Godfather.

I’m trying to get it around my head, you’re not here anymore. I want to say all of it and none of it at the same time. I want you to know how much you meant to me and the impact you’ve had in my life but at the same time, I want to go into cave and not say anything about it to anybody. Because if I write about it, say it out loud, it is that much more real. It is real but still, it feels like it is not. What I want to do is to pick up my phone and call, maybe you would answer? Death is so final. There is nothing you could say or do. The presence of death is in everywhere, in every inhale and exhale it lingeries through your body.

Often, we talk about how we should say all the things to each other when the person is still here but do we always understand those things before the other is away? Our need to create a story and meaning to that story shapes how we see things at this moment, death is a plot twist that shapes our story in a way that our life will not be the same again. It pushes us to think our past with different way, it highlights our lives different way because the memories we have are there but it hits us like a wave, there will not be new memories with this person.

Photographing has been with me years. I got my first camera from my godfather. It is not so much the physical gift in this narrative that makes this moment so meaningful to me, it is everything else that is tied to ‘photographing’, it is my way to experience and present world differently. It gives me an outlet for my feelings and it includes others into my journey even though they would not be in that exact spot with me physically. It is a way for me to tell about my feelings of a place, my own feelings or just be there side by side with my written words. And you were there, contributing to something that grew to be something I keep turning to when I need a new perspective or when I need to find a way to paint the truth I created in a slightly different way. You contributed to my core.

Your support and way you treated me since I was a kid, not as a kid but as another human being shaped me. I never felt that you would have pampered me, you listened, contributed and took me as I am. It feels hard to accept that I will never have this kind of conversation with you anymore. It feels hard to even talk about you in the past tense. I don’t understand death, I don’t understand why. Death feels always sudden, it reminds that we are here only for a certain period of time. It reminds me that I should be open, present and loving, even though it seems hard almost impossible at times. Seek deep, learn and re-learn yourself, spread the love you have. Spread the love all over yourself and you will accidentally spread it to others at the same time, it is like confetti. You will find it still months after in the most surprising places. Remember, there are always many sides to the story, your own interpretation is not the only truth. You just might be contributing into someone’s life in the most magical way even though you or they wouldn’t see it in that exact moment. We all are just stardust wondering in this chaos called life.

Thank you, for being there for me. Thank you for saying yes to my parents when they asked you to be my godfather. I’m ever grateful to you for being part of my life.

And just because we should have gone to see the new Queen movie together and last time we talked I gave a monologue to you, why I love this song and video so much:

Pics are from: Copenhagen, Denmark, Bologna, Italy, Dublin, Ireland and Calabria, Italy.

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Paris & Wondering Heart

Paris was stunning, just like I remembered. It was magical to see 14th of July celebration in France. We started evening with picnic (including some cheese, crackers and champagne) and made our move to Champ De Mars afterwards. I remember Eiffel Tower’s surroundings quite well from 2013 when I first visited Paris. Back then I was amazed of it all but there was something special this time around. We walked whole day in a perfect weather from alley to alley and I had camera glued to me. You know, one of those moments you share with someone and you think still after days and weeks; were we actually there? Was it real? One of the best things about traveling is to experience something new, something that is different from what you are used to. 14th of July this year included the best parts of traveling and sharing it all with a good friend. Not much more you can ask for a memory?

First things first, you know that you speak Finnish on a ‘fast mode’ when security person asks: are you from Italy? This happened when we entered Champ De Mars. In Finland Independence Day celebration is devoted and quiet. It is about getting together, eating well, burning two candles and watching president shaking hands with people. Although, one factor could be that this day is in December, which of course makes it a tap too cold season to celebrate outside in our levels (and I do love the way we celebrate Independence Day). Which in contrast made Paris experience so special, because setting, weather and atmosphere were so divergence from Finnish way. Luckily I had someone with me to translate everything, it does make a difference to have someone with you that understands the local language. And well, those fireworks were stunning:

I’ve been thinking what it is with traveling, why do I love it? And I haven’t find the answer to that question yet but what I’ve come peace with lately is my wondering heart. My wondering heart is still exploring and it might continue this wondering for the rest of my life. But what is different now is that I’m starting to accept this, I’m on a process where I can accept that I don’t know where I see myself settling down. Accept that I don’t know where my place is. But I will keep wondering, I will keep exploring and maybe one day I notice I’m right there where I’m supposed to be. But before that, I will go back to memory land and post some pics from Paris ❤

In Rainbows

I’m still dancing through November (knock on wood). Facebook has been kindly reminding (with the function that tells you; x years ago you posted this) me about albums like Kid A and Amnesiac, but I’m not in the mood for those. Although, I have to confess that when I found out that In Rainbows (FINALLY) is on Spotify, my playlist has been pretty much Radiohead on loop. At least one could view it a bit more ‘light spirited’ compared to Kid A or Amnesiac (I don’t want to disappear completely, however not sure is don’t get any big ideas, they’re not gonna happen any better?  :’D). Past autumn has been busy (as every other autumn I would say) but it is flavoured with me returning my thesis (yay, graduation is one step closer and if everything goes fine I will get that certificate end of this year… at last! what a relief). What I’ve been up to lately in Helsinki is brunches. I’m still figuring out when to do another post for coffee places (there are more than couple good ones in Kallio area), but because I happen to have footage from a really nice breakfast/brunch place I think it is better to stick to that. Plus I have no idea what else I could write about but I still feel like writing. It seemed logical to talk about KUUMA.

