Category Archives: Trips & Travels

Humanity: Weekly Photo Challenge

Humans are rather clever creatures. Eons ago someone figured how to control fire. No more shivering and being afraid in the dark. The darkness could be pushed away! Eons ago someone decided to co-operate with some of the friendlier wolves and now we have dogs! Eons ago they worshipped fat ladies and made dildos! Eons ago they knew how to live!

Oh, how many great things have humans figured out. There must have been first person to use something we would call make-up, after losing a mate to the Urgh in the neighbouring cave. Tools! Did the first hammer user curse as much as we do today after hitting one’s own finger?

All those small discoveries made with the help of large cranium and opposable thumbs became all the fantastic things we call arts and sciences. We truly are a special species among species. There’s just one slight design flaw that ruins it all…

Napoleons field uniform

Napoleon's throne Altar in the Saint Sulpice Lenin painting in Paris

Tendency to bend at knees.

This is my entry to this week’s photo challenge Humanity. If you are interested, rest of the interpretations are HERE and my other challenge photos are HERE.

-Thrifty Finn-

 

 

Open House Helsinki 2014

open house helsinki, event, Finland

Source: openhousehelsinki.fi

Today was the first day of Open House Helsinki, event where you get to visit buildings and locations you normally wouldn’t have access to. How exciting! Open House Helsinki is actually part of Open House Worldwide, a non-profit organization whose primary aim is to be an architectural education event.

So let’s have a look at the program in Helsinki?

UK-embassy. Image by Reetta Purontakanen

Friday looked pretty good. Access to the parliament library, the clock tower of Helsinki Railway Station, UK embassy, The House of The Senate... to name a few. I decided on the tour in Puu-Käpylä. Naturally missed the start and ended up touring the place by myself. I actually ran into the tour group but at that point I had seen enough, so I listened for a while and then went my way. In summa summarum, excellent selection.

I got home from my exhaustingly architectural day in Helsinki and decided to look what was on offer tomorrow.  And let me tell you, this is were things got ugly and that’s why I’m writing this post which is about to become a rant…

Open House Worldwide-participants are required to adhere to following rules:

1. The Open House event should maintain the core values of the Open House concept: to foster appreciation, understanding and learning amongst your own communities along with the value of architectural excellence and showcasing outstanding design, including quality contemporary design.

2. Free entry to all buildings taking part in the Open House event is mandatory, and no mandatory charge to be made to building owners to participate.

3. A not-for-profit organisation or charity should organise/host the Open House event in each city, whilst also being independent from party political ties. The organisation will further need to be part of or involved within architecture or the built environment sector.

4. The primary aim of Open House is an architectural education event.

Now, Open House Helsinki is sponsored by SKANSKA. A commercial building company. Known for its poor quality and strong liaisons with local municipalitie’s planning departments. Let’s see what kind of locations we have on offer on Saturday

Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Good but you can only join if you were one of the peeps who participated in the raffle for the tickets.

Tove Jansson‘s Helsinki. Fantastic! The creator of Moomins lived all her life in the Helsinki city center or its proximity and this tour takes you through her hoods. But since the tour is also in the guide, and you can do it by yourself, it doesn’t really adhere to the “not getting access to normally” promise.

The tower of Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral, Finlandia Hall and Helsinki Hall of Culture. First one required to win in a raffle to get in. Understandable. The latter two only accepts 25 and 30 peeps respectively in but hey, those 55 people get to see some rooms that normally aren’t open for public! And yes, they used exclamation marks to make this point. I’m going to assume that most of the rooms ARE open for public any other day too.

Can you see the sarcasm creeping in? Well, it’s about to get better. Let’s see rest of Saturday’s offerings. Remember, this event is about architectural education and “fostering appreciation, understanding and learning amongst your own communities along with the value of architectural excellence and showcasing outstanding design, including quality contemporary design.”

Kivistö-neighbourhood. A building site that’s going to be finished in 2015 for the annual home & architecture-fair. The interesting pitch for this place include “train station will be ready in 2015″ and of course the compulsory mention of the said fair.

Kivistö-train station. A building site. Yes, the same train station that was mentioned in the previous listing. Finished in 2015.

Kivistö Quartz Route. A building site. A pedestrian and bike road to connect Kivistö to whatever. I’m going to presume it’s going to be ready in 2015. But wait, there IS something ready. Some kind of artwork by Leonhard Lapin. Will be revealed officially tomorrow.

Kivistö Sonata. Almost not a building site. Apparently the first building in Kivistö-block to reach full height! There also “will be 9 buildings in total including on care home!” Lots of words about how there will be this and that kind of building materials used. Rest of the buildings in the block will be ready in 2015.

