Sunday, April 12, 2015

I want to kill pigeons

DR, The Danish equivalent of PBS, turned 90 the other week, and to celebrate the anniversary, they filled a good part their programming with memorable moments in TV history. I didn't watch much, but even so I kept coming across this one clip in which a famous journalist and horticulturalist suffocated a pigeon and tore off its head with his bare hands.

All that gore served a purpose, of course. The event was followed by a spiel on the humane killing of animals, but even so, the show unleashed unprecedented fury and criticism from viewers. I too, got a little upset, but mostly it left me wondering: "Why was he teaching people to kill pigeons in the first place?"

That was last week. This week, I want to kill pigeons too. In fact, I may have hung out on chat forums to learn how to get the deed done.
Turisti (1997), by Maurizio Cattelan via Perrotin

Know how it can be kind of unpleasant to hang out with people who breathe with their mouth open, chew gum really loudly or continuously sniffle rather than blow their nose once and for all? Well people, such noises are nothing compared to the incessant cooing of a pigeon!

How do I know? First hand is how I know. I have a pair nesting in the eaves gutter outside my window, and all day, every day, from 5 am till long past midnight they sit there and make that monotonous sound, which, frankly, sounds moronic and a little like a passionless couple having sex.

I've tried shooing them away, but all to no avail. They just throw me that sideways glance that birds do, and then they get on with their cooing.

Most likely there are eggs in that gutter they call home, and a part of me thinks that this could be my one chance to actually see a baby pigeon. Heck, I could even take their chicks in, raise them as my own and teach them to emit a more compelling sound.

But honestly, with work and everything, who has the time?

I'm hoping my downstairs neighbors will 'break the egg', to use some surprisingly apt mobspeak. And I'm starting to feel kind of laid-back about whether it's done humanely or not.

P.S. If you've never heard a pigeon coo, then here's a video a guy made of his pet pigeon (By the way, who keeps a pet pigeon? who?)


Sunday, April 5, 2015


Today, my dad turned 70! (But because he's in denial, we agreed that he gets to be in his late 50s for yet another decade ;)

My dad did in fact do some modeling in his younger days. But getting him to stand still in front of the camera nowadays? Oi vey!

"I'm more of a series guy," he explained and did some of his preferred poses. And so I made a portrait gif instead :)

Also my sister's dog, because what better way to end a birthday than with a furry thing taking a nap? (!!!)

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Alex Prager
I got my driver's license back in 1999 or 2000, but for some reason I never drove much. There was always someone around with more confidence to jump into the driver's seat, and in all honesty I think it suited me well.

I get nervous about traffic and high speeds. In fact, I was once pulled over in the middle of the night - lights and sirens and all - for driving too slow. I'm thinking they suspected me of (overly cautious) drunk driving, when really I was just heading home after a long night baby sitting.

In the the summer of 2002, I moved into my first apartment, had the city at my doorstep and thus didn't feel the need to drive anywhere. A few years later, I moved to NY, where cabs and subway cars fulfilled my every need.

"I don't know how to drive", I would say whenever it came up. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Every now and again my friend Maj would tell me that I ought to practice my driving. I insisted there would always be someone around to drive me those few times a year I wanted to go to IKEA. And in the event of an emergency, what good would a car do anyway? I'd call an ambulance, the police or a stranger in the street.

"You just never know," she insisted, and she was absolutely right. When the moment came and I actually did need to drive, it wasn't an emergency. And the whole point was that it wasn't me who needed to be taken to IKEA. It was someone else. Well, not to IKEA, but you get the gist.

Not surprisingly, that's exactly when I started to long for that freedom, which people with cars - or a desire to get one - so often talk about.
It always struck me a little undue to associate such a strong emotion with something so ordinary. Kind of like saying that buttered toast gives you reason to live. But when Maj eventually forced me into the driver's seat of her car and made me drive around in the very same parking lot we used to go practice in as teens, I felt it. The tease of freedom.

Andrew Bush

"I get a lot of requests from people like you," my instructor replied to my email, when I wrote and asked about taking lessons.
In the car he elaborated that by people like me he meant mostly 70-year old widows who've sat patiently in the passenger's seat for some 40 years.
(He also told me that he just got a bird costume for easter and had feathers all over his place, which really made my day.)

Helen Levitt

It went well, I think. The lesson, I mean. Nowadays they tell you to predominantly use your sideview mirrors in lieu of physically turning to look over your shoulders - a change I can really appreciate. They also teach a method called green driving, which I applaud from an environmental point of view, but less so from an habitual point of view. For better and worse, old habits die hard.

Vivian Maier

Perhaps it's due to the intimacy of a car. Perhaps it's due to my pronounced insecurity behind the wheel. Perhaps both. But sitting in that car and having a total stranger build your confidence felt a little like therapy. It completely brought me back. To being 18 and getting picked up by my driving instructor and going driving and chitchatting, all while fueling that sweet anticipation:
Soon, I can do whatever I want.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


I did some work for an artist recently, who introduced me to the work of Sheila Hicks. So gorgeous, I thought I'd share :)
Hicks in her Paris studio, preparing her Metamorphosis installation at the Palais de Tokyo

Linen Lean-To, bas-relief (1967-68), at the Met.

Via Rietveld's Design Blog. Love how they look like woven abstract expressionist paintings.

Tapestries at the Ford Foundation (1967/2014). Image by Elizabeth Lippman/NYTimes.

Hicks' journal pages via Desert Dreamer.  

Banisteriopsis II (1965-66/2010) at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Who needs Physics when we've got Chemistry?

