A belly full on facebook?

Social media makes the world go backwards or something. Things only happen once they are documented online. And so it seems a bit odd to be writing about Helsinki’s Restaurant Day on a blog when the internet is awash with glowing testimonials already. Some excellent high-quality photographs too.

When a city has to be an event, it better be one that looks good on a very small screen too, no?

But for those Helsinkians for whom life takes place offline August has always been especially lively. The city is full of people just back from long holidays, the sun shines a lot (as it does in the Finnish summer anyway, and that’s a fact), the stress hasn’t begun yet, most Finns look tanned and healthy, and on a few evenings it’s warm and dark at the same time (how Southern European!)

But enough wittering and certainly no twittering. Just a few photos from the last few days to remind ourselves what this all was.

Street partying in Rööperi, for people who like to push their baby-buggies in the street, not transport them inside the car. Tent sauna for the desperate.

Next, the restaurant stuff.

Delicious food and enough of it! Later the sun came out in full splendour.

By that time we were browsing the flea market offer in Vallila. It’s an area with a lot of the workers’ housing. One of the biggest buildings was built for workers of the Kone & Silta company. It was designed by Armas Lindgren, Bertel Liljeqvist and Elisabeth Koch as a vast perimeter block around a garden with staircases from A to P. To an outsider the garden-suburbesque aesthetic appears to reflect a still existing ethic of sharing and caring. Residents numbered 700 in the 1920s, today about 250, but from what we could see they still share.

Some stunning bicycles.

Later Regatta beckoned and offered a joke I’d not seen before.

And then, after my camera battery fell, exhausted, into well-earned slumber, we took in a bit of Art Goes Kapakka.

The news? Bringing the Guggenheim brand to Helsinki is still high on some folks’ priorities but the culture minister is mildly enthusiastic at best. Meanwhile, the financial markets may be putting everyone else on a long-term diet. Who knows what that will do to the built environment. And who knows, the social media boom and all this blogging silliness might become really old-fashioned too.


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