Kivistö Concrete Art walking tour. A building site. “The art theme realized in Kivistö, will in future be seen from Kivistö train station”. Probably ready in 2015. The tour ends with a visit to this artistic gem:

Image via liikennevirasto.fi

Kivistö City Center Tour. A building site. If you missed it, there will be an architecture fair in Kivistö in 2015. Which means this city center will be finished 2015. Or that’s what the boys of SKANSKA say on their website.

You know what this reminds me of? The Asterix comic “The Mansions of the Gods“, that’s what. Those who have read it knows the one spread with an image of the sales pitch tablet, which is made to advertise the mansions nearby Asterix’s village to attract wealthy Romans and where next to every advertised amenity are the words “in planning”.

This is exactly the same! Well not exactly. Kivistö totally has finished buildings! My mistake!

But no worries. There are still TWO sites for tomorrow that AREN’T KIVISTÖ! Shocking. I know. Let’s see if they are any better…

HEKA-building in Jätkäsaari. Finished building. Didn’t see that one coming, did you? The sad part is that it’s apparently ONLY finished building there because…

Tour of Jätkäsaari. A building site. “Jätkäsaari will have housing for 18 000 and work for 6000 people. There will be affordable housing as well as private ownership and every other ownership model in between”. Awful lot of “will bees” if you know what I’m sayin’? But not to worry, the main contractor for Jätkäsaari is SKANSKA.

So I’m going to leave you to ponder following things…Is Open House Helsinki honouring the spirit of Open House? Are these locations rare architectural gems?  Is Saturday’s program nothing but poorly disguised marketing campaign for SKANSKA? Strategically on a weekday when the potential buyers are off work?

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. The Sunday’s program is HERE. Only 4 locations. I guess SKANSKA ran out of steam.

P.P.S. Thinking about re-locating to Finland? How about Kivistö?

 

 

 

Adventure in the Olden Days

chateau fontainbleau, library

Do you know what this place is? I’m going to give you a hint. It’s in France.

chateau fontainbleau, library

It’s the library in the Chateau Fontainebleau.

chateau fontainbleau, library

Can you imagine the kings and aristocrats planning their worldly explorations in here? Having audiences for the brave people who wanted to find new worlds? True, now we know that those discoveries turned into genocides but the stories of adventure still tempt us.

Adventure is this week’s theme in Weekly Photo Challenge. The rest of the interpretations can be found HERE. If you are interested in my other challenge photos, they are HERE.

-Thrifty Finn-

Recently Thrifted

Last Saturday was event called Siivouspäivä. That’s when you can set up your own little flea market stall anywhere you want (rather like Queens’ Day King’s Day in Holland). It’s purpose is to encourage people to re- and upcycle things. Me and my sister decided to sell our goodies in Kallio, Helsinki as we figured that it would be packed with people and thus we would have bigger chance on good sales.

We were right. I managed to get rid of bunch of fabrics I wasn’t so keen on anymore and managed to make profit. Well done me! I kept getting complimented on my selling skills all day long.

*waves like a Miss Universum-contestant, weeps and whispers I love you to the audience*

BUT it wouldn’t be a good market if I didn’t make some scores myself. Well, actually I went to Hietalahden Kirpputori too on Sunday and continued my shopping there, so not all these finds are from Saturday.

Left out a skirt (of which I will blog about another time), a vintage Christmas tray and some random bits and bobs. I splurged 5 euros on the Sanna Annukka-piece. It’s actually XS sized tube top and the pattern is one she designed for the candy company Fazer to promote their Marianne-candy. I’m a fan of Sanna Annukka and few years ago I wrote about her HERE. Iäm such a fan of this pattern. When they launched it, they had a Metro-magazine covered in the pattern. I hoarded three copies. Should have taken more so I would have plenty for Christmas-related crafts. Now they just sit in my bookshelf to be carefully admired once in a while.

Did you go thrifting? What did you find?

-Thrifty Finn-

Doggie Dialogue

This summer I visited Paris. Again. One day I was on a walk with my friend and we walked past a florist shop in a fancy ass neighbourhood. At first I thought nothing of it but then I saw these two little cuties:

Two doggies in Paris

I called them in Finnish and they seemed to understand. The owner, however didn’t appreciate it and called them back inside. Our dialogue was cut short but at least I got this cute photo. This is my entry for this week’s photo challenge ‘Dialogue‘. If you are interested, the other interpretations can be found HERE. All my entries, past and present, for the WordPress Photo Challenge are HERE.

-Thrifty Finn-