Saturday, July 31, 2010

pretty yet weird


Don't you agree? I mean, I can only agree that multi-colored flowers all abloom like this is an awfully pretty sight. But it's weeeeeiiiiird too, right?

ladies' man


We also caught up with Johan of London (along with his female entourage!) who had gone all 80s with the sleeves of his jacket scrunched up just so!

And now I'm in London!

And while Johan and I sat and had tea,

who suddenly passed by, but Marie!

(Hey, did you notice the rhymin'? Children's book worthy no?)

While I've been gone...

...my beloved grandfather wound up in hospital, for reasons the doctors are still not sure. Good news is that he's back home with my grandmother and feeling well again:O)

...I was invited out to lunch by my dad and had one of the most delicious salads I've ever been served, all whilst looking over a beautifully sun-lit canal.


Dad had Norwegian lobster carpaccio.

...I was invited to Johan's mother's birthday where we had homemade ice cream and raspberries for dessert - yum!

...I had a chocolate cake made by Johan's friend Heidi. Half for lunch. Half for after-dinner-dessert.

...I ate some yummy salads and some gorgeous grilled corn that Johan cooked and prepared for us.


And of course I did many more things, such as hang out with my bestest Maj, whom I feel so relaxed with, I plain forgot to take photos!

Kakor


So uhm, when did I last forget about blogging for something close to a week?

Monday, July 26, 2010

James Franco. and punch. in the gut

After reading New York Magazine's mind boggling cover story on James Franco, I couldn't resist watching this General Hospital clip on Gawker, which in turn made me youtube for a cover of Mad World, which finally led me to this Gary Jules performance/Michel Gondry video.

P.S. I was about to caption this post 'Mad World' but realize I might wanna try and tune down my teenagey misery that is currently making me one erratic blogger. But seriously, you get up at five in the morning because of restless legs, go online, and this image greets you. (From Gawker, via AP)

After that, how cannot every grain of your body ache and yearn for that little beautiful and amazing sliver of an island?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

speedecorating

Yup. We've done some fast and furious decorating at Johan's place - just enough to make us feel at home, and not more than what can be removed and packed up again within one day. That was the idea, at least.

My sweet granny had some beautiful wooden furniture of the 'Danish Modern' variety, which we were forced to pack into the basement when she passed away, but yesterday Johan and I drove out to my dad's, packed it all up in my sister's car, took it home, gave it a well-deserved oil-polish, and finally spruced it up with pounds upon pounds of flashy-arty-coffee-table-books

I admit it looks a bit faux, but right now, books are pretty much the sole decorative artifacts we posses, as everything else is in a container somewhere en route across the Atlantic.

Strange, when you think of it. All your little nicknacks and shoes and odd pieces of furniture trying to catch up with you.

I don't know if I'm making this up, but I seem to believe having heard a story of way back when, when traveling by train was a novelty, and some skeptics suggested that traveling at such high speeds could make you crazy - as in genuinely mad or insane.

There's a little part of me that wonders if part of my confusion from moving from New York to Copenhagen and possibly London stems from the fact that it just went about too quickly. Not counting all the time I've spent mentally preparing to move, I guess you could say it only took me 8 hours to go from New York to Copenhagen. I mean, go for an eight hour drive, and what you'll find at your destination probably wont feel as insanely different from what you left.

But NY-CPH? Jeez. You know, here in Denmark, people speak an entirely different language (and I who adooooore the Americans' unceremonius play with language and especially the New Yorkers for their ruthless economizing with the spoken word. No one can say 'fuck' quite like them). Two coffees will cost you the equivalent of 10 bucks plus. And stores close at 6.30. Very superficial things to notice, I realize, but honestly, when you think of the little rituals that make home feel like home, it actually is kind of strange to suddenly not practice them anylonger.

Listen to me spinning my own little philosophies.

I'll let you in on a little secret though. I think my constant jabbering about moving is really just an attempt to justify that I feel my world has gone topsy-turvy and hence why I behave a little weirdly these days. Hope you can bear with my confusion for a little longer. And if not, buy me a ticket to a war-zone. That will teach me to worry and appreciate the really important things in life, I'm sure:O)

wood


I don't know if I've really managed to capture it with my camera, but for some reason, dishes tend to appear very minimalist and beautiful on Johan's wooden dining table. Had I been served this on my 60s diner-style dining table in New York, I don't think I would have ooo'ed and ah'ed quite as much.

windy


Can you believe how cool this little gimmick is? I saw the poor windblown fella today on Strøget, the pedestrian shopping street in central Copenhagen, and looking at the image now, I sorely regret that I didn't throw him a dime.

