Monday, September 3, 2012

these streets were made for bikin'

tamara knows that I haven't been to the grocery store so she offers me "leftover" breakfast.  it's better than anything I could have whipped up... homemade rolls, scrambled eggs, and cheese.  the cheese is amazing.  strong coffee too.

26% milkfat from a cow
typical swedish cheese.  mild, 26% milkfat.  from a cow
breakfast sandie in malmo
homemade breakfast sandwich by my hostess, tamara
I decided last night that today I would explore the city but not do anything specifically related to my research.  Just one full day to cruise around town to get my bearings.  I did make a small list of things I hope to accomplish today like find a bike shop, buy some groceries, and take some pictures.  nothing ambitious, I know.  I make my way into the courtyard to borrow tamara's old beat up bike.
pergola, grilles, balconies
the internal courtyard has benches, picnic tables, a sand box. people leave their personal grills out under the pergola
as I enter the courtyard and aim toward the bike parking, I notice it has a green roof.  wow.  it's just that simple.  put some grass up there and call it a day.  I'd love to look out my balcony into the courtyard and see grass growing instead of pavement or metal seams...
green roof bike parking
courtyard looking toward bike parking
I unlock the bike, which is obviously worthy of a picture.  single speed, as it seems most bikes in sweden are.  rusted out everywhere.  duct taped seat.  wobbly wheels.  grannie handlebars.  kickstand.  and of course, coaster brakes like the kind I had on my huffy when I was a kid.  simple.  pure. dependable.  and no one will steal it.
a little more beat up than many others, but single speed, comfort style cruiser
tamara's bike.  perfect for rolling through malmo
I don't even roll 10 meters before I realize that I am in the middle of a massive and ongoing construction project.  I couldn't really see any of this too well last night in the dark, but literally 50% of what I can see are apartment buildings under construction.
construction office south of Riggaregatan
construction "trailers" are simply stacked shipping containers.  this is the "courtyard" directly south of where I just was with the green roof bike parking.
everywhere I turn there is something to see.  the building adjacent to our complex that appears to be mostly complete has a rainscreen wall system.
1x3 runners with rubber backing
north face of apartment under construction.  rain screen.
one side of the building has grey cementious clapboards that are likely blind nailed, except around the windows where it switches to a screwed in black panel that also looks like the hardie material I have used before.  the other side of the building has lighter green panels that are also screwed to the runners.
1x3 strapping runners with rubber strip stapled
north window in rainscreen before clapboard application

flashing and rubber runner
rubber strip applied to 1x3 strapping runner.  flashing above window.
flashing detail
strapping held 2" off above north window

Gerber would be proud that the first thing I noticed and the first pictures I took were of the details of the exterior cladding system.
strapping, flashing, rainscreen, clapboards
looking up to the clapboards
same rainscreen system but with screwed in panels
east side of the building with screwed in panels and larger operable windows
I hop on the bike and go another hundred meters and enter a park that runs east/ west from my area of the neighborhood toward turning torso.  it has constructed "natural" areas, art and sculptures, various fun looking contraptions for kids to play on and climb, and a boardwalk with benches.  I can imagine being a young child spending days in the sun playing in this park.
raised platforms, plantings, benches, and a school with a green roof in the background
park and kids play area near Bo02 and Bo03

raised platforms, sandboxes, jungle gyms, etc.
boardwalk in the park with constructed "natural" areas and play areas for kids

park in Vastra Hamnen with turning torso in the background
and of course, santiago calatrava's turning torso is a centerpoint to Vastra Hamnen and can be seen from most areas in and around northern and western Malmo.
I head towards town on... a bike path that is right alongside the street and immediately adjacent to the sidewalk.  imagine that.  pedestrians have a path.  cars have a path.  and... bikes have a path.

bikes here in Sweden have their own lane beside the pedestrian lane
bike lanes have their own stoplights and pedestrians walk alongside the bike path in the... pedestrian path
painted in the bike lane are bikers and the pedestrian crosswalk has stripes
bike stoplights go from red to red/ yellow to green so you know when the light is changing
finally get to the main center of town where the shops, restaurants, bars, and offices are... only to be completely amazed at the city bike culture.  the whole place is functioning around pedestrians and bikes.  cars have lanes, but there are streets that are closed to cars during certain hours and other streets that are permanently closed to cars!  everyone seems to be riding.  most major streets have bike signs as well as car signs.  there are signals for the bikes and pedestrians and cars.  there are bikes locked or unlocked on every corner.  no one is wearing a helmet because bikes are like treated like people here.  pedestrians don't wear helmets because why should they...?

car outline serves as bike parking in malmo
for some reason this reminds me of the "if you lived here you'd be home now" sign in Boston but really its just showing how many bikes can equal one car parking spot.
I ride around town for a little while checking out the scene.  it's about lunchtime and people are moving about in the central part of the city, some eating lunch in the sunlight on benches or at outside tables at cafes.  I can't help but take pictures of the bikes and the signs and the people.  it's all so simple.
sign signifying closed street for cars in malmo center
this sign says something about how people should be allowed to walk in the street without fearing for their lives.  I think the red x means please be nice to pedestrians.
delivery bike with front cargo space
I love cargo shorts but I love cargo bikes even more!  I can only imagine how many pizzas could be delivered with this bike...
catching sunshine on the steps
catching sunshine near city center along the canal.  those stripes down the steps are a water feature that creates the sound of rushing water without the mess. at the bottom the water pours into a little drain.
bicycle mail delivery
I leave downtown in pursuit of a rentable bike for the next couple of weeks.  after a couple of tries, I find a bike shop called Cykelaffar that has some used bikes for sale.  anders (the owner) is not really selling what I am looking for, but after some convincing, he decides to rent me a bike he was selling.  1000 sek for 18 days is pretty good considering what else I have seen so far.  anders also gives me a kryptonite lock, a helmet (Lauren will be very happy) and a water bottle cage.  now I can commute, hop across town, or go for a longer ride for exercise or to Lund for a day.  now I just have to ghost the beater home (easier said than done)...
scott bicycle from cykelaffar
my transport for the next couple of weeks
I head back to Vastra Hamnen to drop off the borrowed bike and explore.  cruising around see lots of little italian themed coffee shops along the water before I arrive at the base of the torso to Green, the local high end sustainable minded grocery store.

too bad it is all in swedish
high end grocery store in Vastra Hamnen in the shadow of the turning torso
after a lap around the store to check it out, I take a second lap and pick up some necessities which include fresh local vegetables, eggs, milk, butter, apple juice, fresh baked bread, pasta and sauce, some (not local) fruit, and of course, smoked salmon and capers.  when in rome...

bakfiet I think this kind of bike is called
yes... Green (the grocery store) delivers by bike to your door
one key thing I have learned during this grocery trip.  apple juice is apple juice but appelsin is orange juice and beer here is 2,1% alcohol on average.  and we complain about watered down budweisers!

1 comment:

  1. You said you wanted feedback - love the blog! (btw this is Melissa Woods)