PEOPLE & MOOD: It’s a new golden age in the cornucopia of Copenhagen, we are fealing it like Rome’s last fun filled days in a city filled with smart bridges, roof top gardens and cool, funky sustainable solutions -centered on pure pleasure – believe the hype. Its a green fairytale city stuffed with great festivals & food fetishists. Its like a tiny Monocle or Wallpaper installation – without the stress – run by the most beautiful, well educated and liberated folks on the planet – don’t be fooled by their seemingly cool attitude – it’s only a look. Denmark is more than vintage porn, The Bridge, The Muhammed Crises, bacon, Lars Von Trier, Blixen, HC Andersen, Vammen, Mø and all the soccer gods. And after the succes of Tivoli, Christiania and free porn in the 1960s, we decided to clone it and make the whole city into one horny minimal eco-Tivoli for adults.
Come and play with us in spring in May – and leave in September before the Kierkegaard-ish winter. Make no mistake – we are not arrogant, superficial or cold – just deep and understated. Come see understated elegant horny people roam the city’s catwalks like peacocks – radiating health, biking with bags of micro brews and well curated music playing on their B&O headsets – in contrast to a multitude of weird custom bikes playing digidub-dancehall topped by human beatboxers on dwarf trick bikes in fashion icon Vibskovs latest gear – casually high on pot, as if it was already legal. White limousines, horse-carts, old military trucks and S.U.V.s. packed with preppy-styled “Generation Horse (Ketamine)“ in ironic pastel Ralph Lauren and Yeezy gear cruise around spraying the few bums left with splashes from magnum bubbles, as they pass Japanese and Italian tourists eating gourmet grasshopper parfais and score SS-Ilse lookalike blondes in the world’s happiest almost funtex-free city.
Copenhagen is the epicenter of liberation and post-feminism – the sexes have switched roles several times throughout the last 60 years and they flirt like it’s a large outdoor latino disco filmed in soft focus, just before the clothes are torn off in the red-purple dusk. Its like life’s reality-bubble is evaporated, outdated, passé. A couple of playboys with skateboards dressed as tattooed Antwerp diamond dealers politely debate the latest trends in fonts or colour grading on the corner between secret über-designer microboutiques. The good life is almost a law here.
After the last romas are imprisoned for begging, it’s as if reason, aesthetics and pure guiltless enjoyment have finally prevailed in our airy city, and our world now is recharged with meaning and energy again – after the dark middle age of the late-postmodern tunnel. Copenhagen is EU’s own Christiana, Germany’s clitoris, where even the most marginal avant-garde ideas can have a lucrative life. Copenhagen is so safe, and over the city a discreet noise-free monitoring airship hangs permanently, after too many complaints about scary black spy helicopters.
The city’s lively natives can be divided into two main groups – the perfect people – who are insatiable and ambitious in their quest for the best – and the more zen-like mature Danes fueled by identity thru creative practices, emphatic pursuits & pure lifestyle games – sucked up in the local Nirvana-like-mindstate: hygge – and hysterical upbringing rituals – “curling-parenting”. Both groups enjoy Teslas and Christiania bikes, and meet over glasses of organic vine in shorts in public parks or on a boat. No wonder my billionaire NY friends revisit every year – Copenhagen is one of the few places in the world where ugly people can get laid in flip-flops without flashing funds – and trust me, even trust fund kids need that kind of romance sometimes. Copenhagen is so sensible the over-taxed that cars are about to be illegal and it’s almost impossible to get non-ecological food or go to a non-designer bar without a curated indie soundtrack and model staff. The last sterile barista innovator or crazy mixologist is not born yet.
