Tuesday, July 20, 1982

Copenhagen, Istedgade, Huset and Tivoli

 (written May 30, 2024) - Istedgade is the famous prostitution district in downtown Copenhagen. I only saw a few prostitutes on the street in 1982 - there were lots of porn and sex shops - one displayed colourful tiny sweaters hung up on a line that were in the shape of a penis and testicles, and there were porn cinemas showing American porn.  It starts on one side of the main railway station, and on the other side was a cinema that showed uncensored versions of popular movies. When I was there Mad Max II and the German film about a child prostitute, Christiane F. were playing.  Also on the other side of the station was Tivoli Gardens, with free admission for seniors. It was a garden with cafes and rides for small children. Huset, "The House" in Danish, was a nearby drop in centre founded in 1970 which still exists, where there were lockers for your backpack and info on places to stay. Posters advertised overland bus trips east, I guess as far as Turkey since Iran's 1979 revolution had stopped most of the traffic on the hippie trail to South East Asia. 

Freetown Christiania is an old military barracks that was taken over by hippies in 1971. There were wall murals for IRA martyr Bobby Sands and Irish Republican Bernadette Devlin,  bare breasted women selling drugs from tables, pot plants growing out windows and vegetarian restaurants. I was there with a Hungarian friend and asked how much a block of hash as thick as a chocolate bar that covered half of the Afghani vendor's hand was and it was only 10 dollar US!

Murals from 2016 - the same paintings were there in 1982. Photo taken on day marijuana sales were banned. Photo Smurrayinchester, Creative Commons 4.0

I loved how topless for women was OK in Denmark. I saw a man just wearing shorts plastering his apartment wall from the S-Train and then he turned around and it was a young woman, and in Stockholm women would sunbathe topless in the parks on their lunch hour.

On the last day, rather than getting more sightseeing in, I stupidly watched Quadrophrenia, I think at a cinema that was either part of or near Huset. 'Love, Reign o'er me' kept going through my head all the way back to Guelph. 

Thursday, July 15, 1982

Road to Soren Kierkegaard's grave


Assistens Cemetery, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1982

Farum, Denmark 1982

I spent some time in Farum, Denmark, in the summer of 1982. Volunteer work with youth, but something had gone wrong with the planning and we really didn't have that much to do. This is just us at a lake with local kids.
 Lake near Farum
 Bente Ebsen got her hair braided by kids
Nadia, Jo, Amy, Alan, Bente, on dock near Farum

Bente, Peter Koczoh, Ole Kierkegaard, (same family as Soren), Alan, Nadia, Lise, Jo and me.

Palace under reconstruction, Copenhagen

Wednesday, July 14, 1982

One day in Denmark


About to part forever from Veronica, a lovely girl from New Brunswick, New Jersey who I met and spent the day with in Copenhagen in the summer of 1982 - she fell asleep on my shoulder in the Tivoli Gardens - I loved how the Danes smiled when they saw her sleeping on me. She kissed me just after I snapped this and got on the train to Sweden.  I believe she was an Arts student - wearing a rag sweater and had a designer camera. Everything was designer in the 80s.
She was touring Europe and talked about
visiting Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris where she'd lived with some other young women. She said Jim Morrison's grave was covered with graffiti and condoms.

Morrison's grave, via Wikipedia.

I'm adding this this in 2023 because the host of a radio show kept referring to the cemetery as 'Pere Lachene' and I thought I was having a 'Berenstain Bears' moment, and this made me remember what she said.