Thursday, May 5, 2011

Top Ten Life Moment

There are special places that one stumbles upon that stir something deep inside. When it is a beautiful night and there are people playing guitar on their stoop in the twilight, or an all day brunch fest on the cute street side cafe with good people watching, sometimes it can be Mid Summer Swing at Lincoln Center. The energy is better than good, everything feels calm, relaxed and happy. Charley and I were lucky enough to find ourselves in one such moment while in Copenhagen.Welcome to Nyhavn! A canal runs into the city for a length of space to allow beautiful tall ships to dock, inspiring envy and fantasy lives in which one lives on a boat and travels to all the Scandinavian countries in the summer, collecting fun people to travel with, regional booze to make late night cocktails to share with your new travel partners as they regale you with tales of far away lands. Like I said, fantasy life.... Anyways- the cobble stone street is flanked by this canal on one side, and a series of adorable restaurants and cafes on the other. All the outdoor seating is ready, even though it is still a bit cold for that. They have their heaters going and a blanket for each chair so if one chooses to sit outside, and one will choose to sit outside, one is warm and comfortable.
We rode down the street on our bikes and were immediately pulled into the scene. We wanted to drink! by the canal! and then we noticed that these cafes were not our only option! Yes! We could just pick up a six-pack and drink on the canal. Classy! Drinking outside is totes legal in Denmark.
Sitting down with our first beer on the side of the canal with loads of attractive, well dressed people walking up and down the street perfect for people watching, tall boats to our backs, and tall, attractive men to our left and right Charley turned to me and simply said "Nora, I think this is a top ten life moment. Right here, right now." I couldn't have agreed more.When the sun is shining in Copenhagen, everyone is happy!
We let go of life stresses, work, impending future life choices, and just were in the moment people. Who ate beers for lunch. I was decidedly, shall we say, drunk with happiness and also maybe regular drunk when we found our way back to our bikes. Sad to be leaving the canal, but happy to have spent the last hour there we mounted our trusty steeds and headed back to the apartment. Little did we know our plan was to be foiled! By a gallery opening! With more beer!
We rode past the gallery on our bikes, decided spur of the moment that we probably needed to go and performed a quick U-turn.
Aren't the Danes so cute. They hang out in galleries on the floor.
This painting below is a perfect representation of Charley and I. We're in a relationship.
Top Ten Life Moment, brought to you by-
Attractive people (men)
Historic Architecture
Bike Riding
AND GOOD COMPANY (Charley, of course!)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Your Blind Passenger

Hold your hand in front of your face, no really- do it. Can you see you hand clearly? All fingers there? If you were in Olafur Eliasson's Din Blinden Passager (Your Blind Passenger) you wouldn't. You might be able to find a blurry distant outline, but I wouldn't count on it.
The only museum I wanted to go to was the Arken because I had heard from my travel buddies that it was hosting an Olafur piece, and since I'm big into his work I knew I had to check it out.
We entered this box which brought us into a dark black room with a door on the other end. Once we were all inside we opened the next door- which led us into the tunnel...

The doors opened into a blinding light and fog/mist. I heard someone say as the fog envolped them that they could use some sunscreen and sunnies. Charley and I were the last ones to enter and almost at once Charley disappeared into the fog. I found myself utterly alone, which was terrifying. But only for a moment. We were in, all actuality, very close to each other but it was impossible to tell unless we spoke. It was also impossible to say where the walls were, and which in direction we were walking. Our senses were completely out of whack, totally on edge and going haywire, which was exactly the point.
(us on the outside, walking the length of the piece)
We slowly started our 90 meter journey to the other end of Eliasson's fog tunnel. Quite suddenly, and yet subtly, it came to our attention that the color was changing. We were now in a yellow tunnel instead of a white one. And then orange. For a moment, as we walked, we were plunged into total black, and emerged on the other side in this most peculiar orange that did a number on my eyes because I kept seeing flashes of pink. I felt like I was tripping. There was no way to see ahead as to what color might be next approaching. We were at the mercy of the whims of the tunnel.
The colors blended so seamlessly together it was hard to tell where one color stopped and then next began, we just knew there was something all together different. What I found fascinating is everyone I was with saw Blue and Purple, however I did not see those colors at all. Yet we were all in the same tunnel.
Because we would probably never have another chance to experience the tunnel again, before we were done at the Arken Museum we walked through it again. This time from back to front. We stumbled out the end, blinking our eyes against the natural light of the museum and crashed on the steps to recuperate from a total sensory overload-AKA top ten art piece ever.
Man, it was really special to see Olafur's work in his home country. What an amazing piece it was!

