For the second time IÂ’m paying close attention to the menu that IÂ´ve just been handed, wondering to myself: is it so hot in here that I can barely focus, or do I really have to take off my freshly-culled baby seal fur hat in order to decipher todayÂ´s special?
Â“Excuse me, but 300 kroner for a Fransk?! What is a Fransk exactly, or a Dansk for that matter?Â” I hear myself ask the tropically-attired lady standing in front of me, tapping her foot in rhythm to the cheap eurodance coming out of the tiny speakers, and not so patiently waiting to take my order. My partner in crime butts in, somewhat patronisingly, as you would to a kid caught red-handed: Â“DonÂ´t worry about the price, my friend – itÂ´s on the house.Â” (Note to readers: 300 kroner for a hotdog is definitely not the right price to pay in central Copenhagen).
ItÂ’s then I remember my girlfriend. Â“SheÂ´s been waiting at the bar for an hour and we were only supposed to take a quick look at your art collection, right? [we did: shopping carts printed onto doormats, that kind] so I guess that we should get moving, pronto!Â”
He shakes his head in slow disapproval. But this is my pink-tinted future with MY lady and our blue-eyed, blonde-haired kids running around our backyard.
We make a move. This guy is even crazier than I am – in a totally different league. How did we get from the cosiness of the Bo-Bi Bar to this antechamber of doom in less than five minutes?
Maybe the light-speed stop we took in his super massive leathery monster of a car might explain this ever so slight time warp.
WeÂ’d grabbed a bottle of wine and kissed every single girl in sight as if we owned the place – he does actually, I checked – before exiting just as quickly to a chorus of sighs and shouts.
Dramatically he looks at me and says with his almost charming accent: Â“Just as the song goes, mate, youÂ’ve got to fly like a tiger and walk like an eagle,Â” or something of that ilk. And then, after what seems like a million-year pause:Â”Hey, what do you say we go to a strip club now?Â”
Â“Remember my girlfriend?Â”
Â“Oh yeah, she would not want to miss that, right? LetÂ´s go and pick her up!Â”
And finally, there she is, beautiful, as only a super disappointed Danish women can look against an invisible northern moonlight, fuming, or rather, about to explode like a firecracker.
Â“Where the hell have you been for so long?!Â”
Â“Oh, you know, just checking out some art, shopping carts printed onto doormats, that kind of stuff, really interesting … er … fancy going to a strip club, chÃ©rie?Â”
Klareboderne 14, 1115 Cph K; open Mon-Sun 13:00-01:00; 3312 5543; mobile phones prohibited
My favourite bar in Copenhagen. I actually met the ghost of Robert Johnson there, mixed with the soul of Django Reinhart, trying to buy some fresh second-hand souls from a Korean exchange student. Mingle with the dead poets and legendary musicians encrusted in the century-old crimson walls. If it gets too poetically heavy, ask for Â‘the crying tigerÂ’.
Vester Voldgade 10, 1552 Cph K; open Tue-Sat, 16:00-late, closed Sun & Mon; 3314 1330
If the owner happens to be in the mood to keep this tiny central joint opened all night, it can get seriously wild indeed! DJs spin whatever they fancy; itÂ’s beautifully hardcore in a very hyggelig way. Fancy a bit of Twin Peaks? Then turn up after 5am – it is a true free for all.
Art galleries, first Thursday of the month
The wildest night of the month attracts the wildest crowd in town – the whole of next monthÂ’s column will be dedicated to the art-form of finding the best ones.
Bordellos and strip joints
In France, all the bordellos were closed almost immediately after the end of the Second World War by a lady remembered as Â‘La veuve qui clotÂ’ (Â‘the locking up widowÂ’) so I must say theyÂ´re quite exotic to an Generation X Frenchman like me. YouÂ’re never far from one in the city. Likewise strip joints Â– especially try between Istedgade and Vesterbrogade near the Central Station. They tend to be seedier and more downmarket than the business-like ones you find in most other Western cities.
This section was contributed by Alexis Robiou, a French fine artist, writer and musician who has lived in Copenhagen for two years. As well as hosting Copenhagen Fashion Week events at NikolaÃ¯ Kirke or rocking live at Rust, heÂ´s been spotted acting as a very improbable city tour guide or singing street karaokÃ© during the last edition of Distortion. His work has been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris, London, Munich, Barcelona, Dublin, and now on BlÃ¥gÃ¥rdsgade (see below for details).