What people will endure to get some fresh meat (on New Year's Eve)

Wandering down in the center of Copenhagen earlier today, along Købmagergade one of the main shopping streets, I was amused to see a rather lengthy queue of people outside one shop - a queue that extended some distance along the street. I assumed it was some sort of 'year-end blow-out' sale at a clothing shop, but quickly realised it was actually a line of people waiting to enter the butchers. Fair enough, it is one of Copenhagen's excellent butcher shops.

Hopefully that New Year's Eve meat wasn't sold out by the time those at the end of the queue were served. And one of the butcher's was even outside serving up glasses of bubbly for those waiting patiently outside - and enduring the winter chill.

...did somebody say 'fresh meat'?

...a little early-afternoon bubbly to ease the lengthy wait

Bankerot: Like a strange dream (including brunch)

Dark, dingy and crowded. And fully of wacky, tacky adornments. Now that's the formula for a successful cafe, wouldn't you agree? Well, alright, if you throw in excellent and affordable brunches served late into the afternoon, very reasonably priced dished served during the rest of the day, a decent selection of beers extending well beyond Carlsberg and Tuborg and plenty of cosy corners to squeeze into to, it just might be enough.

Apparently it's worked for Bankerot (on Nansensgade) which is certainly one of my favourite 'stand-by's' in Copenhagen. Maybe not the place to hang out on a sunny summer day, or for that matter any other sunny day falling something during the rest of the year, but given how relatively few of those there are anyway, it still leaves a lot of days that are just about perfectly suited for an hour or two at Bankerot.

If it was just about the food and drink, Bankerot would be just another cafe in Copenhagen (though still notable for its reasonable prices). But it's not really the food and drink that sets Bankerot apart. It's more about the ambiance.

Describing Bankerot is not unlike describing a kind of weird dream you recently had, or a strange scene from a low budget sci-fi flick. It would go something like, "so I sitting drinking a beer and there was this bear looking over my shoulder the whole time...really...then I went to the bathroom and there were all these naked people watching me taking a piss, but that was cool, along with a severed head and a strange goat man who sort of welcomed everyone into the toilets as they wandered by...". And so on.

You get the idea...maybe. If you're looking for a place to drink a beer or coffee while reading the newspaper or chatting with a friend or two, or just want to grab a simple meal, check it out.

Yes, I'm enjoying the company of this bear, uh, I mean beer!

My friends just call me Mr. Goat....

'Please flush the toilet...'

Christiania's Christmas Market

At least the Grinch(es) in Denmark who keep trying to cancel Christiania haven't managed to cancel the Christiania Christmas Market. Only a couple days left until this year's edition finishes on December 20. It's a charming market, if busy on the weekends. One that doesn't change terribly much year-to-year, but it has solved rather a few of my Christmas gift-buying problems over the years so I'm not complaining.

And if not for the gifts, head there to fill your stomach - such food, most of it pretty simple, always seems to taste better when it's the homemade kind sold at a market. Frustratingly, when I dropped by this year, it was so overwhelmingly crowded we just couldn't be bothered to squeeze ourselves around one of the tables. But no matter, crowds or not, a stop by Den Grå Hal in Christiania in December is always worthwhile.

not everything that glitters is gold...


A tale of two Danish bands...both going precisely the wrong direction

This Danish band broke up a couple years ago, and many wondered if they'd lost their minds - and just what the real story was. And many are still waiting for them to figure out that they had a f*%king good thing going and should just get it back together. Really, they're bound to figure this out themselves one day.

Swan Lee live in concert...

This Danish band broke up a few years ago, and everyone (with at least an ounce of musical taste) breathed a sigh of relief. Then they recently announced they were getting back together. What the f*%k? Why? Why?

If you don't know who they are, don't worry. Ignorance really can be bliss.

Christmas comes to Sankt Hans Torv

In all my years living in Copenhagen, until today I never noticed there was a Christmas tree market set up at Sankt Hans Torv at this time of year. The main streets of Vesterbro may be a little more festively decorated for December than Nørrebro, but it's nice to see a small sign of Christmas in this part of town...

A late-night threesome on Vesterbrogade

Tucked around a little corner of Vesterbrogade, not far from Enghavevej, lies a troika of late-night temptresses that many a late-night reveller in Copenhagen has succumbed to on one occasion or another. If you've been there once for a late night rollick, you've probably been there twice. Perhaps it last occurred during the late hours of a festively glowing December night, as each of the evenings for the next three weeks will be, following one of those infamous schnapps-and-herring-fueled Danish Christmas lunches. Maybe it capped off one of those rare Copenhagen warm summer nights in July, as the sun was rising in the east. Or a frosty night in January as early-hour cyclists bravely laid tracks in the freshly-fallen snow sprinkled over the street as they peddled their way home. Or perhaps it was some other random evening, a mid-week drinking session which would otherwise have been forced to a premature ending at the hands of one in Vesterbro that was less willing - and certainly wouldn't have you after midnight.

In any event, what is certain is that whichever of these three ladies-of-the-night it was that caught your eye, it was surely the foggy distortion of a pair of thick beer-goggles that attracted you to one or the other. Their names are Ludvigsen, Hacken Busch, and the incomparable (and still-smoke filled) Mørkbar. Lying within eyeshot of each other on Vesterbrogade, they are shameless in their overtures at these late hours. But they are also deceitful, for in truth they are three thirsty vampires who under the moonlit sky of the night want nothing less than fresh blood. And as it happens plenty are willing to oblige them. Time and again. Punters lusting after one, two, three of four final late-night barley-wurlitzers (or worse) which they can and do willingly and shamelessly provide.

And so it was last night as I left the clutches of Mistress Hackenbusch (and a half-emptied shot of noxious black Små Grå) in the wee hours of the morning and headed home to the comforts of my soft bed that I found myself thinking about this unlikely yet powerful seductive pull that these three late-night Vesterbro temptresses possess, and wondering if it really had to be like this.

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