Monday, March 30, 2009

Touristy Pictures of København K (1)

Crocuses blooming in Kongens Have—View northwest towards Rosenborg Slot (29 March 2009)

It was reasonably sunny yesterday, so it was a good day to play the domestic tourist at one of København's most popular (and often photographed) destinations, Kongens Have (The King's Garden) and Rosenborg Slot (Rosenborg Castle), located in the central København. In the picturesque garden, also known as Rosenborg Have (Rosenborg Castle Garden), an expansive swath of violet and white Dutch crocuses (Crocus vernus vernus and Crocus vernus albiflorus, respectively) was in bloom. The castle, off in the distance here, is no longer a royal residence, but a historic artifact housing a museum of Danish (royal) culture. On a weekend day like this, even one with intermittent clouds, rest assured most Danes would rather be outside in the Have taking in fresh air and sunlight, not coooped up in the Slot looking at paintings and crown jewels. A good day to explore the Slot—from the outside.
Rosenbog Slot, a couple more views (29 March 2009)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nosing around Nørrebro (11)

"Guldskat" by Ejgil Westergaard (1990)—View northeast on Sjællandsgade (22 March 2009)

Same sculpture—View southwest on Sjællandsgade (22 March 2009)

The subject and title of "Guldskat" (Golden Treasure, 1990), by Ejgil Westergaard, come from a fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen. The granite sculpture can be found in front of the Københavns Kommune Sundhedsforvaltningens kontoret (Health Care Administration offices) at Sjællandsgade 40 (Krakskort: 138 C 7).

By the way, an extensive compilation of Andersen's works, including Guldskat, translated into English by Jean Hersholt, can be found at The Complete Andersen; this is just a part of the scholarly and attractive Hans Christian Andersen Center web site maintained by the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Southern Denmark. In addition to the works, an extensive, searchable library of research papers, many in English or English translation, can be accessed on-line, as well as related images and other material.

Also, a nice web site with a list of Copenhagen "monumenter" is located at Non-Danish readers can get the site in English.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nosing around Nørrebro (10)

Mural on Møllegade—View northeast along east side of Møllegade (22 March 2009)

This is one of an ensemble of three abstract blue and white murals facing each other on buildings adjacent to the Jewish cemetery on Møllegade, which occupies most of the east side block between Nørrebrogade and Guldbergsgade. This is the only one with a clear southern aspect, hence the one best positioned to be enhanced by direct sunlight this time of year.

Nosing around Nørrebro (9)

Cyclist mural overlooking Fakta store on corner of Ravnsborggade and Nørrebrogade—View east along north side of Nørrebrogade (22 March 2009)

Typical København weather: after 4 sunny workdays in a row, a chill overcast had set in by Saturday morning, and I had to wait through most of the weekend for some sunlight to fall on this whimsical exterior wall painting I'd been planning to photograph for weeks. Although one has to adapt to a certain degree to the prevailing atmosphere here, I really felt this piece would look better (in my unskilled hands) with some direct light on it. Finally, around 2 PM on Sunday afternoon, most of the clouds went away for an hour or so, the sun angled sufficiently to the west, and I got busy with my camera.

Cyclist mural, a bit closer (22 March 2009)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Railroad Zen

Sitting with Hui Tzu under a willow tree in the artificial island of his garden, meditating on the pathways between delusions of waking and dreaming, Chuang Tzu was struck by the realization that they might be engineers driving a train between Rock Island and Blue Island. It was their habit to while away hours in pleasant philosophical discussions, and at this moment they were occupied with the nature of time, trying to understand in particular whether awareness of its passage was an inherent property of consciousness, and whether its apparent directionality was an illusion that could be dispensed with. Their exchanges took the form of thought experiments, as rapidly and briefly stated as they could manage.

“If we could reverse time,” said Hui, “we would experience our memories as premonitions, and vice versa.”

“If time were circular,” Chuang proposed, “memory and premonition would be identical, regardless of its direction.”

“By the way,” Hui said, interrupting the discussion, “how far are we from our destination?”

“Which way are we going?” asked Chuang. There was a pause while Hui considered his answer.

“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “We are free.”

“Yes, my brother,” Chuang agreed cheerfully. “Now, if we could just get off these tracks.…”