copenhagen // day 5

I spend the morning wandering around around Vesterbro, a really cool neighborhood. The main street I first follow if Istedgade, which Wikipedia has a great description of:
“Located west of Copenhagen Central Station, Istedgade is a 1-kilometer straight street starting in the cheap hotel district, moving through the porn and drugs area to modern Vesterbro, where 1900s tenement style blocks have undergone significant modernization and the street now cuts through one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Copenhagen.”

For lunch, I get a table at Granola, which is well-known and loved by locals for its breakfast and brunch menu. I order the  Ostemad, which is an open-face rye bread topped with strong cheese, thin apple slices and jam. It’s simple, yet very tasty and delicate. Plus, the atmosphere is fantastic. (Make sure you check out the bathroom - the soap is crazy retro.) Other food places I would definitely recommend you try in the area include Kafe Sonja (great looking brunch deal), Juice, Coffee and the Gang, Bagelman, Shakes and Cakes and Rist Kaffebar.

Here are some of the many shops I recommend in Vesterbro:
  • Dansk - Minimalist, high end design.
  • Kyoto - Japanese-inspired fashion.
  • Girlie Hurley - Sweet and feminine home decor! Bonus points for the washi tape art on counter.
  • Blomsterskuret - Lovely flower shop right next to Granola.
  • Dora - Just across from Granola - wonderful concept store.
  • Kluns - Nice clothing shop.
  • Rude - Some hip fashion finds! I have a really nice conversation with the  salesgirl.
  • es - Beautiful selection of expensive clothes.
  • Donn Ya Doll
  • If you’re shopping for kids, check out Heidi & Bjarne and Tout Petit for some adorable toys and clothes!

In the afternoon I buy a combo pass to Louisiana, which includes both a ticket for the train and to enter the museum. The Humlebæk train stop is less than thirty minutes from Copenhagen’s central station, and a fifteen minute walk from Louisiana itself.

The first exhibit I see is dedicated to the Canadian photographer Jeff Wall. The galleries are huge, which is perfect because so are Wall’s photographs. Some of his works speak to me more than others, but it’s all in all an enjoyable show.

Downstairs, there just happens to be a room featuring Yayoi Kusama’s Gleaming Lights of the Souls installation. It’s basically Christmas. Only two people are allowed in the room at a time, but luckily there is no line and I am able to experience Kusama’s piece alone (I probably spend more time in there than I should, but I’m also probably Kusama’s biggest fan in the museum right now, so no shits given). It’s an incredibly immersive work, and I’m so grateful I am able to finally see it. (It was only open to Whitney Members when I tried to see it at a Kusama retrospective in NYC a few years ago.)

After the Jeff Wall exhibit, I head over to the other side of the museum, where I first walk through a very amusing series of works by Hans-Peter Feldmann. This artist is notorious for taking existing classic paintings and making simple changes to them, often in a political statement about our current consumption and capitalist culture. There is, for instance, one painting where the subject’s eyes are censored, and even another hanging upside down! Then, I enter the Richard Mosse installation, ‘The Enclave’. There are free posters for visitors to take, and I gladly help myself (don’t know how I’ll be getting it back to Montreal, but I’m sure my Lou Reed print will be happy to have a companion). In addition to his photographs, Mosse has created a powerful multi-screen, experimental film documenting the atrocities he witnessed in the DM of Congo.

Louisiana is located right by the sea, and it’s a delight to step outside its building to walk through its grounds. There, one can see a number of sculptures, including one by Richard Serra and another by Miro. I take the train back to Copenhagen, this time stopping at the Nørreport station.

I have time for a few more shops on the way home:

  • Maduro - Nice home décor shop.
  • Red Cross - I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that people just generally dress so well here, but the Red Cross thrift shops have exceptionally good finds. They’re worth checking out while you’re here!
  • Accord Music - Fantastic record and CD store. I buy a used TV on the Radio album for my dad, because I know how particularly fond he is of their new album.
  • Hoj - Pretty clothing store on Jaegersborggade.