film diaries: copenhagen


morning: waking up sleepy in a cozy room lit by the washed grey morning light. we rolled out of bed and lazily perused the internet for breakfast suggestions. we ended up at a place by the name of bervar’s, and stole away to a cushioned place by the window and ordered a breakfast plate and lattes that came in pale blue ceramics. after filling up on bread and cheeses, fruit, museli and skyr we ventured down the road to the nørrebrogade flea market, a local market set up against the pastel yellow wall of the assistens kirkegård. I left with a few treasures, including a golden silky slip dress, a vintage clock, a tin with a gorgeous floral detail and a sweet hummingbird, and excitedly failed to bargain with the sellers when they named their price for my finds. the wrought iron gates of the assistens kirkegård, perhaps the most notable danish cemetary, stood at the end of the  market. instead of walking back the way we came, we found our way through the winding lushness of the resting place of famous danes such as hans christian andersen, and marveled at the peacefulness of it. there was a gentle rustling of the cool wind in the trees, the kind that leaves your cheeks pink and your face cool to the touch. I remember saying to Isaac that it was very possibly the most serene place I’d ever been to in my life.





afternoon: we made our way back into the center of town, stopping at the torvehallerne (a food and goods market) to peruse the stalls of flowers, fruits, and partake in a sampling of korean foods. after tasting a variety of deliciously cooked mushrooms, kimchi, and other delights, we attempted to plan out the rest of our day. the sunlight was soft and prevented us from feeling as if we were going to freeze and the quietness of the city was a welcomed change from the bustling center of amsterdam, where we spend the majority of our days. after veering off onto a large boulevard, we ended up at the rosenborg castle, the great danish palace of the 17th and 18th centuries. from the outside it looks quite small, but it was filled to the brim with gorgeous royal relics, including the crown jewels of the renaissance king. the gorgeous spindled towers, weathered brick facade, and sweeping gardens of the castle added to the fairytale essence that the city itself had already instilled in us.

after exploring the palace and gardens, we headed for another notable landmark, the rundetaarn, an astrological tower built in the 17th century with sweeping (and windy) views of the city. we laughed at the amount of effort required to climb the equestrian staircase, and I giggled at all the children attempting to hide from their parents in the small corridors built into the walls. at the top of the tower, we marveled at the conflicting quaintness and vastness of the cityscape, and peeked into the small astrological tower which is still in use today. the aches and pains of tourism were definitely getting to us, so we decided to head back to our apartment for the rest of the afternoon. there, we showered off the late afternoon chill and cozied up in bed to take a nap. that evening, I dressed up in my new slip and a comfy sweater and we walked through the winter darkness and a bit of rain to dinner. after a few glasses of wine and beer to warm us up, we ended up in a smoky jazz club (apparently the jazz scene is big in copenhagen). we stayed there and sipped beers and stole kisses until 1:30am, when we decided that if we wanted our next day to be even slightly productive, then we should get some sleep.








afternoon: we woke up late and skipped breakfast, in a vain attempt to make it to the tivoli gardens before the crowds set in. after a sleepy morning, we spent the better part of the early afternoon being whirled around on the rides and sipping cappuccinos and picking at pastries inside the park. outside of the train station, we grabbed the bus heading towards christiania. there, we walked through the commune of brightly colored houses and again marveled at the quiet that seemed to characterize the city. the grey clouds made us wary of the weather, so we stopped into a cozy vegetarian restaurant and hid out from the rain with bowls of hearty soup and milky chai. having checked off the better part of our to-do list, we decided to take the 45 minute walk to the nyhaven harbor. we walked along the canals and amongst the rows of colored houses and sails, and down the coastline toward  the amalienborg palace, the home of the danish royal family. with a few scarce hours left of daylight, we hurried to den lille havfrue, the sculpture of hans christian andersen’s the little mermaid, which has been a tourist attraction since 1913.









evening: by the time we had walked back into the center it had gotten dark, and with dying phones and little clue of where to find an inexpensive dinner, we settled on grocery store baguette and herb & cheese spread, and followed google maps to the grand teatret, a beautiful movie theatre which opened in the early 20th century in hopes that they showed films in english. in a stroke of luck, the next movie playing was cafe society, the new woody allen film. we bought our tickets and promptly settled into the crushed velvet seats of the theatre, which I now declare as my favorite movie theatre in the world. for the next two hours we were taken away into the stylized dream that characterizes woody allen movies, and found ourselves incredibly sleepy when the film ended. after a few wrong turns on our way home, we finally were able to shower, crawl into bed, and fall asleep to catch a few hours of rest before our early morning flight back to amsterdam.






for the first time in what feels like ages, I am sitting in a café with a steaming chai latte and tapping away on my laptop. with exams coming up, I’m trying my best to focus on my notes, but my concentration is slipping. after all, what is the point of working in a café without occasionally allowing myself drifting from my work to be taken away by my surroundings.

over the stereo a cool, excitable voice sings about how he’s “got his new shoes on,” the creak of the door when it opens pulls my attention ever so slightly with each event. the grey and bitterly cold afternoon, the first of the season, is only visible through the windows. the soft lighting indoors warming me as much as the heater below my chair.
I have a million things on my mind. the stacks of articles on my desk in my apartment that I’ve been chipping away at, my upcoming weekend trip to copenhagen, the film I need to get developed, the unfinished to do list for my internship, my impending exams, all vying for my attention.

