Sunday, January 24, 2010


We were on the run the whole time, but we got a chance to see the Ghost Forest art project by Angela Palmer. It a very cool project trying to raise awareness about deforestation and climate change. The roots and stumps are massive. Below is my friend Stephanie walking by one.

There were art projects all over the city. Some were better than others, but all together it was amazing to see so many people come together to show that they care through different mediums.
There are so many artists that are visualizing what a ton of CO2 looks like.
You may or may not know our story about not being able to find where we were supposed to stay? We definitely had a case of bad travel karma or something. So after walking around for maybe 5 hours we had to call it a night and find a hotel or hostel. Everything was super booked full because of COP15 and some hotels told us to go back to Sweden! Around 1:30am our cabby told us he knew where some rooms might be available, so off we went! When we got there, he was right; and he also informed us it was the red light district of Copenhagen. It didn't seem like what I saw in Amsterdam, but when we tried to check our email, we realized that perhaps Copenhagens red-light district is just more tech savvy than their neighbors to the south.

We didn't care though, it was clean and comfortable and we got a hell of a deal on the room.

The next day we had a lecture from Alex Steffan of Worldchanging! This was certainly a highlight of...the year for me. It was fantastic and inspiring.

After the night of walking around looking for an invisible apartment my shoes were ruined.
I had to jet home early because I literally couldn't take another step. But I had a great time, I can't wait for COP16 next year. I think its in Cancun.

Max Burger

Max Burger is a cool swedish fast food phenomenon. They work with The Natural Step (who are closely related to my school) on their sustainability initiatives. Well, they decided to put a carbon footprint on each of their products, so you can see what choices need more CO2 to be made and can choose a more environmentally friendly option if you wish. Its a very cool model: giving people the information to make their own decisions. Me like. They do have other intiatives in place, as carbon footprinting alone doesn't make a company sustainable. But its definitely a step in the right direction!

Ecological Falafel! Who knew! I had this weird falafel sandwhich and its pretty awesome.

The most environmentally friendly options get their own board. These are typically fish and veggy burgers.

If you knew that a hamburger had 4 times the carbon footprint as chicken, what would you choose?

For a fast food franchise, the interiors are pretty sweet.

Fashion Summit at COP15

While in Copenhagen for COP15, I went to the Fashion Summit hosted by NICE. I learned here that this industry has huge capabilities to make a difference and they are no where near where they need to be. They rely on vast amounts of water, human labor and raw material...and I would say a huge part of the industry is in a messy state. There are some initiatives happening here and there; but I foresee the industry being a big player in moving towards sustainability once they diffuse the small initiatives to the whole industry. Anyway :)

It was hosted in the Opera House, which was gorgeous!

These two girls are my good friends Steph and Jen! Yes, the same names as my sisters, crazzzzy.

I think one of these light fixtures equals my college debt.

I got to see the Crowned Princess Mary of Denmark, a beautiful opera performance and a fashion show!

Rotterdam Global Urban Summit

Before Cop15, I had made a last minute decision to go to Rotterdamn's Global Urban Summit. It was a two day conference for urban planning enthusiasts from over the world; the purpose of the conference was to co-create 'New Green Deals'. The idea of New Green Deals is a timely evolution from Roosevelts 'New Deal'; hoping to push the green agenda in cities forward, create new jobs, and plan more efficient urban environments. About half of the world's population lives in urban areas, meaning there is a huge potential for cities to be thriving sustainable hubs of human existence.

To close the conference, Jeremy Rifkin who is the President of the Foundation on Economic Trends (sounds snoozy but he is amazing) gave a spectacular speech on the communication energy revolution (also sounds iffy but its intriguing). Please pop some popcorn and watch the speech on youtube. You won't be sorry; you will laugh, you will cry, and you will get goosebumps at least 5 times.

One super rad green deal was made: VEIL, an Eco Innovation Lab based in Australia would cooperate with Rotterdam to create a new VEIL (they would most likely call it REIL for Rotterdam). In the photo below you can see I agreed to help co-create more New Green Deals. My siggy is on the lower right above 'world'!

I think I heard correctly that Rotterdam commissions graffiti art throughout the city. I could be wrong on the details, but here is a lovely piece I saw.

Rotterdam also has initiatives in place for utilizing unused storefronts for public art. This concept is flying through cities worldwide. If any city officials need help with this, INDO wants to join the ride.

One night of the conference, we enjoyed a boat tour of the very organized Rotterdam ports. These two lovely ladies sang the menu to us for each course. The whole trip was amazing, we ate well, slept well, I didn't lose my wallet, and to think I almost didn't go! However, they did serve veal which was odd for a conference focused on sustainability.

We stayed the night in Amsterdam and it was beautiful!

I got to see the red-light district.

One thing I loved was this shop that sold just cheese.

These amazing vending machines in Amsterdam are each little microwaves; you pop in money, and out pops a corn dog or pizza pocket.

I did my BFA thesis on public bicycle programs; so I was ecstatic to see the yellow bikes in action around Amsterdam! So far Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Karlskrona and Copenhagen and 50% more bicycle friendly than my hometown Chicago. We have got some work to do!

I recommend seeing these cities. I wish Josh could have been with me for this little trip. Rotterdam is super cool, filled with innovation and a big arts scene. Amsterdam is just breathtaking.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

new years day

new years day breakfast(more of a brunch), arguably the most important meal of the year. crystal went for the gold with a frittata loosely based on alton browns recipe, with whiskey cheddar, red onion, garlic and sundried tomatoes.

first dinner of 2010.
i made us a top notch meal of baked fries and mussels via a recipe from smitten kitchen. and of course in keeping with my southern roots some dirty black eyed peas, which i don't really have a recipe for, but they include rosemary, sage, garlic, onion and green bell peppers, throw everything together and cook, kind of.

pommes frites.

moules a la mariniere (from göteborg)

we're classy. (that's the black eyed peas in our coffee cups, we neglected to give them a spotlight.)



that's how they say bread in this crazy country.
they pronouce it bread, but all swedishey.

we made some bröd today.

we used this recipe sans spices, which is adapted from this recipe.
better than store bought.