Thursday, August 31, 2006

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Helsinki poetry marathon

As a counterpoint to the Helsinki City Marathon, Saturday saw a poetry marathon, staged at the old Central Bus Station.
J.K.Ihalainen mid-performance with his strong, beautiful poetry. This guy has had William S.Burroughs illustrate one of his books! Follow the link given, click on Poetry, and scroll to find a sample. His best stuff is in Finnish, though, in my humble opinion.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Night of the Arts, part 5. High culture.

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Night of the Arts is, as the name would suggest, a night devoted to the arts. Arranged in Helsinki this year for the eighteenth time, it features performances from right across the broad board of (what terms itself) art. We ended our evening at the National Opera, listening to this wonderful tenor doing an aria from Yevgeni Onegin, followed by a duetto from La Traviata, to which we were all invited to dance. More pictures of the event on my flickr site.

Night of the Arts, part 4.

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Fire-juggling is too cool. These kids were good, and there was drumming, too. My older son is somewhere in the crowd.

Night of the Arts, part 3. Return of the Pancake Man

We ate the pancakes afterwards. I was in some way happier that they were cooked by the lady.

Night of the Arts part 2

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This guy was serving pancakes outside an antique shop. I asked him whether I could take a picture, and he replied "Naked or clothed?" The rest, as they say, is history...

Night of the Arts part 1

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Dozens of shamanic drummers gathered in the park at Töölönlahti Bay.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Smoke on the water

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Yesterday, the wind turned easterly again, and Helsinki was engulfed in the smoke from forest fires in Russia, 300 kilometres away.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Finlandia Hall, designed by Alvar Aalto.

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I love the fact we have a huge plot of wasteland right in the heart of town, behind all the famous landmarks such as the Finlandia House or indeed the House of Parliament (out of shot, to the left a touch). Alas, it's all going to be developed within the next five years or so.