Note: I really wanted to upload a longer video (with me saying quite a few times "I feel like I'm tripping," but I was really having problems.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Charley and I have fun with words

Charles- thingerr

me-pronouced like okrrr
or prrrrducting




You know what it makes me want to do?

Charles- marry me?

me-well duh
that's already setteled
but no PEE
that's right
I went there
with an all caps lock pee

Charles-lets create a hazardous work environment with our pee

Charles-hah also, hot handy man who occasionally comes into our office to fix things died his hair this coppery blondish and it does not look good at all
not died

me-is that the hot man?
who was randomly in your office?

not the hot unexplained man
although this guy WAS equally as hot
seriously, the dye grew out so it looks like really sloppy frosted tips
it's like the peroxidey color i think?
does not suit the hot handyman

me-jeeze hot nady man
hahah nady!
i meant handy
but im SO into nady

Monday, April 25, 2011

On Olafur

I have a whole post planned about Olafur Eliasson and his amazing work at the Arken, but for now I just wanted to post this photo. Only because the second I started editing it and I saw how cool it came out I knew Blaine would cut me if I held on to it for a moment longer. This was kinda what happened within the exhibit, colors started changing. Some people saw blues and purples, and I thought it was bizarre that I didn't see them. As it turned out I did manage to capture it with my camera.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


The story of how and why I went to Copenhagen is too good, and I want to tell it correctly, so for right now I am going to leave you on the edge of your seats in wonder. I will say that I got VERY excited right after I purchased the tickets and did what anyone would do- brag on facebook. Of course some people were excited and everyone was jealous but the important thing to note is because I have the best friends in the world three people arranged their travel plans to meet me in Copenhagen. Which is a huge compliment and so flattering and amazing. Thank you friends!
One of those super cool, amazing friends was Rixa, who actually found out from the horse's mouth as she was my lovely guest during fashion week.
Charley and I met up with Rixa and her friends from Hamburg (which is only two-ish hours away making a trip to Copenhagen very easy. So easy in fact that I was surprised to learn she had never been there before!) to explore Christiania which is another one of those things that is hard to define exactly but is a kind of communal living space within Copenhagen with a small population of, for lack of a better word, hippies. There is probably a whole slew of things to say about the little town that are far more interesting than what I'm about to say, but this seems to be the number one talking point about the place- you can buy pot and its mostly tolerated by the authorities.
Whatever. So we met up and starting walking over there, but on the way we had to make a pit stop to find the Geo Cash. Which I didn't know what it was. But then I realized I misunderstood, its a Geocache. Okay- so I still didn't get what it was. I was told we were trying to find a Geocache which is a box left by some other intrepid traveler for other Geocachers to find and make their mark. Or something. It was clear I didn't get it all the way- BUT WE WERE ON A MISSION AND DAMN IT I WAS INTO IT.
So we walked down this very long road to a church at the end. The Geocache was in there, somewhere. But what does a Geocache look like? What are we looking for? Huh?
We got inside the church's entry way and according to Rixa's friend the Geocache was here. We didn't know what we were looking for and checked under surfaces, behind pamphlets, etc. BUT GUESS WHO FOUND IT!? That's right, gangsters, yours truly.
That plastic box is a Geocache. We wrote in the book (well I didn't because I'm not a Geocacher...yet) and took photos. It was then that I decided this was the coolest thing ever. But apparently you need a GPS thinger or something. So I lost interest, my phone doesn't even have photo texting much less the internet.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about Geocacheing- "Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where the geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (tupperware or similar) or ammo boxes can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value. Geocaching is often described as a "game of high-tech hide and seek," sharing many aspects with benchmarking, trigpointing, orienteering, treasure-hunting, letterboxing, and waymarking.

