Friday, September 22, 2017

wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen

Is smørrebrød really a sandwich if it only has one slice of bread, and you eat it with a knife and fork?
Thanks to my Uncle Jim (who also famously made us all sing "California, Here I Come" the first time I rode over the Golden Gate Bridge), I've got Danny Kaye in my ear.
 Here's Hans Christian Andersen, to get that out of the way.
I felt like wandering around, to get the feel of the city, so I headed for Norreport and the King's Garden, which for hundreds of years really was just for royalty. Stroll and pretend you're a member of the Danish royal family.
This castle and the gardens were built in the 17th century. The gardens are full of fruit trees. A giggling group of 20 somethings was munching on fruit as they left. I smiled at them, and a young woman ran up to hand me a giant quince.
 Rosenborg Castle is pretty sweet too. It was named for the King's horses.
Afterward, I checked out Torvehallerne, which is the gourmet ghetto, only with bicycles. Like the Ferry Building but much much cooler.


 You can buy anything you want. Jackfruit, salteñas, sea urchins.

These people are good at marketing. The Danes never just sell a product: they sell a lifestyle.

 Choices, choices.

It was bicycle rush hour. Stay in your lane takes on a completely new meaning.
Don't drive into the canal.
Not an ugly town.

This is the circular bridge by Olafur Eliasson. I first discovered his work at an amazing show at SF MoMA. (We'll come back to it later.)

I treated myself to the season opener by the Royal Danish Orchestra, the oldest orchestra in the world.
They perform in the world's most expensive opera house.
Based on tonight's performance, it was worth every penny.
Here's the program: from Mahler to Strauss to Tchaikovsky's 5th symphony.
Birger told me the giant balls are designed by Olafur Eliasson. 
Of course they are.
To emphasize how safe Copenhagen is, here's where you leave your coat. Hanging up, like you're at a friend's house. Hundreds of bicycles are left outside on the street. Unlocked. I wish I lived in a city that safe.

My biggest complaint on this trip is the number of people who smoke. It's especially bad among young Danes. I had a pretty bad allergy attack and remembered that before the smoking ban, I couldn't go to bars. This pack costs $7.

Strolling back to my apartment after the concert, I found the circular bridge lit up.
 It's pretty cool. And unlike earlier, you could look at it without getting run over by a bicycle.
Across the river, the new royal library is illuminated too. It's known as the Black Diamond.
 Everything is illuminated.
When I got back, I climbed the 5-1/2 flights of stairs (!) almost without huffing and puffing.
Birger: Have you heard of hygge?
He was surprised.