Monthly Archives: May 2012

Let’s Sample Life Among the Small Streets and Squares

The Old City of Copenhagen is my favorite place in the whole world. There’s something about the way the small streets, colorful buildings, and great public spaces work together that’s unlike any other place I’ve visited. How about we take a little trip there? Google Maps is no substitute for the real thing, but it can give us a taste.

Here’s a pretty normal street in the Old City. It’s about 30 feet wide. Cars are allowed here. In typical Danish fashion, there are a bunch of bikes parked on the corner.


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Let’s take a right at the record store. We’re on a narrower street now—less than 25 feet wide. See how the streetlights hang from the buildings over the middle of the street? That way, fewer poles need to be stuck in the street. Pretty cool, huh? I know the way the street curves in the distance makes you want to go explore, but stick with me. Let’s turn left at that yellow building.


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See that little blue sign with the parent and child? It says that this is a shared street. Driving is allowed, but mopeds and motorcycles are forbidden. The street is paved with Belgian block now, which is a hint to drivers that they need to share the whole space. The restaurant on the corner is named Eros, after the Greek god of love. This sure would be a great place to spend time with someone you love. Let’s stroll down this street over to those trees.


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Look where we’ve arrived! Our small street has opened up into a square. Look to our right at all of the people sitting outside, enjoying a meal and watching the people walk by. That’s some serious cafe seating—5 tables deep! It’s almost as if someone was expecting us. On the left there are even more café tables. That fountain ahead of us sure looks fun. And a stage is being set up for a concert! The delivery trucks don’t have a problem getting here. They move slowly and don’t bother anyone too much. The cars and trucks are here to serve the people who enjoy this space. This square is spacious at 1/2 acre, but there are people in the suburbs whose yards are larger than this space. How about we walk over to that big tree in the middle of the square.


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What a tree! And it’s surrounded with benches—how thoughtful. Everyone likes to sit under a big tree. What do you want to look at? The cafés, the shops? The stage, the fountain? The pastel-colored buildings? I’ll leave you here. Stay a while and enjoy!


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