The joys of media-whoring

I am not typically a reader of the Danish (tabloid-style) newspaper BT. But yesterday, I felt obligated to purchase a copy for the first (and probably only) time.

You see, my girlfriend's parents happen to be BT subscribers, which proved lucky for me, as it was they who discovered what I otherwise I would never have known - which was that in yesterday's BT issue I had been quoted extensively, though rather cryptically, in an article in BT's travel section.

Yes, it seems the good folks at BT (or at least one of their journalists, Kåre Welinder) was trolling around CNN's website and came across the interview I recently contributed about life in Copenhagen. Kåre was kind enough to write a very positive article based on a few of quotes and comments from that interview, translated into Danish - attributing them to 'den canadiske journalist Tim' ('the Canadian journalist Tim'). Nice.

A shame Kåre didn't bother to actually give my full name, or directly mention The Copenhagen Report, or drop me a line to mention he was writing the article (I promise I don't bite...even tabloid journalists) but no matter - Kåre was kind enough to suggest that the whole interview could be found on CNN's Travel webpage. I'm not entirely sure why he didn't instead quote from Connie Nielsen's slightly more high-profile and interesting interview from the same CNN page, on the same 'life in Copenhagen' theme - not that I'm complaining!

I also must admit that yesterday, for the first time in my life, I felt like a bit of a media whore, since only a few hours earlier I had finished ghost-writing an interview-article for an upcoming issue of World Finance magazine (an article about banking, that had nothing to do with life in Copenhagen...). From BT to World Finance, all in a day - talk about covering the media spectrum...

And one last personally amusing side-note. Each Monday, during one of the twice weekly 3 1/2 hour sessions of Danish lessons I subject myself to, each class member has to bring in an article from a Danish newspaper or magazine to talk about...I already know what article I'll be bringing to class this coming week...

A little surprise from've been quoted...

Summer days on Bornholm

Rønne, Bornholm from the air...

Ending up on the Danish island of Bornhorm during the summer months, and a mere 3 hours from Copenhagen - assuming no bad weather has caused the catamarans to be cancelled (more on that later) - is never a bad option, in spite of the unreliable Danish weather. So, a few simple pictures...

Rønne from the sea...

Deep blue waters straight off the rocks waters makes for a great place for a quick jump into the water at Allinge (just in front of the røgeri)

the view from Hasle...

fishermen in the Rønne harbour...

wood...and water

a visit just woudn't be complete without a bit of smoked this case from Svaneke

yep, smoked herring...

smoked fish!

Now this is a moment in Danish time. A classic and tasty Bornholm tourist dish from the Svaneke Røgeri - smoked herring, rugbrød, and some butter (and in this case a mussel on the side...)

Homemade at Svaneke: The Flødebolle (a distinctly Danish, well, Scandinavian, chocolate treat...)

Hammershus...taking you all the way back to the 13th century. Kind of.

the view from Hammershus...

The ferry ride home on a rather, ahem, blustery day is another involving cancelled catamarans, a slow ferry, small paper bags and many gagging-like noises. Thankfully, none of them were coming from us, the day of this photo.

can't bode well for a smooth ride home...

3 hours of wavey action, little paper bags and way too many unpleasant sounds...

Hmmm, what's that beer...?

Every now and then, some little and seemingly meaningless event or incident reminds you that things are always developing, and in the case of Copenhagen, generally for the better, I would say.

A recent addition at the exit gates at Copenhagen Airport is a case in point. The orange facade and clean lines of the relatively new 'Nørrebro Bryghus' bar is the first thing passengers see as they exit the airport. And this really is something notable - notable for what it isn't.

See, in years past, dear old Carlsberg would never have let such an opportunity to blast their green logo in front of a few million people, many stepping onto Danish soil for the first time, get by them. But somehow the little Nørrebro Bryhus-microbrewery outfoxed the giant, grabbing onto this prime spot. And it's more than a symbolic victory, since this really is the first 'visual of Denmark' as passengers exit customs and effectively enter Denmark.

It's also a nice allegory to the state of the beer market in Denmark, which has been thoroughly rejuvenated with the addition of piles of small breweries and tasty beers. I like it.

Friday night at Tivoli (with The Flaming Lips)

One of the best deals out there for a night of entertainment happens on a Friday night at Tivoli Gardens - the amusement park in the center of Copenhagen. Well, not just any Friday, but some of them. In case you live in Copenhagen, but under a rock, every week Tivoli hosts a Friday concert ("Fridagsrock") series, where for the price of admission you get a 'free' open air concert. And every now and then a major international act turns up - such as this past week - along with plenty of worthwhile Scandinavian names the rest of the weeks. Admittedly, not every one of them is exactly worth the price of admission, and there are times when Tivoli's lousy sound system can be problematic. But if you get yourself into the right position, and the band has decent sound guys, it can be pretty damn good.