I got all nostalgic last night and watched Francis Ford Coppola's "When Peggy Sue got married" on Netflix, and as soon as the opening credits rolled over my computer screen, I knew it was going to be a sweet reunion.

It's one of those movies I remember watching as a kid, except back then I probably missed out on most of the jokes and sassy dialogue. Case in point: The pick-up line above delivered by Nicholas Cage as heartthrob Charlie in a shimmering blazer jacket. (Oh, what one wouldn't do to be sixteen again and have the confidence to deliver that line to someone in Physics class!)

Anyway, as most kids on the blogs, I'm kind of on a feminist binge these days, in the light of which it was so thrilling to watch Kathleen Turner get transported back to her high school days and relive her senior year with all the confidence of an adult woman. Like, in the stereotypical make-out scene in Charlie's car, where Peggy Sue tries to get laid rather than the other way around, and she's met with the following reaction from Charlie:

You want to have intercourse?


What the hell is going on, Peggy Sue?

One week you say, "If you love me, you won't."

The next week you say, "If you love me, you will."

That's a guy's line!

And then when she doesn't get some, she doesn't go home to bed but goes out and gets it from the leather jacket-clad beat-poet Michael Fitzsimmons instead (!) (Only to politely decline his subsequent offer to follow him to Provo, enter a polygamous relationship and raise chickens to support his writing career.)

In general, there's just something about Kathleen Turner that's just so...I don't know, ballsy, to use a gendered term that kind of contradicts my whole point. But even in a girly, 60s dress and with a bow in her hair, she's all woman. Her voice, her body, her body language. The way she takes up space.

Although the movie ends with Peggy Sue waking up in the present day, where she gets back together with her adulterous ex-husband Charlie, her feelings and choices along the way are complicated and don't go by the straight and narrow the way movies want you to believe.

Watch it :) If nothing else for the dreamy costumes and set-designs.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

stuff I saved to my desktop this week

Jane Fonda because she looks so darn smokin'. Also, I think she's around 50 in this image, which leaves me equal parts depressed and hopeful for the future. Imagine if one could peak at 50?! Body wise I mean :)
Yves Saint Laurent's office via Habitually Chic
Yayoi Kusama just because, and also because it takes guts to so consistently stick with dots.

This bedroom/loft situation via Blood and Champagne. I'm dreaming of buying my own apartment these days. Ideally a worn out and run down place that I can renovate little by little and turn into a gem. Back in the day, when my mom and I fixed up my East Village pad, we worked non-stop for two weeks and yet felt totally energized because it was so much fun. I remember one morning specifically, where we woke up at 5 or 6 am and had to distract ourselves by going out for waffles  in order to not start working right away and annoy my downstairs neighbors. Anyway, if you know of a fixer upper, let me know, yes?

Duane Hanson's marvelous Tourists from 1988. If you aren't that familiar with Hanson, then there's a real neat overview of some of his sculptures here.

Miss Piggy is a boss.

This kitchen via SF Girl by Bay. I don't know why, but there was something so homely and familiar about the color scheme - save for the brass faucet. (I'm so fed up with brass) I figured I'd save it should I ever find that fixer upper in need of a kitchen reno :)))

In all fairness I saved this to my desktop last week, but then again is it ever too late to share a squirrel getting a back rub? Via Man Repeller - and whoever made this fine gif deserves a permanent rainbow in their backyard. As does the person who made this video.

Finally, watch this - ideally muted because I think that adds to the poetry of watching a baby elephant take a bath. I watched it on facebook this morning, and almost wept from a combination of sadness and joy*, and then noticed that it had garnered some 10 million views. And then I couldn't help but ponder what that says about human kind or the state of human kind. Why it feels so good, to watch someone feel that good....and yet we use so much energy on not making people feel good at all.

 *I just finished Amy Poehler's Yes Please, in which she says and observes a bunch of smart things, including that we need a word for the feeling of sadness and joy combined, and I absolutely agree.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


 I was looking for a photo album on my laptop, and got distracted by all the spring photos I took while living in New York. Every single year, come March, I'd find myself sitting outside at sidewalk caf├ęs wearing sun glasses and no winter coat. The bliss!

And the excitement that lingers in the air, when Spring hits! I feel all jittery at the thought of those long Spring walks I'd take all across the city (and the amount of shoes I had resoled at the shoemaker, a dark and dingy place on 9th Street, where, I suspect, shoes were mostly turned in never to be picked up again.)

It occurred to me, that it's almost 10 years ago that I packed up my bags and moved to New York. And it's almost 5 years ago that I returned to Copenhagen. Not counting the 7 or 8 months that I spent in Kenya, I've nearly been back for as long as I was away. But in terms of eventfulness and memories, those 5 years in New York feel so detailed and saturated with feelings. They're such an antithesis to my everyday rut, I sometimes get the feeling I made it all up.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lucky Peach

A couple of years ago, Johan bought me the first issue of Lucky Peach, the food journal launched by David Chang of Momofuko fame. At the time, we were obsessing a little over ramen and our imminent trip to Japan, and hence "The Ramen Issue" seemed like something we couldn't face life without. (Full disclosure: Like the true posers we are, I don't think we ever cooked a single recipe from the journal. Rather, it just sits on our bookcase somewhere, withering away).

ANYWAY! A few days ago, I worked my way down the internet rabbit hole, and suddenly found myself face to face with every single back issue of the magazine. And they're such a feast for the eye, I thought I'd share :)

By the way, if you have a fetich for Eastern/Western fusion (I don't know how else to label it....), I think you'll love hanging out here:

Saturday, January 31, 2015


There was a sliver of sun coming through the windows last weekend, so I jumped at the chance to shoot some photos of our bedroom area, which I redid the weekend before last.