously.

Local street art is dying, there is so few traces left now. One of the many sad effects of gentrification. The more reason to cherish the parking guard turned stone snake, on Vesterbro.

Head of the snake

Stone snake

Mad love for this creature. Next to it another breath of fresh air. 

Copenhagen graffiti

This one made it to my selection of street art pictures, in my first solo show. On exhibit in Edinburgh, Scotland City Link Festival, earlier this year. The one I forgot to tell you about. I may have to brush up on my horn tooting skills too.

July.

July was the month where I decided to give the dating thing a shot again. Took this picture during it.

Slow down

Slow down.

Dating wasn't as bad as I remembered. It was worse.

Wild things

Wild things.

And what may be my favorite shooting moment of the year. Pregnant woman bringing home the crib.

Pregnant woman bringing home the crib

Poetry in motion.

August.

Midnight in Paris

Seine spider in Paris, by night. 

September.

Ivy heart

October.
(Camera died)

November.

Ungentrified

A rare ungentrified patch of Copenhagen, Stengade on Nørrebro. As misunderstood by my replacement camera, but in a totally acceptable way.

Skinny moon under a rescued tree

When it all sucks, the trick is to find something you love and appreciate the crap out of it. Like a skinny moon under a rescued bunker tree.

December.

Heart shaped tree!? <3

This one blew my mind: a heart shaped tree!? Oh.

That's it. Only hours left of this year, I beg of the next one to be gentle with me. With all of us.


 

20 December 2015

I salute thee

This week, my scarf escaped both my bike basket and my attention, and behind me I heard “lady, lady!” (in English). A man came running after me with my precious scarf. So sweet. The next day, as I was taking a really shitty picture with my backup camera (yes, my camera died on me, hence the lacking updates), my bike fell over. A man stopped to help me. A foreigner, as well. Today, I was at the flea market with my Italian friend, and when I got home with all the horribly heavy stuff, my downstairs neighbors, the sweetest couple from Poland, carried it up to my door. Like they have the last three times.

It was then I fully realised how I would not want to live in a city, or even a country, with no foreigners. They just make everything better. 



18 December 2015

Mission Maple Tree

While it is fair to call me a tardy blogger, I have been a really busy treehugger, with Red Byens Træer (Save the Urban Trees). Yesterday was a milestone for the citizens tree movement in Copenhagen. A sign of a new kind of democracy, with citizens leading by example.

Two weeks ago we learned that nine trees were about to be cut down in a park, for yet another metro line. Red Byens Træer contacted the Metro Company to see if any could be moved. Something that the city is reluctant to try and do not believe will work for big trees, despite evidence to the contrary. We met at the park, where a heartbreaking eight trees could not be saved. Some were simply too big to move, others were entangled in stupid floor lamps. What kind of moron deliberately place electric wiring in the root zone of a tree? Ugh!

The only tree that could be saved was a tall and beautiful 20 year old ash, that we at the time mistook for a maple tree, and that later initiated Mission Maple Tree (Mission Ahorn). 


The tree made the front page of a widely distributed local paper, with a plea for adoption, but there were no takers. The Metro Company handed us a deadline: Friday at 11AM it goes. That was last week. The night before my favorite park manager, allowed us to plant the tree on city soil in Fælledparken, but the city would not pay for the move. A nervewrecking twenty minutes before felling time, we managed to delay the deadline until Monday, leaving us the weekend to flash-crowdfund the move. By Saturday the citizens had pulled together and funded the move at 7500 DKR, expecting to save the tree before the deadline. 


Summer version by Google. Alle the trees in front and to the right are gone. Precious canopy cover lost.

Just as we thought we were home free, came the chock: a ramp needed to be built, and it was not, as we were misinformed, included in the moving cost. The Metro Company, missing the huge PR moment completely, would not assist us in any way. Best they could do, was to postpone felling one last time.

In another two days, we amazingly managed to raise the same amount again, to buy six tonnes of gravel, and the assistance of a paving and gardening company. Putting up signs, planning for the ramp, booking, coordinating, blocking parking spaces, everything had to work out, or we would lose the tree. And like magic, it did. Here is the big day in pictures:








Apart from that fence from hell, with everything properly coordinated, the move itself was smooth. Until we hit the streets, and had forgotten to factor in the low hanging Christmas decorations... The moving truck found a way out, but at Østerbro's busiest intersection we were sabotaged.


In black and white because: drama.

The amazing gardener, refusing to be beaten, jumped out of the truck, ran into the intersection and climbed the tree. Along with the treemover, they gently tied the crown down, and managed to just slip under the wire. Not a single honk from drivers, despite blocking the street for several lightcycles. Pretty cool, Copenhagen.


By some miracle I had chosen the right contractor for the assignment. Who else would have gone to this length? I am so grateful. Shortly after, we reached the destination. 


The damages were controlled.


And the tree lovered into its new home.




 Mission accomplished!

All that remains now, is to see how it handles the move. If it goes well, the city is... urged to admit, this could be a viable alternative to the senseless fellings. My dream is to create an urban forest of rescued Copenhagen trees. All with their own story, on a big map. Fingers crossed for the beautiful ash. I know it is a survivor. You can just tell.

Links:
Save the Urban Trees, blog (Red Byens Træer translated into English)