This fall, the screenwriter and Copenhagen native Mona Omar gave Attersee a tour of her Nordvest neighborhood, a cozy and culturally rich enclave just 10 minutes by bike from the city's center.
In the past twenty years, Copenhagen has transformed from an often overlooked European city to one of the continent’s cultural capitals. A popular destination for those seeking a taste of its New Nordic cuisine — it boasts 28 Michelin star restaurants — and a hygge lifestyle, the city is frequently referred to as Europe’s “capital of cool.”
“What has changed and shaped this city so much are the people who have moved here,” says the screenwriter and Copenhagen native Mona Omar. Born in 1991 to recent Somali immigrants (they sought political asylum in Denmark in the '80s), Omar grew up in a family of academics and activists: her grandfather was a scholar and the first Foreign Minister of Somaliland, and her father was a freedom fighter during the civil war. Omar initially followed family tradition, studying international politics, before a modeling opportunity for Baserange, the Danish clothing line, thrust her into Copenhagen's burgeoning fashion scene. She began contributing creative direction to Baserange's campaigns and stayed on with the brand for several years, eventually becoming an art director.
Omar is something of a creative autodidact, most recently deploying her talent into a screenwriting career, earning a slot at Denmark’s highly competitive Royal Academy of Film (they accept six students every other year) and a writing gig with the acclaimed Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Valhalla Rising), on the new Netflix series "Copenhagen Cowboy.”
Attersee spent a day following her around her favorite places in the city's up-and-coming Nordvest neighborhood, where she lives with her husband and 2-year-old son.
A 500-ACRE PARK
"Tourists come here in spring for the cherry blossoms, but the foliage is so beautiful in efterår – that's Danish for autumn."
A STUNNING CATHEDRAL
"My son Idris loves this place," Omar says of Grundtvig's Church, a rare example of Expressionist architecture in Nordvest. "It was built by my husband's grandfather [Peter Vilhelm Jensen-Klint] and has become a wonderful neighborhood outing for our family."
A STYLISH CAFE
"There are always interesting social events and fundraisers here," says Omar of Flere Fugle café, which means "More Birds" in Danish –– a nod to Nordvest's noisy avian inhabitants. The café is part of a community center called Demokratigaragen ("Democracy Garage"). "One of the the things that makes Copenhagen so special is the sense of community. It's diverse and very tightly knit."