Copenhagen is a city with no lack of beautiful and interesting sights. Stately palaces, storied churches, that iconic mermaid perched off the coast; all of these elements add up to a sophisticated European capital. But the Danes aren’t afraid to embrace modernity, at least when it’s high concept, mostly minimalist, uber-cool modernity.
Enter Superkilen, an art project disguised as a public park and playground that cut across a swath of gentrifying Norrebro, an area north of Copenhagen’s city center. Designed by BIG Architects (of NYC’s West 57 fame) and Topotek1(a German landscape architecture firm), the loose concept is that the park is divided into three color specific sections: black, red, and green. Plants and objects have been imported from multiple countries, including a fountain from Morocco, manhole covers from Zanzibar and palm trees from China. The diversity is representative of the neighborhood, long a melting pot area for immigrants to Denmark.
The bulk of the park is bordered by two main roads, Tagensvej to the north and Norrebrogade to the south, which makes it easily accessible by bus or foot from the city center. While certain attractions are obviously built with little ones in mind (as cool as it looks, please don’t get stuck going down the octopus slide), there are activities for grown ups, including seated swings, monkey bars and bike paths.
So, worth it? Absolutely. The biggest pro is that it’s free, so even if you’re unimpressed or not the type to climb monkey bars as an adult (no judgement but maybe live a little more), you only wasted some time and possibly bus fare. The second biggest pro is that it is the most amazing location for photos, so be prepared for your Instagram account to blow up. The only con is that there isn’t THAT much to do, but it’s a good place to goof around when you need a break from all the amazing food you’ll find in Copenhagen. Speaking of food, check out the hot new porridge spot Grod to fuel up before or after your play time.
In 2007 I decided to move to Paris for seven months and I ended up staying for almost three years (that's a whole other story). When I first broke the news to friends and family most were very excited and happy for me and promised to visit. My maternal unit on the other hand was having none of it. She even told me outright that I wouldn't see her again unless I came back to New York.
A few weeks prior to leaving my maternal unit excitedly showed me her first ever passport but insisted that she wasn't going to use it to visit me (yeah, ok mom). Fast forward to the spring 2008 and the maternal unit was planning to be visit me in Paris for almost three weeks. I don't care how amazing your relationship is with your mother is, three weeks alone with no buffer and no plan could be disastrous. So plan I did!
I came up with an itinerary that would show her all the amazing sites Paris has to offer, including climbing the steps to Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur and the Arch de Triumphe. From Paris we would travel to Rome for a few days where we encountered a transit strike and managed to haggle a deal on a new wheeled suitcase from a street vendor. We ate gelato almost every day, saw all the amazing sights and she even encouraged me to take a very much prohibited photo of the Sistine Chapel. After Rome we headed to Barcelona a city which the maternal unit absolutely fell in love with. She tasted her first paella, enjoyed strolls along Las Ramblas and was blown away by the colors, scents and different produce at La Boqueria Market and we both viewed in awe the breathtaking architecture oh Gaudi.
On our flights back to Paris, after about 10 days of travel she was already asking where we would be going next. This from the woman who had never traveled internationally previously and had no plans to visit me in Europe. And with that initial trip we've started a tradition that has taken us to Greece, Croatia, Morocco, Turkey, Vietnam, and Tanzania. Some people may find it odd to travel with one's parent as an adult but these trips have been life changing in so many amazing ways and I wouldn't change it for the world.