KUUMA is a relatively nice place in the corner of Pursimiehenkatu and Albertinkatu in Punavori (I know, am I too favourable for the places here in my hoods? But what can you do, Punavuori delivers one of the nicest restaurants and cafés in Helsinki). I heard about it from my friend (who lives btw in Espoo…) and I thought I needed a tiny yummy break from my thesis and decided to have an all-day breakfast in KUUMA (which translates in English as HOT). And just to be sure how much I like the place, I met my cousin today in there. Here are some pictures from their breakfast and yes, I can warmly recommend. What I have had is an Avocado Toast and Chia pudding with a juice and coffee (awwwww… yes.)

Coffee & Helsinki pt.2

So, after having my first V60 on Saturday (of course at Kaffa) I think it is a good time to write more about Cafés in Helsinki. Next three is going to be from city center area and not in any particular order once again. First Johan & Nyström Coffee. Located in idyllic Katajanokka with a sea view and warm welcoming atmosphere topped up with nice coffee, not more you can ask for? I think I mentioned earlier, my usually ‘to go’ –drink is Latte which is served in nice glass mugs and there are some little treats you can choose to go with coffee if you feel like it. Menu for all the coffee possibilities is projected into a wall and there are plenty to choose from. Similarly to Kaffa you can buy all the necessary accessories to make your coffee also at home and staff is helpful if you need assistance. But for me, it is the atmosphere in here which comes from the location and interior design that makes me go back for coffee in here. Often if I’m showing Helsinki to someone I take them here. Below picture from last summer showing that awesome view and cafe heart I got last time when I visited the shop. How to get here? Easiest way is to take a tram to Senate Square and walk from there to the shop.

Second place is the newest addition to coffee places I’ve visited in Helsinki called Mad Possum. Due to the years in China I like my coffee hot (usually other beverages too like warm water, tea…even during summer time), nonetheless temperature outside. But after walking for a whole day I stepped out of my routines and tasted iced latte. And yes, it was a good choice. You know those times you have to choose what are you going to have and you slightly want to try something new but end up disappointed? This time there were no disappointment in the air, my latte had excellent taste. Besides the iced latte I heard nice reviews of Espresso that my friends were having. Place is small, by square meters it is most likely one of the smallest places I’ve visited in Helsinki. In this case that is not a problem, it separates Mad Possum from other places and creates certain feeling to the place. Once again staff is more than helpful and if you feel like chatting for a longer or not at all there is a room for both. Located near Senate Square in Vironkatu in Kruunuhaka, easiest way to get there is by taking a tram to Kaisaniemenpuisto (trams 3, 6, 6T or 9) or Kansallisarkisto (trams 1A or 7B). Because place is small and I have some issues photographing in places where I could accidentally harass someone’s chilling I only have picture from the outside.

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And last is La Torrefazione, this is located in da spot. Meaning that it is always busy and it is next to Stockmann (oldest and biggest department store in Helsinki). I would recommend this place, if you are a bit hungry but same time would feel like having a coffee. La Torrefazione serves really nice menu of Ciabattas and cakes if you feel like something sweet (also vegan choices, yay!). I would say compared to other two option this is more like a café in a traditional sense where you would just order and move to eat what you wanted in a table you choose (or in this case you take a table that is free). Therefore it would not give so much choices in terms of if you want to know more about the coffee you’re drinking or you feel like chatting with the barista (I’ve never been in here and not seeing a queue to the counter). But it is located in a really good spot and compared to other chain cafés it serves quality coffee (using Kaffa’s beans see my first post on Coffee and Helsinki) and nice range of other beverages and things to eat. It is easy to walk from Central Railway station or Kamppi to La Torrefazione, but if you feel like taking public transportation take a tram to Alekstanterinkatu (trams 2, 4, 5 or 7B).

 

As a bonus, El Fante which is a coffe&wine bar, therefore anytime you feel like having some wine or coffee El Fante is a good choice. Serving Good Life Coffee (I will introduce Good Life Coffee in third Coffee & Helsinki post from Cafes in Kallio area) and located just couple steps from Senate Square it is a good place to visit while sight seeing Helsinki. Link to the map: https://goo.gl/maps/e7VcqrZY5kv