Pusher Street, Christiania
My good street photographer friends, "Three Americans" and I visited Christiania in July 2016.
It was an exciting and in every way surreal experience that we have returned to again and again.
The wooden portal of the main entrance looks
as if promising, that now you are entering
an entertainment area, an amusement park,
a marketplace, yes, perhaps even a wild west scenario.
One of the first thing you encounter, when going through the portal, is a colorful commercial area with small, closed and open stalls, that offer many different kinds of clothes and jewelry for sale.
The vendors represent a rich variety of nations.
The sales area flows into an open space with a crossroads, where the road straight ahead leads into Pusher Street. 3 green signs superimposed on a pole announce, that here is a prohibition against photographing, and a ban on running - otherwise you are invited to have fun (Have Fun, Do not Run, No Photos).
Already in the square in front of Pusher Street the experience becomes slightly surreal.
A middle-aged couple with cell phones being addressed by a younger, masked man wearing a cap and sunglasses, who kindly asks them to put their mobile phones away: No Phone!
The bizarre request is obeyed and regarded as a curious experience by the tourist couple, who by the way does not recall having experienced anything like this in public spaces anywhere else in the world.
No one is put off, however, neither by the masked or hooded young men’s inquiries or by the prohibitions, but all continue straight ahead and into Pusher Street.
In Pusher Street the pace of surreal fun really quickens. Not only are colorful streamers stretched across the street ...
... but most stalls are manned by masked sales persons. Everyone has his face covered, and many have made an extra effort to camouflage their identity by also wearing different kinds of headgear and big sunglasses.