This past Friday The Flaming Lips rolled into town and played a Friday concert at Tivoli. It was an impressive performance, to say the least, as The Flaming Lips take their stage show pretty seriously...well, sort of. Maybe seriously is the wrong word for a band that plays a nearly 2 hour show with a bunch of Teletubbies dancing along beside them. Yes, Yoshimi Battled the Pink Robots. Do you realize? Enough said.

Yoshima battles the pink robots...

Do you realize?

Så crooner vi igen!

By: Tim Anderson (

"Så crooner vi igen" ('So we crooner again') announced the sign above the bar as we sauntered into Kassen on Nørrebrogade one Wednesday night not all that long ago. As the band set up the Rhodes kyeboard, double base and drum set, we had a hunch we just might have stumbled on to something. Casting our eyes over the classic bar menu, and the classically decked out bartenders, we decided we had to pull up a bar stool and find out.

Indeed we had.

There's almost nothing better than discovering a new mid-week diversion, even if it's actually not all that new and has (presumably) been there right in front of your blissfully ignorant eyes for some time. Precisely this was what happened Wednesday night about 3 weeks ago when, rambling around Nørrebro looking for just the right place to fit our mood that evening, 'Kassen' came up as a suggestion. It was a place we had been ignoring for some years.

And what do you know, turns out Wednesday at Kassen is 'Crooner Night'.

This means a special classic menu of cocktails (you know the ones, Manhatten, Martini, Cosmopolitan, etc., etc), and, best of all, a nice little lounge band playing in the corner.

Any band that can coolly finish off their evening set of crooner classics with a casually lounge-like jazzy version of a classic-in-its-own-kind-of-way 'Eye of the Tiger', just chilled-out enough to make you want to tap your feet as you throw back one last martini, is absolutely good enough to fill a few hours on an otherwise non-descript Wednesday night in Copenhagen. You gotta love it.

'Crooner night' every Wednesday at Kassen 20.00-01.00

Just right for a Manhatten...

Cycling along the lakes...and the smell of summer

Not that long ago, anyone going for a little bicycle ride along the lakes ('Søerne') in Copenhagen, which stretch from Vesterbro, past Nørrebro and all the way over to Osterbro, was greeted by very unfriendly gates and 'no cycling' signs. It looked exactly like this:

...obviously, not everyone agreed with the message

It was one of the most nonsensical cycling restriction in Copenhagen. Not only is are the lakes a great place to cycle, but with two enormously wide paths, one running right alongside the water, the other set about a meter higher set in from the water, there is more than ample enough space for both bicycles and pedestrians. But at long last, the restrictions are being lifted and finally the path along the lakes looks as it should. There are still a couple of fences up towards Osterbro, which I assume will disappear soon (or are being left to 'slow' bicycle traffic).

no more barriers or bicycle restrictions!

An amusing thing about this (above) picture is it is precisely the sight of a campaign an adamant local has been running every morning for the past few months, putting up a banner over the (former) barrier proclaiming the path along the lakes for pedestrians, then sitting herself at a chair on a table and thereby partially blocking the small entrance in the barrier where bikes and people could go through. Apparently a protest of the coming changes to along bicycles. I used to cycle by her on my way to work every morning.

Actually, I was even once (annoyingly) stopped by a tricky police officer positioned to catch the many, many people (like me) who chose to be, ahem, civilly disobedient when going along the lakes with a bicycle...the fine never did arrive in the post.

Incidentally, a fair way to judge of how the summer is going in Copenhagen, that is, if there has really been a summer at all, is to take a stroll along the lakes ('Søerne'). A hot summer not only means algae-coated green-tinged lakes, but also results in the lakes emitting a lovely stench. And judging things by this measure, it hasn't been such a bad summer around here. Fortunately the ducks seem to like it no matter what.

the lovely green Copenhagen lakes...

Grabbing just a tiny ray of Connie Neilsen's limelight...

It's a bit frustrating that I just haven't had time these last few weeks for this blog, but as I promised, that will change soon.

In the meantime, perhaps this interview I did with CNN International about life in Copenhagen in connection with one of their shows, My City_My life could be of interest.

It's not often that you get to share the stage with Connie Neilsen, somewhat metaphorically in this case, and I certainly couldn't ask for anymore publicity for this blog than this!

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