Geocaches are currently placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica.[1] After 10 years of activity there are over 1.3 million active geocaches published on various websites. There are over 5 million geocachers worldwide."

Neat, right?

Monday, April 18, 2011

On hygge

So I haven't been writing much lately, which is due to my non stop schedule. I'm a jet setter, didn't you know?
No, really, I owe posts on a plethora of things, so I'm going to start with my most recent adventures and work backwards, and we'll see how that goes hey?

So did you know I went to Copenhagen? Because I did and it was one of the most amazing cities I have ever visited. There is really too much to talk about in one post so its gonna get a BREAKDOWN!
Have you ever been to Denmark? In the winter? No- I haven't- but apparently its cold like woah. I mean, New York is cold, Chicago was cold, Quebec, well-we don't even have to talk about that, so I can holler at the idea of wanting to stay in and bundle up. In Denmark this is a way of life for their short winter days and braving the weather to go out is just not going to happen. From this self imposed pseudo imprisonment emerged a way of life that seems to permeate how people live year round. Its called Hygge, and defining it is impossible as there is no translation into English and not one Dane could give me a solid interpretation of it. When they talked about it they seemed to get lost in their thoughts. Trying to tack it down and give it a rigid definition is, apparently, besides the point, and also impossible. However its one of the loveliest things and I'm going to do my darnedest to get it right.
We stayed in this very adorable apartment in Copenhagen for the first couple of nights, and the woman whose apartment it was made it clear that the lit candles (it was day time) on the silver platter on the dining table were for us to use so please use them, just make sure you blow them out when you are done. So every night we used them. And sometimes also at breakfast.
It should be known that I am not really a candles kind of lady, and if you get me soap or lotion I usually re-gift that to someone else. I'm not really a girly girl in this regard, but something about doing candles while we had our mini dinner parties every night seemed right. Just like taking that five minute walk to the bakery every morning was exactly what I had to do because that fresh rye baguette made the room smell great and made our fresh eggs and cheese taste that much better. Which is almost impossible.
Then we went up North to spend two nights with Anette and Morton, Blaine's host parents from many years ago. Phenomenal does not even begin to describe the kind of hosts they were. The food they prepared for us every night was just SO GOOD. And again, there was a tray with a few candles on the table which got me to thinking, "Well is this, like, a Danish thing?" I eat up authentic local activities like candy when I travel, so I had to know- are candles on a platter a thing? So I asked.
"Well, no, not just candles, this is hygge."
And then I got schooled.
Basically it goes like this-
Hey, we're stuck at home, but lets celebrate that. You invite your neighbors, family, et cetera and have dinner together, sitting together around a table. Douse the lights and get the candles going. Eat until you're past full, drink until you are warm. We have to be home but we're making it special.
In attempting to write this post I did a little research about hygge and found this which seemed to adequately surmise the Danish inability to define hygge exactly. "Luckily, we didn't have to use near-synonyms like coziness, fellowship, security, reassurance or well-being. They just don't add up to hygge. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. "
So making dinner together with the music playing and glasses of wine is hygge.
You can't tell from this photo but every night Anette folded the napkins differently to create a little bit-o-hygge. But its not like she was trying- its just how it is. This is their lifestyle.
In writing this post I now realize how hard it is to nail down hygge and why my Danish friends had such a tricky time explaining it to me. Because it doesn't sound any different from being a good host, but it somehow is- and isn't. Its health and wealth and living life very fully. You make things comfortable and homey and welcome. You light candles and fold napkins and make sure there is always cheese to snack on. And hope that your new American friends, who eat dinner in front of their computers and grab the exact same lunch day after day in plastic take away tubs will somehow get it.