April 29, 2010

Copenhagen

Since I'm sure most of you were all freakin' the hell out wondering where my post about Copenhagen was - here it is finally. Settle down.

My special lady and I went to visit her brother, his girlfriend, and their daughter who live in a nice centrally located part of Copenhagen. Right on the corner near their condo was an intersection of bike paths with a digital counter of passing riders. Even in February on a weekday it read 800 or more by dinnertime. Cycling culture there is the exact opposite of cycling culture here in the states - simple as that.

At any time of day it looked like this -
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Here is the Post Office vehicle parking lot -
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And here is my special lady getting aggressively hugged by her brother outside a train station. Every station looked like this -
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So bikes everywhere.

Just like in Berlin, we tried to eat as much different types of food as possible. One highlight was a "traditional" Danish lunch prepared by my bro-in-law Ryan and his girlfriend Karin (who by the way sings for the awesome post-punk band THE BEATITUDE - check them out) -
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Every bite more or less is supposed to be followed by a shot of bitters and a pilsner chaser. We did what we were supposed to. You end up tanked just in time for cocktail hour, and there's a whole ceremony for dinner too. The Danes like their booze. And I like the Danes for it.
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A big highlight of our visit was a night in CHRISTIANIA - truly an amazing place full of punks and artists and anyone else of all ages making a conscience decision to live as "grid-free" as possible. Totally functional and self-sufficient, we were jealous of the commitment.
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We ate at a generator run vegan restaurant that simply had HOT MEAL or HOT MEAL WITH BREAD on the menu. Believe me, it didn't matter what the meal was, you wanted it because it was guaranteed to be amazing.
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Also on the grounds of the former base was the CHRISTIANIA BIKES factory. Unbelievably, this small factory, run by punks as far as I could tell, has an almost 25% marketshare in Denmark right now meaning 1 in 4 new bikes is probably one of these. Considering that after taxes a Corolla costs 60 grand, many people and families choose these as the household car. They are awesome bikes for sure -
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We also paid a visit to VELORBIS down the street from the condo. Ken, one of the founding co-partners gave us a nice tour and let us ride some bikes. He's more passionate about these types of bikes than anyone I've ever met and it shows.
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These are true to the letter city bikes based off the original plans from Nottingham RALEIGHS and they are tough as hell but smooth like a room temperature Pudding Pop. Very cool.
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Finally, we saw some castles -
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Viking ships -
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And the Cathedral where every single Danish King is buried - they were in tombs, the walls, and the floors. Pretty awesome building materials I guess.
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At any rate, Copenhagen is an eye opening experience to a country that does just about everything right and the people are happy and beautiful and healthy as a result. Seeing that and then landing in Newark, New Jersey was like getting kicked in the head. Newark is a sweaty nutsack.

4 comments:

GetRad said...

Your finale words made me chuckle. Thanks!

jc luddite said...

your best post ever.

why does America insist on rotting in it's own swill?

zach-bloomington said...

Epic post & awesome pictures!

Anonymous said...

I have been using my Christiania trailer (100kg capacity) for nearly 4 years now. It is simply brilliant, and finding out that it came from a punk commune justs make me happier.