Thursday, July 28, 2011

heavenly holiday.

i've been back to work since monday. it ain't easy, let me tell ya...

luckily the office is rather quiet and most people in finland are still out on their vacations which means my mailbox is neither overflowing with urgent messages nor responses to questions i cannot even remember posing. there's an air of leisurely laggardness while we take short breaks on the couches or grab a cold drink before resuming work.

our holiday was a relaxing fortnight spent in the countryside. we started off at the garden cottage where a choked garden greeted us with significant toil. after careful weeding and watering we were able to save most of what had so suddenly bursted with energy.

the holiday brought the domestic goddess out: i baked fresh bread.

wild strawberries.
tuesday night we visited turku for a some of culinary delights.

chez dominique pop-up bistro in turku.

a chilled grüner weltliner and a shiny happy camper in t by alexander wang top.

my swing.

midweek we drove up the coast to the sea cottage we've been forced to neglect most summer. there life was all about relaxation: sauna, fishing, reading, eating and naps in the hammock.

fresh pesto made from our own basil.

jorma-irmeli enjoying the sea air.
fresh chanterelle risotto.
our own organic broccoli and potatoes with salmon.
dirty feet, bright sun and a happy little dog. hammock by marimekko, romper(y garment) by uniqlo.
i hope your summer days were (or are!) hot, humid and heavenly.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

summer city java.

next to my house is a handsome landmark, a cathedral of impressive proportions. it is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city regardless of the season: it turns from a glistening fairy castle in mid-winter to the majestic double towers surrounded by grand trees in the summer. 


although i've only been inside once, i greet the sanctuary every morning on walks i take with my dog in the park surrounding it. the grey-haired gentleman hobo, who lives on the steps of the side entrance, is often in the process of grooming himself in the mirrors of parked cars before leaving for whatever he does during the day. he ignores me.

flipflops by havaianas, bag and sunnies by alexander wang, tank top by rick owens, denim shorts by current/elliott, bracelets by cos, bless and ideapaju.

before entering the park, i usually grab a coffee from sis.deli. i often wonder whether i should get one for the hobo as well, but am not sure whether it would intrude on his privacy nor do i know if he even likes coffee. perhaps one day i'll find out.

once in the park we stroll for a while and stop to enjoy the sun on the steps. these are the mornings when i love this city most. the fact that everything is around the corner. the lushness of summer. the simple things like great coffee.

Friday, July 15, 2011

transient seclusion.

creeping loneliness in the middle of a bustling city. the need to reach out to someone familiar. to smile about the little things that can fit into 160 characters – or usually less.

knowing that in this bubble i just created for myself is a longing for a little beep and a response "i am there with you." no vocalization required, no need to involve others around.

how genius technology can be.

these photos of random people on the street texting by joseph o. holmes highlight how the simple act of typing a short message can create a small space of intimacy. although terms like 'intimacy' often build up expectations, the unpretentiousness of holmes' pictures reveals that expressions of proximity rarely need dramatic measures.

be the message itself mundane, hostile or an expression of love, the result is a connecting capsule between people muddling everything else around.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

my idea of perfection.

a fortnight of digging and weeding, lingering and lounging.

on days like the one today, there's only the need to pop out to water the garden and the greenhouse. white clouds line the skies and the breeze is chilly. thus, a quick climb upstairs to my sanctuary of summer perfection:

... a bed fit for a princess. my romantic side only becomes evident in the countryside; flowers and ornaments are an indulgence i'd never succumb to in the city.

... a pile of magazines and books ignored intentionally for what feels like a decade. oh, the bliss of reading without disruption.

... my little companion always by my side.

pants by stine goya for weekday.

up here it feels the hours of the day are enough. 

where's your sanctuary?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

neighborhood recommendation #19: bar and street food.


