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I Went to Christiania

Christiania is Copenhagen's infamous, self-governed squat community described to me as a magical town where cannabis is sold freely in the streets.
April 12, 2010, 10:58am

Christiania is Copenhagen’s infamous, self-governed squat community. It was described to me as a magical town where cannabis is sold freely in the streets and hot, girly-looking boys frolic about giving people blowbacks. So when I was in Denmark I obvs HAD to go. Also, being a squatter myself, I feel a strange affinity with other squatters the world over. I wanted to be close to my people.

Freetown Christiania is a self-proclaimed independent state of about 850 people, spanning 85 acres. It was founded in 1971 by a group of hippies, anarchists, and idealists after they squatted an abandoned military barracks in Copenhagen. One of the perks of the town’s special set of laws is their ability to legally trade cannabis. The authorities tolerated this for over 30 years, but since 2004 there have been constant efforts to try and normalise the legal status of the community.

The main cannabis trade in Christiania takes place on the centrally located Pusher Street (yes, really). I had to steal this picture off the internet because whenever I got my camera out around any drug paraphernalia everyone within ten metres shot me evil "NO PHOTO" glances, and snarled at me with their unbrushed teeth.

Though there’s a lot of pot, in 1979 the town administrated a "no hard drugs" policy which remains in effect today.

Many of the houses in Christiania were built by the inhabitants themselves. Some fail to meet health and safety standards, lacking things like water and electricity, but whatever. This is yet another reason why the government wants to put an end to this hippie/loser paradise.

I couldn’t help but think this weird spaceship house was an idea someone had when they were way too stoned, and yet which they somehow managed to follow though.

I’d like to live here.

To leave Christiania you have to pass under this sign that reads, “You are now entering the EU.” I thought that was really cute.

Later that evening we went to a place called Spunk Bar. Apparently "spunk" in Danish means sweets, but I couldn’t help finding the name really funny. Apparently, I have a very stunted sense of humor.

Inside, we made friends with some locals. They weren’t exactly the hot Danish girly-boys I was looking for, but I liked their style. This is basically how all the cool kids dress in Copenhagen.

I don’t know if there’s more heroin in Copenhagen than in other major cities, but it’s definitely more out in the open. Walking through the city’s more sketchy areas I saw at least three different people smoking up in the middle of the street, in full view of everyone. I took this photo of a drain outside Spunk Bar. Yum.

This was only a few footsteps away. All the hard drugs and violence made me wish I was back inside the peaceful, loving walls of Christiania.