CPH Week 3

This week started off on the wrong foot, with high fever and being ill. Which was awful timing as this was also the first week I had a feeling of really being here. Fever was mostly gone by Wednesday, allowing us to take a walk in the sun in the neighbourhood, just in time for the CPH Data Drinks that evening!

The First CPH Data Drinks was an attempt by me to create an informal meet-up place and set a rhythm for open data interested people to come together. It seems to me here in Denmark, while stakeholders are mostly aware of each other they are also organized in little islands. Obviously the interesting stuff happens if those islands get connected a bit more, when people become routinely exposed to what is going on in other areas. So, I was glad that CPH Data Drinks brought together some 30 people! We had a fun evening with lots of conversations, and created a Data Wishlist of data sets participants would like to see published first. The Danish Statistics Office was high on the list. Immediately volunteers stepped forward to organize the next CPH Data Drinks on 28 November, and I will be supporting them with some hands on tips on how to keep things going.

P1020116
The handwritten cards used for input to build the Data Wishlist

The next day I of course had to pay for the previous nights exertions so shortly after a bout of fever. Around mid day we left to explore the city, in particular to visit the Matisse exhibit in the Danish state museum for art, SMK. The exhibition focussed on the repetition and variation in Matisse’s work, which gave some great glimpses into his work flow and methods. Afterwards we strolled back to the city center, and found me a winter coat, just in time as the temperatures are scheduled to drop in the coming days.

Brow and nose, just 1 line

Friday morning I revisited the Social Square offices for the first time in a full week. They hadn’t particularly missed me as the illness that hit me also hit everyone (except one) at the office as well. Over lunch I caught up with Richard Lalleman, discussing culture change and changing deeply entrenched work routines to be able to allow his employer to be better at operating in a networked environment. Not easy when the first response in this global business has been one of control, centralization of authority and standardization. Afterwards I met Elmine at the pleasant PH Cafeen for some tea in the sun.

Chairs Flid
Old chairs, and one of the many examples of signage design on Istedgade

The rest of the afternoon, deciding to work half days for now, Elmine and I explored Istedgade, lined with various small fashion shops (allowing Elmine to run up some credit card transactions), ending with some lovely Thai food and coffee. The evening we spent in Tivoli, which was fully decorated for Halloween. Simply enjoying the stroll through the crowds, taking in the surroundings, and enjoying each others presence.

Apples Halloween at Tivoli
Tivoli Halloween style

Sunshine drew us out of the apartment the next day. Cycling along the water front we went to Christianshavn. We’ve been visiting Copenhagen for 10 years on a regular basis, but had never been to this part of town before. Taking some coffee on the go from Sweet Treat we enjoyed the sun at the edge of the canal, alongside what seemed most of the other people living there. Strolling a little while through Christiania, the old provo-initiated ‘free town’ on the old military grounds, we cycled over the old ramparts ending at a restaurant that couldn’t serve food anymore: the sunshine had apparently unexpectedly brought out much more people, so they ran out. As the ferry across the water was full, and couldn’t take us, we cycled back to the bridge to get us to the other side, and ended up for tea and snacks at the edge of Nørrebro. After a nice dinner at Bibendum (awesome chocolate truffels!) it was time to finally cycle home after a sun filled day.

Christiania Christiania

Christiania Christiania
Some snapshots from Christiania

A lot less sunny Sunday was spend talking and doing some conceptual work on a few open data services, as well as MakerHouseholds.eu. Which brings us to today, where I continued the conceptualizing, as well as started preparing a presentation I will be giving tomorrow.

This coming week is already our last in Copenhagen, and a busy one.