One could argue that Copenhagen is a tiny dark and mystic mix of cities like Amsterdam, Hamburg and London, and provide little original twists – but the perfect balance of old low buildings and brutalist stuff like Blox make a stirring but transparent backdrop for the Copenhagen´s main course…or curse maybe ; hygge. It’s one big tastefull no stress zone. End your trip with a little golf in Dyrehaven – on mushrooms – the green is popping with psilocybin and randy Bambi´s – next to at rough version of Tivoli – Bakken and beaches. But let’s cut to the chase – we got bits from all around here – so I zoom in on the unique Copenhagen flavor here in my list of unique fail safe Copenhagen experiences:
FOOD – A never ending cornucopia of eateries pop up and close again – I return to these stable players: down to earth food is available at Bistro Boheme (french), Den røde (Danish), Sankt Annæ or Aamans (Smørrebrød at lunch), Atlas bar (hippie), Holmens best La Banchiana, Shawarma no. 1 (cheap Lebanese), Plant power food (for food monks) and Fiskebaren (fish). And don’t forget cakes at La Glacé or fantastic ice-cream at the Sicilian in Skydebanegade. Or try Lebanese reinterpretations of smørrebrød at cosy Skank. Check Noma – the mytological epicenter of new nordic relocated to a new BIG-designed location – but book your table before your flight ticket.
Hotels – smell authentic hygge via airbnb or sleep at Sanders next to the royal Theater – or at Nimb next to the horrible Tivoli – or make a safe investment in an apartment here before it reaches London levels.
Transport – central CPH is built for horsecars – you can walk or rent a bike as all the main hotspots are max 30 min. apart. Forget about cars here. Or rent a electric boat. NIGHTLIFE – forget about it – generally the music sucks and you have to stand in line with very young people – bars tend to be more friendly here. Clubs are usually about tables and bottles – find Dorsia, Arch, Lusso, Dandy and Dolores on facebook if thats your game – or Kødbyen and Chateu Motel for a younger, more relaxed “can of beer” vibe – or Mayhem, Culture Box or Loppen for “underground”. For music you have to watch out for specialist music events and festivals. Avoid theatre and local bands. Go to Cafe Malmø for the ultimate Bodega trip – ask for Ole, the owner – he will sort you out – or play pool naked. Swim in the clean habour nearby to clean your head. Take a shot more…repeat.
If you are up north visit Louisiana – its a bit Taschens-Book-ish, but nice in that dry Scandinavian way. Check out current art on kopenhagen.dk – check the fernissage page, as the Danes love to get tipsy and flirt in galleries showing collectable, but absurd art.
SHOPPING – You can get the usual arcade-semi-High end brands here, but forget about shopping your Balenciaga in Copenhagen – stick to the local minimal classics – shopping those understated puritan icons is a guiltless timeless experience and feels like buying art or having therapy – and your heirs will love you later. Illums Bolighus have the most of the classics, and in Bredgade Bruun Rasmussen sells the patinated and out of stock collectors stuff – and Jorn, Hammershøj etc. Go to Andersens for the next Olafur (he´s not really Islandic) In the center resides a true magician. The Danes hate all things fake – Botox to look cheap – so they put pride in aging with grace. If you share this point of view, book a TCM treatment at Nui – a fave for all the local divas you love from all the Nordic noir films.
My favorite walks:
Central Copenhagen tour – a posh arty design foodie route – combine boats and bikes or walk – featuring most of the aforementioned hotspots
Slum it in on the romantic pre-gentrified edges: most of the refugees are outsourced to the non-designer provinces and the poor are expelled to suburbia – but if you really must see some “autentic” folks – and be a tourist in other peoples misery – and snap some looser portraits with your Leica – go to the North West hood – squatters, radical muslims, Romas, trancers, crusties and bikers peacefully coexist here, it’s totally safe, but remember to dress down. Hipster Hellholes: checkJægersborggade, Elmegade, Istedgade, Lars Bjørnstræde, Stefansgade, Den røde plads, Nansensgade, Dronning Louises bro, Kødbyen – if you´re into dead “subcultural” lifestyle museums.
Do visit Christiania if you want to see an X-squat area turned into hippie-museum – enjoy the world class selection of hash that even takes out Holland – don’t be afraid of the masked gentlemen trading – its only for the cameras (no photos please) – choose some organic weed if you want to operate heavy equipment and wonder at the local versions of historic subcultures mating. Visit the legendary ALIS shop and ramp – ask for super-nice owner Albert. Chill out by the lake and be inspired by the non-restricted amateur-arcitects huts – Noma is around the corner if you get the munchies.
Copenhagen is still an easy place to go and snatch up fresh ideas and new partners – see you soon – for special arrangements and guides mail us here