Next time.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Alice Neel: Painted Truths

A bit more than a year ago I was first introduced to the work of the late American painter Alice Neel (1900-1984) when David Zwirner hosted a huge solo exhibition of her magnificent portraits. So when I found that Whitechapel Gallery was hosting a large show of her work, I insisted that "Johan of London" and I go.

And fuck me am I happy that we did, cos there were so many entrancing portraits that weren't included in the show at Zwirner's (or maybe they were, and I just can't remember, heh!). I was particularly smitten with her portrait of Andy Warhol, an artist whose myth I looooved when I was a semi-angsty teen, but tend to looooathe these days for reasons I'm too lazy to decipher. But this portrait was a welcome and spicy variation of Billy Name's gritty black and white photos, and it actually made me retumble in love with the man all over again. (Just to clarify, when it comes to loving and loathing, I'm merely talking about the 'image' and 'narrative' of Warhol and his scene, and not his work per se, much of which I find very brilliant).

(Alice Neel's son Hartley)

Oh darn it. See what I just did? I totally let a man steel the thunder of one magnificent woman, which it was supposed to be all about.

I fear that's very symptomatic actually. When it comes to discussing male artists, the artist becomes the work and vice versa - one inseparable unity (although, when rereading this post, I realized I just claimed otherwise...). And when we discuss female artists, the subject matter of their work becomes the focus of the discussion rather than the artist's persona. A crude generalization, I know, and not necessarily a bad thing, but isn't there some truth to it all the same? The male artist's myth remains fascinating and informs the art work, but unless the female artist is a Tracy Emin like suicidal-character on collision course with life, then we don't discuss her all that much.

(Linda Nochlin and her daughter)

Hmmm....feel free to correct me, cos I'm not at all certain this is true.

(Neel herself. Painted at age 80, I guess.)

GB

bipartite

My mamma has fetisch for pretty and unusual doors, and once went about in New York shooting the particularly beautiful ones she could find.


This little East London duo is kind of pretty too though, ain't it? Unfortunately there was was a light pole and a row of parked cars blocking my view when I tried to shoot. Hence the peculiar angle.

Candy Store. Danish.

Friday Trivia


Christianshavn is surprisingly full of climbing rose bushes. Just though you should know;O)

Tabaimo




Tabaimo at Parasol Unit.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

globetrotting & domesticating

Yesterday I reunited with Johan who returned from New York after having fixed and prepared the last bits for our subtenants to move in. I kind of hope they will notice how much work we put into it, except they seemed so lovably happy with the place as it was that my promise to repaint and redo some stuff before their moving in was a bit unnecessary. (By the way, I don't think I ever told you, but the first person that came to see the apartment was the one that took it, and she actually did so within twenty minutes:O)

So now we're camping out at Johan's apartment in the area Christianshavn in Copenhagen - one of the most idyllic places in summery Denmark if you ask me. When we went for a walk last night, all the people were lounging and eating dinner on their boats and houseboats, and those without vessels were BBQ'ing and drinking bear on the quay. (Some ate pizza out of cardboard boxes, but that's just a less nice image ain't it?).

If you're wondering what I'm doing here, or overall wondering what the heck I'm doing, I honestly don't blame you - I'm currently trying to figure it out myself. The meltdown that made me buy and eat a cupcake the other night, wasn't merely due to the heat you see, but also London as such, which I found to be a city that didn't feel that much like home. Friends have warned me of this time and time again, as has my own mother, who may have been the one most upset by my leaving New York. "Are you really sure you're going to move?", she asked a couple of days before I departed.

On top of that, I guess I've been spoiled rotten by living in such a good place for a long while. As my friend David said: "Of all the places in the world, most people will probably want to live in New York. And of all the neighborhoods, a good share of them will go for the East Village. And of all the blocks, they'd be likely to fall for yours. And of all apartments, you have the best." - so sweet!

This is not to say that living in London wouldn't be great. I'm sure it is. But I'm thinking if the transition New York-London may be a bit too much at the moment. Leaving home and moving to a new city always involves blood, sweat and tears - that's a part of the bargain, I know. I just can't figure if London with it's high rents, low pay, boundless size and fickle charm will be a bit too costly for us at the moment. If it will feel like a bit too much of a struggle to go from something that felt close to perfect to something that really requires a massive effort before it will feel perfect.