(caps are back for the second time in this blog's history...)

i have felt stranded in my own neighborhood for a long time. since erottaja bar vanished, there hasn't been a viable option anywhere and i've settled for places barely anything more than mediocre.

two of my friends revealed a few months ago that they were looking into a space close by and i just kept my fingers crossed for the final product to emerge from the mass of bureaucracy.

there was a lot to do with the mediterranean restaurant that was located on a stranded street, but their vision of going rough and rugged created a little berlin in the heart of helsinki.

el diablo.

all of the above photos were snapped during the building, hence the sawdust, hanging wires and stuff.

a couple of weeks ago shanghai cowboy opened its doors officially for the first time for dinner and cocktails. finally this week they were ready to serve lunch.

their food is a chimera of mexican new york focusing on simple street food style. the guys behind it all also run the kitchen of siltanen, so those of you familiar with it, know the basics of what you're in for.

as a bonus, my sweetie assisted with their bar menu – and promised to be spotted behind the bar sporadically as a personal trip down the memory lane. expect delicious, fresh ingredients on both lists and a very low-key atmosphere, great music and and a happy crowd.

the place is rather small, but they serve food until midnight and bar stays open till late.

one of the quesadilla options with homemade salsa and guacamole. yummy.

join their facebook group for updates and more info go, enjoy and say hi, if you see me!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

nature comes alive.

about a month ago i was in berlin for a week. almost purely on business, i enjoyed the atmosphere at tempelhof airport.

after my sweetie joined me for the weekend, we slowly inhaled the urban landscape, the trippy decor of our psychedelic hotel nhow and devoured the amazing food available everywhere in the city.

although i'll return to the highlights of the trip later, i wanted to tell you about a little gem of a restaurant we enjoyed our saturday dinner at.

little otik is located rather deep in kreuzberg. the place is a casual locavore haven with a daily changing list of seasonal, organic and, needless to say, local ingredients.

our dinner tasted fresh and felt lavish, and we were recommended an excellent grüner veltliner to accompany it.

the owners are a couple from the states and the service – i'm guessing since none of us spoke german – mostly in english. the place stemmed from a monthly pop-up restaurant of a sort the guys organized at their apartment for strangers. because of the success, they decided to invest in their own place.

the interior was created using recycled elements and scavenged items from the streets. the result is a rustic, minimalistic space with welcoming warmth.

and the strange name? little otik is a film based on a czech folk tale about a childless couple who take a root of a tree resembling a baby as their child. the wooden creature gains life from their love, but shows unfortunate appetite, carnivorous and insatiable, which leads to neighbors being led to the basement for a murderous feast.

now doesn't that sound appetizing?

now, why does the light seem rather eerie now...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


my companion of over 12 years is a delicate being who leaves no-one cold. she resembles almost everything else than a dog and arouses feelings of sensitivity and nurturing in almost everyone she meets.

when she encounters a talented photographer the results are otherworldly.

all photos by our office assistant, maarit.

Monday, July 4, 2011


yes, i've been silent again. and i might be for another week because i have not slept nor have i been able to focus on anything else than work.. and an event of love.

last fall i was faced with a question that demanded a clear answer. i had been wondering aloud why pride week in helsinki was so, ahem, unprofessional and a few weeks later received a call where i was bluntly asked: "well, you said you can do it better, here's your chance. are you in?"

and i was. my responsibilities spanned from negotiating sponsors to organizing a few of events out of the over 80 that we had to booking the main artist for the park. somewhere in between i managed the technical production of the website. needless to say, there were numerous other little tasks that somehow appeared because, as volunteer work seems to go, there's always more you can do and if you don't, no-one will.

all this happened in addition to my regular work schedule as it was with everyone else involved; the entire week was put together by a group of volunteers. i cannot say it was easy and the energy that went into details and keeping things under control, was draining.

nonetheless, it has been a rewarding trip.

we made it through and the event week was a blazing success: the overall attendance went up from 19 000 to 30 000, and there were 7000 people in the parade – an all time high.

gathering at the senate square.

singer martina aitolehti with her gorgeous hairdo by mv and the park party hostess, miss jutta pinkkinen.

view from backstage during pmmp gig.

paula from pmmp.

longchamp awarding the cutest girl couple in the park with their limited edition le pliage bag.

drag race in kallio.

a very lonely truck stop late at night on sunday.
now i shall devote a few days to rest and then, hopefully, i'll have some time for this blog. cheerio!