Wednesday, October 19, 2011

weekend freewheeling.

a beautiful fall day in the city. a bicycle. some shopping.

last weekend i took my new bike out for a proper spin. working in a pressing schedule and spending 14 hours at my desk tapping away more often that is humanly possible, there are perks: our office bikes arrived from pelago with their little blue bells and customized to our own personal needs.

light gliding through the foliage covered streets has never felt so invigorating.

i rolled by helsinki10, one of my favorite stores in town, and got something i had my eye on since the summer. luckily the sales people also remembered my object of fancy since i was stopped at a party a couple of weeks ago with the message:
"your sweater is still in the store and it is on sale. just so you know... come and get it."
little things that make you happy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


sharing life with animals comes so natural to many of us. our anthropomorphism fools us into thinking they share our complex emotional conundrums or that they love us with unconditional devotion. nevertheless, we often miss the more obvious similarities.

aging shows in our companios in a similar way to us but in acceleration. the signs are the same: greying fur and feathers, spots, warts, sagging skin, and so forth. cataract, hearing loss, aching joints and diminishing muscles. it's all there. terminal.

photographer isa leshko brings us a series of animals in their dusk. elderly and fragile, it is impossible to ignore them as beings with life experience. even when we're aware that they probably are not nearly as preoccupied with their demise and the collection of experiences they've gathered so far as we might be looking at them.

Rooster, Age Unknown

Marino, Bronze Turkey, Age 5

Handsome One, Thoroughbred Horse, Age 33

Violet, Potbellied Pig, Age 12 
Phyllis, Southdown Sheep, Age 13
all photos above © isa leshko

my dear little critter is showing so many signs of aging that every single time she takes more than half a minute (which is a long time, mind you) before waking up, i prepare myself for the worst.

she cannot see anything because of cataract, her hearing is almost gone and at her last vet's checkup her muscle mass had vaporized. she still has her smell and her appetite – and boy does she like to eat – and she loves going outside for walks and runs. everything's good so far, then.

but her grey snout reminds me that there is a day when a companion will be gone.

Jorma-Irmeli, Italian Greyhound, Age almost 13

Monday, October 17, 2011


a few weeks ago i got a sneak preview of forthcoming firmament when i visited the construction site of kluuvi shopping centre. a murky, stuffy and dark labyrinth of a mall was to be redone completely, and already while under renovation it looked brighter and more fresh.
cables, concrete and tile.

heads will roll.

i haz a helmet! wearing makia. (and a safety vest.)

last thursday i got to experience it fully. it was lighter and brighter definitely, but the celestial bliss waited in the depths of the basement...

tradition meets urban.

butchers who know their business.

genelec for soothing sounds.


"the right to clean food."

eat & joy farmers' market opened a large store downstairs the entirely renovated downtown shopping mall. shelves filled with local and seasonal produce, their own cheese maturing facility, a bakery, a smokery, butchers, grain mills and a potato cellar where genelec speakers play ambient music to the pleasure of the veggies and roots – talk about some rutabaga boogie...

the first night and the weekend were filled with people just browsing and lingering, tasting and, at times, complaining about the prices... as could be expected with finns who are used to eating distantly grown food cheaply and thinking that they are being ripped off because they have a hard time understanding how relatively high prices are formed in an environment where the weather is everything but suitable for human inhabitation let alone farming and where two corporations monopolize the food industry. (whoa, was that a sentence?) constraints come in forms that bind the mind sometimes.

needless to point out, this is no whole foods. we're still up north and awkwardly situated and it just does not make sense to have a selection of tropical fruit and other whatnot on offer year round. if ever, that is.

as far as trying to take the prices down, i have to side with thinking that we should learn to pay for what we choose to eat according to the real toll it is taking on our entire (eco)system although i feel uneasy with the elitism the thought might provoke. i actually believe that a healthier food chain can and should provide us with more affordable food, but it may just change our eating patterns drastically.

