07 January 2007

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Sort Kaffe og Vinyl

Over at Copenblogin' there's a nice review of Sort Kaffe of Vinyl my local cafe:


I'm off there now for some sweet sounds and strong coffee.


The new issue of KBH is out. It's a free magazine that writes (in Danish) about the city's development along with trends, people and culture. I love it. It manages to be very pro Copenhagen while also having an agenda and an attitude. This month an article on tower blocks caught my eye. While there are very few at the moment, rumour says a whole forest of skyscrapers is planned for the coming years. I'm not sure what to make of it.

Copenhagen lacks the iconic architecture of other cities. Yes there are beautiful buildings but it pretty much missed out on the wave of concrete icons that other cities used to raise their profiles. So these new tower blocks, or højhuse in Danish, could be seen as the city getting on the bandwagon just as the musicians are packing up their instruments. Alternatively one can see it as a sign of new confidence in the city. The city wants to be a high point in Europe and so needs some high points itself. Any thoughts?

06 January 2007

Nice blog

This is a great blog focusing on the funky Vesterbro area of Copenhagen: http://copenbloggin.blogspot.com/index.html It's well worth a visit.

Book cafes

There's been a recent and much welcome introduction of book cafes to Copenhagen. The tend to be clustered around the City, particularly Fiolstræde. I think that the first was Café Paludan and it is helping Fiolstræde transform itself into a hip area for would-be intellectuals. There's just one problem: nobody reads in these cafes.

For Danish people, cafes are meeting places. They are not places to be on your own. And that's lovely. No complaints from me about socialising with friends and family. Big thumbs up. Still I think that they are missing out on something.

Idling away a few hours in a cafe with a book is one of life's great experiences. Coffee and literature is a perfect combo. Being in a cafe means that you can pull your focus in and out, dividing your time between reading, staring into space and checking out the cafe's other guests. There's much fun to be had sneaking a peak at the other patrons' novels and passing judgement on them. I suspect that this raises the quality of everyone's literary choices.

A book cafe should encourage idlers. Yes there's a place for a grabbing a quick coffee with friends before rushing off to your next appointment. But there should also be a place for a quiet couple of hours gathering your thoughts. A good book cafe provides the space and importantly the right atmosphere for this.

There's reason why we should champion the introduction of real book cafes to Copenhagen. It would help spark a more dynamic literary scene. Those of you out there old enough to remember the glory that was the Globe Cafe in Prague will know what I'm on about. Lunatic poetry readings. Book signings. Would-be novelists scribbling. Journals started. Connections formed. Feuds started. It all helps stimulate a literary culture that this city currently lacks.

While it's not a spitting and snarling literary joint, there is one book cafe where it's acceptable to read a book. Guess what? It's not danish. The Franske Bog Café is the exception to the anti-literary book cafes of Copenhagen. It's a gem. Good coffee, relaxed atmosphere and wonderful selection of french books. For more information in Danish on Den Franske Bog Cafe: http://www.aok.dk/profile/26915


A blog about living in Copenhagen from an international perspective.