Tina lives a short walk from Tivoli, the world’s second oldest amusement park, in the heart of Copenhagen. Her apartment is like her: full of life, ideas and energy. It is a large, disorderly home, of people convinced that beauty is more important than geometry.
Tina in Copenhagen
Listen to the story told by the author, Flavio Soriga
Tivoli is the world’s second oldest amusement park, in the heart of Copenhagen. You can also go there without children, to enjoy the beauty of the rides, the shooting galleries, the Chinese theatre, or to try ice skating, because it’s fun to play, at any age. Tina lives a short walk from Tivoli, and her apartment is like her: full of life, ideas and energy. She works for fashion and shelter magazines, has a home by the sea in some part of her native region, and a rental flat in Copenhagen. “I was lucky with this apartment”, she says. “From the photographs it seemed quite dark, but when I entered I immediately knew it was perfect”. It is a large, disorderly home, of people convinced that beauty is more important than geometry. Tina’s house contains an old stove with ceramic tiles, big windows, a small terrace with a grill, and a room for her children when they want to visit and spend a few days or a few months. “When I moved in six years ago I was going through a separation. I felt like it was the moment to come to Copenhagen, I needed a home close to work, and I wanted a garden or a terrace. Of course I wasn’t hoping to find one with a view of the city centre”. We go up to the terrace. Its drizzling, damp and cold; a northern city on a typical workday - frozen and without make-up.
Back in the living area, Tina shows me some of the magazines she works for. I ask her if she thinks design is valued more highly in Denmark than elsewhere. “It depends a lot on age. If you enter the home of a design lover in their seventies, it might seem like some sort of a museum; young people tend to mix things, buying a few older pieces of value, and many inexpensive things that catch their eye. Today I’d say that people are looking for objects that have a story. I went to a sale of vintage objects with a maximum price of ten euros a piece. I thought there would be nobody there, but instead people were waiting in line. I chose an old puzzle, I wasn’t even sure all the pieces were still there, but I liked the idea of all the people who had tried to put the puzzle together before I did. Maybe there is also the fact that people spend much more time in the virtual world today, and at the end of the day, they like the sense of the pastime residing in an old object. In our day and age, solitude can become a huge problem. Queen Margrethe talked about this in her New Year address - she said we have to be aware that in our time we run the risk of being more alone than ever before. Her speech was moving because she lost her husband two years ago, and you could understand that she was talking about the solitude of growing old and seeing your loved ones pass away; it was also about her solitude as the Queen”. Tina goes to exhibitions, openings, fashion shows.
“The friends in a life are always few, those people who you want to spend time with even when you’re tired, when you don’t feel like talking. You can feel lonely living in a small town where you may have been left without kin, where you always meet the same people at the cafe or the corner store; but you can also be lonely in the big city, even if you are constantly moving around”. One of Tina’s sons was a rising star of Danish football, reaching the national youth team, but then – to everyone’s surprise – he decided to stop playing. Who knows? Maybe he understood the solitude – and anxiety – that can grip a striker who hasn’t scored for weeks, while the manager, his teammates and the fans are wondering if he’s finished or was always an imposter in the end. Perhaps Tina’s son is a wise man, and at age 16 he knew what wonders of life were in store for him, far from the packed stadiums and enormous royal palaces. Maybe, after all, the greatest boon is to spend a couple of hours at Tivoli without being recognized.