Before we offer up a few tweet-like snippets of Helsinki-themed conversation, let’s just note with gratitude the legacy given to our fair city by the old co-operative movement, Elanto.
The bee-logoed co-op didn’t serve just the workers who shopped or worked there or who lived in its blocks of marvellous flats. Every shopper who sauntered down busy, busy (honest) Aleksanterinkatu in the 1950s would have passed by its gleaming new department store. More than likely they’d have seen (if not noticed) the relief by artist Aimo Tukiainen now sadly (almost) covered over.
Yesterday the old building was restored to a new sense of life. We hope.
The Kluuvi shopping mall (we think mall is a more apt word than centre, or even center) reopened. This time it also hosts an interesting riposte to Finland’s disastrous food retail duopoly. In the basement is a new local/organic food market run by the team behind Eat & Joy Maatilatori. Bizarrely little about this fascinating venture online, so here’s just one of several not-brilliant pics taken yesterday.
Divided up between local-ish producers, and boasting cheese counters, fish, veg, probably overpriced stuff in jars and beautiful bread, oh, and fish smokery and bread oven built in, the place is rather a delight.
Elsewhere in/on Helsinki yesterday:
“I love this city.”
“God it’s cold” (in various languages).
“Things are getting ugly now in Helsinki, I’m sorry to say” – Helsinki resident Carlos Lamuela speaking about plans to cover even more of Espoo and Helsinki with asphalt at Dodo’s annual Megapolis event.
“Some impolite urban planning, here by Le Corbusier” – someone talking about an image of the insane Paris Plan Voisin.
“Please do something before it’s too late”, Lamuela again.
“We’re fed up with the same shit in our food shops”, someone about Kluuvi.
“People are more difficult than buildings”, someone talking about New Helsinki.