In that regard, Copenhagen suddenly feels like a pretty appealing alternative. There is a potential home here, you see. And not just any potential home, but Johan's gorgeous loft apartment, which it appears we can stay in if we would like to. I mean, how spoiled are we? Plus, last night Johan have me a carte blanche to decorate it. To me, that equals being handed a million bucks, no strings attached.

I guess there's no need to make a decision today. Or tomorrow for that matter. But in any case, as you can see it's a bit empty at the moment, and being the domesticators that we are (oh, alright, so I admit I'm the one who's a total nester!), I realize we're also going to go a bit loony if we don't decide soon. 'Cos I'm telling you, living as ascetic as this, without all your bits and bobbins, kind of just confuses me.

But by god is it a great apartment. In a great neighborhood. Close to great people.

You know what, I think my problem is this: I'm OK with having left New York, cos I've left it still being home with most of my stuff in the apartment and it doesn't have to be forever, so no harm done. And I'm OK with London and I'm OK with Copenhagen. In fact, I'm kind of excited about both ideas. I just can't figure which alternative would be the best for us, if not in the long run, then at least for the next year.

But seriously, Copenhagen? Whodathunk? Least of all my parents, I think.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Complaints Board: Case #1 Against Air Travel

I finally succeeded in using my hard-earned Euro-Bonus points yesterday when traveling from London to Copenhagen, and thus found myself in the 'Economy Extra' section of Scandinavian Airlines' afternoon flight out of Heathrow - something I would otherwise never dream of paying for. Anyhow, as I was sitting there in my seat with extra-leg space and wide armrest, doing my best to conceal my fear of flying by feigning sleep, the purser stepped up and offered me nuts and something to drink.

"No thank you, I'm good", I answered as polite as I could. And I know for a fact that I'm always extra polite with air hostesses as I've heard my own mother complain many a time about silly passengers mistaking her for a teenage waitress.

"Ok, so you're having nothing?" she asked, rolling her eyes as if I were an obstinate child refusing to eat my dinner.

"No, I'm really good, thanks", I said.

"Well I have a lot of things and it's a long flight", she continued. "You get thirsty".

"That's really sweet of you," I said touching her arm gently as to emphasize that I appreciated her concern. "But I just got a bottle of water".

But she didn't even stop there. She continued, damn it!

"Oh Ok, I see, so you have your own water", she said. And then looked at her colleague and said: "She's not having anything".

I'm telling you I got angry! I almost felt like standing up and informing her that I'm about to turn TWENTYNINEYEARSOLD and that for the last TWENTYEIGHT of them, I've been pretty much able to inform the world if I'm thirsty if not deal with it myself.

"Hey lady! Do I look like an unaccompanied minor or something?! Do I have one those plastic zip-lock bags with my name and ticket hanging around my neck?! Did it occur to you that I brought my own plastic bottle of water so I could skip drinking from a disposable plastic cup and make up just a little for the gigantic carbon footprint we're currently rubbing into mother nature's face?"

But of course I didn't say that. Instead I just kept smiling and went back to feigning sleep.

P.S. If you think she was merely being nice, you can think again. And here's how I know. 1) She had a weird haircut - kind of like a buzz cut one one side and something long and bleached combed over to the other side. Such dos go well with people under 25 but not with air pursers pushing 50. 2) She spoke in a most affected manner, sexing up her announcements with these loooooong draaaaawwwwls and moans: "Uuuhhmm, Boooaarding Compleeeted". 3) When she introduced herself and the crew she said: "We'll be landing in.....Let me just look at my papers...< long silence > Well, that looks just fine. That just looks fine.....Our flight today is 1 hour and 25 minutes."

See what I mean?!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

For my upcoming birthday, I would like a Horton Plains Slender Loris

I'm sure this little fella has wound up on many a blog these past few days, and no wonder, cos isn't it just cute to the point of edibility? Admittedly I didn't get what all the fuss was about at first - I thought it was a lemur, which, albeit cute ain't that much out of the ordinary. But as you've already figured, it actually is a big deal. As a matter of fact, the little tootie that goes by the not so idiomatic name of the Horton Plains Slender Loris was thought to be extinct, and what's more, apparently this is the first time it was ever caught in a photo - in Sri Lanka, where it resides.


meltdown

I absolutely loathe cupcakes. They're much too sweet and buttery for my taste.

As thinks Marie. Which is why it was all the more bizarre that we each chose a cupcake for dessert last night. You can even see how nauseated she is right?

Not that Johan's choice was that much more sensible. He went for a gingerbread man - I mean, who does that in July?