Come here on a summer morning, when the sun is gathering strength and Vesterbro slowly starts to open its eyes after the night’s excesses. That’s when Sønder Boulevard stretches out its green arms and is gradually taken over by locals with their coffee, beer, food and prams. The atmosphere is both high octane and laid back.
Newcomers arrive throughout the day, and in the evening the smell of barbecues and takeaway food from the many local eateries floats along the one-and-a-half kilometre boulevard. The area in front of the local convenience store, Kihosk – a mix of grocer’s, coffee shop, newsagent, bookshop and beer specialist – is particularly popular.
If the story of the Ugly Duckling had been about a road, it would have been about Sønder Boulevard. Until a few years ago, it was neglected, polluted and rough at the edges. Today it is a long, much-loved park occupying the central reservation that runs from Halmtorvet to Enghave Station, a transformation inspired by the wishes of local people.
Trees, bushes, grass and flowers have been planted, and the park offers table tennis and has cages for basketball and other ball games. There’s a popular playground for toddlers, shaped like a rough sea, complete with sinking ship.
Electric sockets are available in two locations to power music or a coffee machine, for those holding an event on the Boulevard (you need authorisation in advance for this). During the Distortion festival, Sønder Boulevard is packed to the gunnels and reverberates with the party atmosphere.
Currently, part of the area is enclosed behind green fences, due to construction work that will connect Vesterbro to the Metro system. The fences are regularly embellished by graffiti artists and are well worth a look.
Photo: Scanpix/Christian Als