and if i understood correctly from my chat with the owner of the store, they are not single-mindedly promising to cut prices with more demand, but intend to grow the portion going to the producer – supporting healthily profitable agriculture and artisan food production.

swallowing that will be hard for those who believe in simplified interpretations of economics... but yeah, such is life.

the market also serves food and today i had my first lunch. a welcome addition to the neighborhood, it seemed some sort of normalcy arrived with monday.

in regard to nourishment, this fall has promise. such promise.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

true blue.

last night was all about glam and glitter: elle finland organized their third annual style awards and a bubbly crowd of fashionistas gathered to mingle.

i went for the counterintuitive look for what i felt like: bright satin is not necessarily the best option when pizza seems to have dominated your life lately... nevertheless, i ended up loving the voluptuous look that is fairly unusual in my style portfolio.

my adorable companion, vesa, looked impeccable, as always.

dress by design by katri n, tights wolford, sandals miu miu, bracelets kalevala koru, h&m, some random jeweler and stuff. vesa's mask by gtie. pic courtesy of elle, click to see more guests.

the night was fun and filled with warmth; there were so many friends that quiet moments were nonexistent. as a highlight, i even stumbled into an acquaintance from 15 years ago only to find out that he was awarded accessory designer of the year for his work at nina ricci – it's amazing how old high school buddies succeed.

little, precious world.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

sister act.

the lovers of monochrome and minimalism often tackle with the pitfalls of dressing as in costume. waiters or officers are a common reference. additionally, the clergy is also a surprisingly frequent connotation.

it was a beautiful sunday, a sumptuous brunch and my friend, a fellow virgo, celebrated his bday. although he is over a decade my junior, we happened to wear some scarily similar nunlike outfits. by accident, of course.

both wearing ann demeulemeester shirts, acsu's bottom probably givenchy, my leggings from american apparel and shoes camilla skovgaard.

viva la sisterhood!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

mi chiamo putte.

ever since i moved to helsinki, i have been looking for my pizzeria.

i love pizza and have been pretty preoccupied with the fact that i did not have a regular destination. my faves in my old hometown were trattoria romana – where i actually had my own pizza put on the menu – and sergio's with their authentic short italian service. now they've even got tintå with some pretty exclusive flavors that almost compensate for the unfortunate, slow and the most inattentive service i have ever experienced.

sure there are places in helsinki to get a flatbread with stuffing that resemble the italian leftover dish that took over the world. some are better than others. some serve the purpose of gratifying my need, but there just wasn't a place i'd call home.

that is, i did not have a spot to go to when a craving for a quality interpretation of my favorite food struck like a lightning.

no more.

the restaurant visionary behind hel yes and lapin kulta solar kitchen concepts, two excellent restaurants kuurna and ateljé finne, and a fountain of ideas for years to come, antto melasniemi, put together a casual pizza joint called putte's bar and pizza.

a short menu of a handful of pizzas, salads and cocktails can be ordered from the bar and are served in a minimalist, urban environment.

a short quiet moment shows the sleek interior.

putte di mare.


there's also a downstairs.

i killed the flower. clumsy girl.
and the most important point? yes, delicious.

Monday, October 10, 2011

neighborhood recommendation #21: grocery store.

it's hard to explain the deprivation one feels when thinking about the situation with local grocery stores in helsinki. after living in nyc and london, it feels even more desperate: a mere thought towards trader joe's and whole foods, and i feel like weeping.

there are a few – anton & anton, juuren puoti, eat&joy farmers' market and even my local little store, kaartin kotikauppa – that show the example of serving the neighborhood with quality, mostly organic fare with a heart.

i love the fact that the people whom i deal with daily recognize me, as i do them, and know what i like. although i am not one of those people who start a discussion with strangers, familiar friendliness comforts me. my heavy lids get a boost in the mornings from the sunny greeting and chatter from the guy behind the counter at sis.deli, and the classical music and attentive but informal service at kaartin kotikauppa win me over every time.

