I was working on a web design project for a client in the Nordhavn region of Copenhagen. Nordhavn is the harbour area of Copenhagen and is undergoing an enormous amount of development, with new housing and businesses. It also contains the UN City building. The project required me to take some photos, so I got myself down to Nordhavn as soon as there was a bit of sunshine…
Out for lunch with my good friend Pedro at Staalvand Cafe in Brønshøj on the outskirts of Copenhagen. I took some photos of my burger and felt inspired to do an illustration.
Brønshøj beer and burgers
Staalvand Cafe is situated a few metres from Brønshøj Torv. They serve fantastic home made burgers, Nørrebro Bryghus beers (The New York Lager is to die for), the staff are friendly and polite, and all in a relaxed cafe with great atmosphere. There’s also a good wifi connection. Can’t recommend it highly enough.
Staalvand Cafe Brønshøj offers a full cafe menu
They serve other food (I think) but once you’ve tried the burgers there’s no going back. The one above is the Murder Burger, which is probably named after what it does to my arteries…
Staalvand doesn’t have a website (COUGH) but you can find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/staalvand for opening times, special offers etc.
More on Nørrebro Bryghus and their beers here.
Find Staalvand on the map below
The best way to travel in Copenhagen is by bike. If you are visiting there are a number of places you can hire you will find via Google. The vast majority of Copenhagen is covered in bike lanes making it considerably more safe than most cities, and the relative lack of hills make for great cycling. The Copenhagen bike lanes are for the most part built on their own kerb. A level above the road, with the pavement a further level above.
Cycling in Copenhagen – the rules.
1. Don’t be a tourist. Seriously, people are in a hurry on their way to stuff. The right hand side of the bike lanes, is the slow lane. Stay in it. If you are going to stop, you do an arm signal, lifting your left arm, but keeping it bent, your left hand flat and upright in a ‘stop’ gesture to signal to the cyclist behind you, you are about to stop. When you stop, unless you are about to start again, get off the bike lane.
2. Overtaking. Before pulling out to overtake, have a quick look over your left shoulder to see if anyone is close behind you, if there isn’t, overtake. The look over the shoulder is also a signal to cyclists behind you, you are about to do something. Watch the cyclists ahead of you, to see if they are about to do something.
3. Cycling two by two on the bike lane. If you do this during rush hour, don’t be surprised if cyclists coming from behind you get a bit tetchy. You will deserve it.
4. Cycling on a Christiania cycle in the snow. Get off the road, and drive your Volvo you carrot munching ecological egomaniac. You block the whole road for everyone coming from behind you and you dare to be smug about it!!
5. The Green Tuborg Game. This game is my own invention*. Green Tuborgs are cycle couriers in Copenhagen. There are a lot less of them now in the internet age, but occasionally you will spot one in the wild. They are professional cycle riders. Incredibly fit, with thighs of steel, in green Tuborg sponsored lycra, often sickingly good looking, and there to be overtaken.
What you have to do is sneak up on them unsuspectingly. They mustn’t know you are there, let alone about to race them. When they are lulled into a false sense of security, and you have your breath back, you sneak up closer and closer to their shoulder, then fly past them at full speed. A couple of hundred metres later you turn off to the right, or stop at a shop, ever so nonchalantly, safe in the knowledge, you won!
*It may be based on a Billy Connolly routine…
The Copenhagen district of Nørrebro has an enormous variety of fantastic architecture. Residential and business. The cosmopolitan mix of the district plus the relatively young average age makes a wonderfully diverse, vibrant place to be.
Hellerup is a lovely place to visit from Copenhagen. A cycle trip out on a beautiful day is a great way to spend an afternoon. Cycling from the centre of Copenhagen wouldn’t take more than a half hour.
North of Copenhagen, and adjoining the city, this is a beautiful coastal town, and one of the most expensive areas of Denmark to live. It is also known for being part of the ‘Whisky Belt’, which defines the area where the elite/wealthy live in Denmark. There is fantastic modern and classic architecture in this coastal beach resort. If you are in Copenhagen, hire yourself a bike, it’s the best way to experience the city, and build up an appetite and thirst!
Utterslev Mose in Brønshøj on the outskirts of Copenhagen is where I go every day to blow away the cob webs, get away from my computer, and get a bit of exercise. It’s a lovely natural area, a minute from my flat. Joining me are joggers, parents with kids and probably more than one designer looking for creative inspiration on a design issue. It’s remarkable how often I’ve solved a creative problem with the time, space and beauty of mother nature at her finest to inspire me.
This photo is copyright of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.
The summer exhibition at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is a retrospective of Emil Nolde’s best work. He is one of my own favourite painters and Louisiana is one of my favourite art galleries. I found it an exhilarating and inspiring experience and can highly recommend it. It is on until the 19th of October.
Here is more on the Emil Nolde exhibition from Louisiana’s own website, and here is an article I wrote on Louisiana Museum of Modern Art which includes information on getting there.
There’s an extensive and fascinating resource on Emil Nolde on Artsy.net at www.artsy.net/artist/emil-nolde
This photo is from the Artsy.net website.
Copenhagen has lots of fantastic classic and modern architecture. However the beautiful back streets of Copenhagen have a charm of their own. The combination of mixed architectural styles, tight spaces and different colours and the Scandinavian light makes for a wonderful aesthetic experience, best described as ‘hyggeligt’.