17 April 2010

mega bodega

my tongue is still burning from the hot sauce in that falafel last night. sometimes a strong dose of chili is exactly what i need, especially when combined with crunchy garbanzo goodness and juicy tomatoes... not to mention excellent company.

last night was really good. being art bums (awesome giant drawings and free beer? hell yes!), drinking white wine on bikes, getting kicked out of a bodega (um, dive bar/pub), getting stopped by the cops on my bike ("do you have red and green lights in america?") and finally making it home to crash in my soft cozy bed. we never did make it to the youth house for the cd-release party, got stuck in vesterbro instead. but that was much more than okay. in fact, it was super hyggeligt.

we started by biking through the wind to beaver projects, which isn't far from amager strand. it's the kind of gallery where you feel like you're actually allowed to be there and aren't just a hazard to their white floor and walls. the walls were covered in gigantic drawings. amazing drawings, maybe nine by nine feet square. it looked like collage but it was just ink. and maybe some paint, i'm not sure. lots of detail. easy to get lost in. christian finne, the artist, has a big ginger beard and lots of humility. we were wondering if he drew himself into his pictures but didn't find him anywhere.

detail on one of the drawings

there was so much going on, these are just little tiny fragments

rainbow-connected heads and egg people!

then there was the beer. and the strange german shots, sweeter than jägermeister. more mingling and looking at fantastical things. like jungles made out of cut-up paper complete with bejeweled parrots, for one thing. after christian yelled out THE EXHIBIT IS CLOSED FOR TODAY multiple times, we left. made a pit stop. got that wine. got on bikes and zoomed over to grotten for cheap beer that, unfortunately, was accompanied by a really bitter barmaid who threw us out of the place when she spied the rose in the ashtry. simon had chewed it up. maybe not the most polite thing to do but totally not worth kicking us out over, especially because we were really digging the music and actually buying drinks.

esther's a party dog!

bjørn and i are skeptical about something or other. i think it was the lack of sonic youth in the jukebox. and this is before any flower-mastication occurred.

simon is joyful! see the flag on the table behind him? yesterday was the queen's 70th birthday. maybe it has something to do with that.

so we crawled onward. onward to other bars. at this point it had been dark for a while, but really not that long. tivoli was all a-whirl and so were we, talking about music, love, and the world, and delighting in all sorts of things.

i like it when i feel connected to a place by knowing what's going on. it's simple but true. cycling all the way down holmbladsgade and then leaving my neighborhood for all the charms of vesterbro. passing the central station, DGI byen, halmtorvet, yes, i know this place.

when, at the end of the evening, we all parted ways after a mandatory falafel stop, i was thinking i'd just hang a right down to dybbølsgade (i still don't know how to pronounce that), roll over the bridge and be home in no time. well, it turns out i was on istedgade. after i made my turn (or was it two?), i was on vesterbrogade. how peculiar! but fine enough; vesterbrogade can get me where i want to go. except i go and go and go and finally meet a big hill. huh. there are virtually no hills in copenhagen. i'm doing something wrong. i'm headed in the direction of the zoo.

at the intersection, i pick another street. i make a right turn: they're the easiest and i needed to head south and east. no, this is not right, either. i turn around, blazing through crosswalks, and ride back up vesterbrogade. if it's not this end, it must be the other. things start looking familiar again. a tall and distant hotel shines its lights down towards me. kebab shops light the way. an unfamiliar voice calls, "excuse me!" i slow down carefully. it calls again. i say, "what?" and stop. pull my bike up onto the sidewalk, leaving the bike lane between myself and the cop car clear.

the guy driving gets out and crosses over to me. the passenger cop has his window down, just keeping an eye on things. it's not like i'm going to give them any trouble. driver cop asks me where i'm from. asks if we have red and green lights in america, and what they mean. like a child being punished with rote memorization, i give him the answers. red means stop. green means go. he asks why i chose to go at a red light. i tell him the light in the perpendicular direction was red and i figured it was safe. he asks me why i did that right when they were driving right next to me. i didn't have an answer for that one, but i told him that they're a lot nicer than american cops. he told me to stop at the red light next time.

i didn't get a ticket but since then i've been having awful traffic light karma, hitting all the yellows and reds all over the place. lots of stopping, lots of foot-to-asphalt action. i eye the people who run the lights enviously.

anyway, i took a long detour but coasted home over the bridge. there's always a tailwind coming back from the city over langebro. it's a hell of a lot nicer than the headwind on your way into town.

other things that have been catching my eye lately:

not-so-old but fantastically dilapidated bicycles.

what looks to be a very active graffiti scene in christianshavn

the backside of christiania

well, there's this big old volcano erupting in iceland that's stopping all air traffic in northern europe. all the people trying to return from/go on vacation are pissed. it would definitely be frustrating to need to travel right now and not be able to, but i think it's pretty rad that mother nature is showing us who's in charge.

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