it's the sort of hybrid of anonymity and familiarity that entails what urban life at its best is all about. having your own neighborhood, your routines, people you share them with and thousands of others who walk by utterly unaware of who and what you're about.

about two weeks ago a very welcome newcomer opened a few blocks away. called aitokauppa ("real store"), it is a local attempt to provide everyone with fresh locavore food and serve the neighborhood with the sort of genuine interest that is rare but, oh, so treasured.

because we are not located in a transport hub such as new york nor in an area where year-round crops are possible, eating sustainably changes drastically how we plan and shop for food. aitokauppa's shelves are filled with dry goods and seasonal fresh products – gone are the days of just browsing a cookbook for inspiration and selecting whatever suits one's mood.

i, for one, welcome the new way of planning my daily menu. inspiration that builds from living in the moment is truly food for thought.

monday doc.

a great little piece of film about flow festival history and present by nokia. for english subtitles, click to youtube and press cc.

there's a short duck hat presence at around 4.30 mins from the beginning...

Friday, October 7, 2011


there's something that intuitively pleases me about holy ghost! and their simple disco vibe. it isn't challenging in any way and their style has remained pretty much the same since 2009.

and there's nothing wrong with that, i might add.

here's their latest single with a video that chronicles every band member's past in a photo montage. the song starts with a loop that takes me back somewhere i cannot identify... anyone have clue what i am referring to?

have a great weekend y'all!

northern mad max.

new finnish fashion talent seems sprouting allover, and there's one that especially pleases me these days.

r/h is the label of two of my friends, hanna and emilia, and it is their impeccable eye for detail that transforms sometimes the most basic shapes into interesting, fun and wearable items.

i fell in love with their joan d'arc/femme militante/mad max top with reindeer leather shoulder pads – naturally on the outside of the top.

at a boat party for nhl magazine a couple of weeks ago. good posture is everything...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


my monochromatic style evolves in steps that makes the changes in the biological world look like a high-speed car chase.

in other words, i wear black, grey and white with the occasional crazeee input of olive green, brown or (yikes) red.

no color blocks, no colorful patters (unless you count camouflage and leopard which i wear perennially whether or not they're trendy), none of that crazy irrational color combining i used to master...

my office gear consists of an easily boring set of a collared shirt and jeans, but to keep it even slightly interesting, i try to select the best tops.

one of them hangs here.
blouse by maison martin margiela 1.

margiela hardly lets you down (although the image above might).

i love clothing that does not reveal itself on a hanger. a little mystery is always good for the soul – even the soul of a blouse.

the shirt is created from two front pieces that button down, a single side piece that hangs behind like a little cape and a back piece that folds over the cape-like side piece. sound complicated? yeah, it is.

here's what it looks like.

pants by cos. moose jorma's.

all soft and delicate folds in almost transparent and airy cotton that is cut meticulously to a structured finish.

paradoxical genius.

Monday, October 3, 2011

studs of circumstance.

stretching the limits of what it means to be a photographer, the project of cosmin bumbuț brings forward intimate moments of life into which a male photographer could not otherwise have access.

he gave cameras to the inmates at tîrgșor women's penitentiary in romania and received a collection of content from life within forced borders. he then created a video (i cannot embed, but urge you to go and watch it) with the following description:
girlboys are women who, during prison detention, assume a male identity. they have “wives” who tidy up, do the laundry and wash the dishes. girlboys protect them, fulfill their emotional need and offer them sexual pleasure. they have men nicknames, cut their hair short and wear masculine clothes, clench their fists and demand respect. some of them have children at home and they do this only while they are imprisoned. other, continue their relationships after they are released. most of them are old offenders. almost all have suffered sexual abuse.
the selected set of photographs shot by the women themselves portray a world where elaborate gender systems flourish, but is in no way a stereotypical portrayal of prison life turning women into lesbian predators and victims. the longing for everyday aesthetics – frilly sheets, flowers –, privacy and close relationships is so evident, alive and yet constantly at peril.

from degetoaice 2011 © cosmin bumbuț