I want to pay attention to everything. even in my lectures I try, in vain, to wrap my mind around each detail. during the rest of my day, I try to slow down and enjoy this beautiful city I’m so lucky to inhabit. it blows my mind how easily I get used to the beauty around me and stop seeing it as unique. I am constantly trying to find the intrigue of things around me, familiar or unfamiliar, and to let them inspire me.

this past month I have felt this ache to be more, to do more, to live more. I want to be writing rather than a writer, traveling rather than a traveler, loving rather than a lover. I want to read, write, feel, and experience more, which can be hard when you’re a full time student.

I turn 20 in a few months, and it is so strange but I feel like my youth is is something that is slipping away from me. I constantly feel this urge to be doing things, to be taking advantage of my youth and my “ability” to be impulsive and passionate and creative. here I am at the very beginning of the next chapter of my life, already scared that it will go by too fast.

I don’t know how exactly to quiet my mind on this topic, but I’m trying. trying to do more, to be actively creative, to put myself out there, and make the most out of this whirlwind time in my life.




finding peace among the chaos

it’s impossible to be 100% all the time, everyone knows that. whether it’s external factors bringing you down or just you not feeling your best, it’s incredibly easy to blame yourself. It’s easy to tell yourself “if this one thing happens, i’ll be better” or “if this changes, i’ll be back to myself” but it’s not so black and white.

august was filled with everything that makes me happy. I spent time with family, friends, travelled, ate well, listened to great music, treated myself, started learning the ins and outs of film photography and took the opportunity of having a few weeks at home with no real responsibilities to get back in touch with myself. for the sake of not being super cliche, I won’t call it life changing, but I will say that this time allowed me to start feeling like myself again after two months of the discomfort and disorientation that can come from starting a new chapter of life. towards the end of july, there was a hiccup in my future plans and I thought that after everything I wouldn’t be able to come to school in amsterdam this fall, but after some teary phonecalls and determination, by the end of the month everything got sorted back into place.

during these few weeks, my whole life was thrown back up into the air again. all the second guessing was incredibly painful, and I had to reevaluate absolutely everything. in the end, the decision was made for me that I was to stay here, but all of the thought forced me to figure out what drives me and what makes me happy. in some ways, that question is easy for me to answer. I like fresh cut flowers in mason jars, persian rugs, jazz music, unconventional ingredients in just about anything, the time of day where everything turns golden, then blue as the sun sets.

but what else? my family and friends make me happy, just like everyone else. I love to travel, but not for too long as I get homesick easy. I’m a homebody, so cozy spaces make me happy. taking my dog out and watching him walk in green, summer grass makes me happy. I like making pies and lemonade, and I like sitting in the park in my hometown. these things are deeply embedded in my way of life, and moving, whether it’s a town over or across the ocean, puts them all in jeopardy.

so what do you do when everything is different, but you? I wish I knew. I wish there was a way for everything to be perfect from day one. coming back to amsterdam was me accepting that nothing can be perfect immediately. you get from situations what you give, and if I’m going to do this whole college-abroad thing then I need to commit. I’m only a week in and if I’ve learned something it’s that this commitment is draining. not having your own space is draining, not knowing most of the people you come across in your daily life is draining, only being able to connect to your friends and family at the mercy of your dysfunctional wifi is draining. there have been days where I’ve wondered if this was even the right choice at all, and spent the whole night staring at the ceiling and try to will it to give me answers. there have certainly been tears, but regardless of that, I’m looking forward to the time that I know will come where everything will settle into place and I will start to feel home here.

hopefully by next month I’ll have my own place, after that a group of friends, my boyfriend and I have a trip booked to copenhagen in october and a concert in november, then there’s christmas break and a new semester with new classes, people, and content. this week may suck. there’s always something. but we have to keep looking forward. september can be a tough month. so lets be easy on ourselves. remember that nothing worthwhile is made in one day, and that each day is an opportunity to work towards a tomorrow that the very idea makes you so excited that you can’t fall asleep. breathe, and remember that everything will work out exactly the way it’s supposed to, and that you are exactly where you need to be right now.