August 31, 2011 § 1 Comment

Gråbrødretorv, Copenhagen, Denmark

Yay!  Its Wednesday!

This week’s watercolor is from Gråbrødretorv (Greyfriar’s Square) in downtown Copenhagen.  The square was originally a Franciscan friary from 1238-1530.  The friars wore grey robes, hence the name ‘greyfriars’ square.  After multiple bombings and fires, the square has been built and rebuild many times.  It is now home to a handful of wonderful (and expensive) restaruants.  The vibrant building colors are so fun!

Hope you enjoyed your history lesson for the day!


København \\ Week One

August 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

view from the balcony of my 4th floor studio looking out on the main pedestrian street Strøget.

One week in Europe down.  Many more to go (thank goodness!).

Its been a quick seven days, yet this country already feels like home.  I have somewhat figured out the transit system, have biked many miles already (the average Dane bikes over 1 mile/day) and already experienced the most intense thunderstorm of my life (apparently that is not normal).

The first week was filled with orientation, get-to-know-you icebreakers and introductions to the Danish language.  This language is really going to test me.  I can’t even pronounce the alphabet correctly thanks to the additional æ, ø and å letters!

I am finding Copenhagen is a wonderful city to learn about architecture and urban planning.  Thus far I have had a couple of lectures based on the changing of the city’s boundaries.  I find it all so fascinating.  The founding of the city dates back to 1167A.D.  Clearly none of the original structures are around, but I will settle for the castles, towers and churches that are well over 500 years old.

The city began as important port thanks to its excellent harbor.  Like traditional medevial cities, it was fortified by a wall but during the Industrial Revolution the city grew immensely and sprawled outside of its city walls.  The city is now home to over 500,000 Danes and the surrounding area boasts over 1.9 million residents.

In recent years, city planners are working on making Copenhagen and the surrounding areas a revitalized modern city.  This is especially apparent around Nyhavn (the harbor area).  Once an industrial area, it is now home to some new architectural icons, like the Royal Playhouse, Opera House, and ‘Black Rock’ Public Library.  (Pictures are coming, I promise!)

More Copenhagen fun facts coming soon!

my new home! interior of the studio before it becomes a disaster.

lighting display in Illum Bolighus, my new favorite overpriced store.

little courtyard I discovered while wandering.

"please do not let you pets poop on lawn" Denmark style. The graphics are too funny!

Welcome to Watercolor WEDNESDAY

August 24, 2011 § 4 Comments

Happy Wednesday!

I have decided to deem every Wednesday  “Watercolor Wednesday.”  Every (hopefully) Wednesday I will post a recent watercolor painting.  This is more of an accountability thing for myself to make sure that I do paint as often as possible, but I hope you enjoy it is as well!  I will all also add the scans to my flickr account to archive the paintings.


Watercolor Wednesday Week 1, Waterfront

Velkommen til København!

August 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

takeoff :: photograph taken from the plane as we left Frankfurt headed for Copenhagen

I arrived!  In one piece? yes. With all my luggage? no.  (Thankfully my large suitcase was just half a day behind me and was swiftly returned back to me.)

Its only been two whole days yet I feel as though I have been here at least a week.

I am slowly getting over jet lag and we already have a full schedule.  Today was full of orientation, scavenger hunts around historic Copenhagen and plenty of information about the Danes, Danish culture and the Danish language!

Memories thus far:

-minutes before boarding my flight to Frankfurt I ran into five Cal Poly friends headed off to for a year long mission in East Asia.  Surprise!

-people watching.  Europeans are so interesting- the way the dress, talk and their mannerisms.  I sat for over an hour at the Frankfurt airport and simply ‘people watched’

-bought a nothing-special hotdog and small coke at the train station for 50dkk, equivalent to about $10…for a hotdog!!!  these prices are going to take some time to get used to.

-trying to pronounce Danish words somewhat correctly.  Its frustrating when I try to ask for directions and I can’t even say the place I am trying to go to!

-biking in circles for 45 minutes in downtown Copenhagen before finally asking for directions.  Thankfully everyone speaks English!

…plenty more adventures to come.  Bring it on Copenhagen!

Goodbye USA

August 18, 2011 § 1 Comment

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

24 hours left before I depart US soil for 9 months.

My current condition?
A packing frenzy!

Trying to consolidate 9 months of clothes into one suitcase and carry-on is no easy task.  Not to mention packing a pile of architecture supplies because a roll of trace paper will easily be $20 in Copenhagen. Wish me luck.

My final 24 hours?  The ‘to-do’ list tells me…

  • Eat as much Mexican food as I can handle
  • try to learn some Danish ‘quick phrases’ to get around once I arrive
  • check and recheck I still have my passport
  • doing the goodbye circuit to all family and friends.
  • continue to sneak more things in my suitcase that I ‘might’ need

Goodbye America.  See you in June.  Hej København!

TED Talk with Bjarke Ingels

August 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hey World!  Check out what Copenhagen is up to!

Inspirational Copenhagen architect, Bjarke Ingels speaks on the future of architect and what his firm BIG is designing these days.  Even if you aren’t an architecture nerd like myself you will enjoy this strong-accent comical Dane!

Copenhagen…One Year Ago

August 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

One year ago I got the fantastic opportunity to spend a week in Copenhagen.  Four weeks before starting my third year of college my dad calls and asks me “hey, want to go to Copenhagen for a week?”  My reply “Hmm…let me think about that…YES!”

He was going for business and thanks to our surplus of frequent flyer miles, I got a round trip ticket for less than $200.  While he worked during the day, I explored the city on my own with 200 kroner, a travel guide, and my camera.

I spent several hours sketching and wandering through the old fairytale-like parks of the city, like Kastellet, Orstedsparken, and Kongens Have.  In the mornings I enjoyed a fresh kringle and cappuccino from St Peter’s Bakery while observing Danish natives.  I snapped hundreds of pictures of the Danish architecture- from 17th century Rosenborg Palace to the new Opera House.  In Nyhavn, I savored pasta carbonara at an Italian restaurant while watching the sunset over the boats.  Those four days were not nearly enough time for me to explore Copenhagen to it’s fullest and I can’t wait to go back!

Here are just a few snapshots form the trip.  Enjoy!

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