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New Haven

So what if what you get is not reality nor my memory of the day. But just New Haven through a dark-Friday-night-lens. Mind lens if you wish. Almost like a memory. But not quite. A mash-up. Why would I tell you that tho? Perhaps 'cos the clock is about to hit 11:11.

This is New Haven (Connecticut) on a glorious autumn day in year 2015. 


The Birthday Week

The Birthday Week. The Birthday Week!* If I were one of those people who could turn anything (I mean anything!) into a cutsie mindfulness package I would be the one who brought you the life altering notion of a birthday week. I'd have a hacienda in a sunny location and I would not be battling hibernation here. I would be the sun! But. I am not. Nevertheless I wanna tell you that having a birthday is extremely risky. Because it might a very lousy day. Like you're swamped in work, stuck at an airport, sick or just not feeling it. There might be hair stuck to your teeth.

So, I have decided that having a birthday week is a more safe option (read: more cake and presents). In the past years I have done cake sampling (one new cake every day), traveled (because I do love airports after all) and an origami challenge (or was that a Xmas thing?). The idea is to do whatever takes you fancy and not put all your eggs in one basket. This year I had a week off and no plans as such (read: no airports). So I ended up doing a lot of things I love in general and it was just fabulous - spending time with some of my favourite people, eating out (from burgers to sushi to Nepalese to cocktails for lunch), visiting museums and galleries, going to the movies (Black Nights Film Festival is a classic, really), getting a hair cut, seeing live music, dancing, getting drinks; shopping at flea markets, books stores and design fairs. Avoiding big parties ('cos I selfishly want quality time with friends, m'kay) and sleeping in. As luck has it's Finland's 101st birthday today, so post birthday week also has a little celebratory touch. Hip-hip-hooray, Finland!

Here are some of my favourite things from my birthday week I would recommend.

* It spreads into a birthday month effortlessly. Like a dream.


Fragments of Kyoto

I just felt like looking back at my photos from Japan (spring 2015) and here are a few shots from Kyoto. Uploading them here made me think about a Spanish language exercise I had to do years back. There was a small comic strip with no text and I had to tell a story based on what I saw. My teacher thought I was really creative (let's put it like that), but my problem was that these pictures made no sense to me, I couldn't imagine what was the "right" story. Somehow selecting photos for a single blog update is like that. Creating a comic strip with no or minimal words. I quite enjoy that.

Ps. Have you heard St. Vincent cover "Perfect Day"? You should. 


Time Out Sunday

Hello-goodbye, hello-goodbye, flu! Not severe, yet still annoying flu. It's November. The month of death, literally. But as the saying goes - more darkness means more glitter! (No-one says that.)

If you are reading this and you're in Helsinki I would recommend checking out the SNAP festival - works by kids and youth are out there in public space. Ok, so the festival ends today, but I would hope they won't take the works down so soon. I was quite smitten by the large scale prints (on some sort of fabric) and the winter sun casting orange-yellow light. (Shared it on my Instagram account.)

If you have flu and you wanna just endlessly scroll through someone's social media feed then Lukasz Wierzbowski is your man. I have been addicted to his work for a while now.

One of my first big city crushes - RIGA (2007)
Last, but not least, no-no! A very fabulous happy 100th birthday, Latvia! We have all come a long way, but my personal history would have been rather different without Brainstorm/Prata Vetra and all that. Those who know, know. And the others. Well, we might discuss it over a hot beverage. Or then I'll write a memoir. Just parents, so you know, it probably makes a world's difference what your kid gets into when she's 16. ;) Yes, I could write a semi-romantic poem in Latvian. And no, I don't speak Latvian. That said I am now gonna have another cup of tea and a celebratory cookie. Hip-hip hooray!

Brainstorm in Riga. Front row. (2005)
So while I dig out my old Brainstorm records (nostalgia, aaahhh, you beast!) I leave you with something completely different. I will definitely wanna find out more about her music.

RosalĂ­a - Malamente.


Looking Back: My First Exhibition

Exhibition #NewYorkNewYork at the Museum of Photography (Tallinn, Estonia, Feb-April 2018)
Same time last year I was probably elegantly (how else) panicking how my very first photo exhibition will come together. A year later I have finally gotten around to sharing some photos and "behind the scenes" of the exhibition here on the blog (mainly 'cos I did share all the best bits already on Facebook and Instagram).

First things first -  I am forever grateful to everyone who made it happen! (Exclamation marks ad infinitum.)

Here you can read the "official" description of the exhibition. Less officially - I put together everything that I was drawn to at the time (and still am for most part). Urbanscapes, analogue photography, Instagram, time travel, square format, hashtags, neon lights, street photography, DIY, interaction, present and past. I hardly ever go out just to take photographs. Rather when I am out and about I feel like I need to collect the moments around me, so I can savor them, discard them, alter them, investigate them, share them etc.

At the Museum of Photography we had rails underneath the pictures, so visitors could add hashtags to photos. Some of which I had created beforehand and blank "tiles" people could fill with their own ideas. I now own a zip lock bag filled with a variety of hashtags in several languages. I absolutely love that. It's like a distant analogue interaction between me, my photos and people who came to see the exhibition.

All self made. In the dark room and in the less dark kitchen and living room (yes, there's still spray paint residue in my kitchen, most probably). Testing different paints and materials. Deciding on the measurements and making sure there's no dust under the glass (like truly impossible). Shopping for fun things (construction stores and art supply stores... like I really need a reason to visit those). Oh and choosing the photos. Good thing there were time constraints. One of the hardest things is to discard a photo you love, but that doesn't fit in with the others. (It's like democracy - majority wins.)

One would think that framing 13 photos cannot take too long. Wrong. So wrong. Position, dust, position, dust... dust. And not to stain anything. I have all this new found respect for anyone ever having to go through something similar.

So from all that to this. Easy peasy. ;)

What you cannot "see" here is the absolutely fabulous soundtrack my good friend composed for the exhibition. I do hope that one day somewhere the photos and music can come together again. Currently all neatly tucked away in a box in my wardrobe.

Ps. Photos here do no justice to how cool it all looked IRL, even if I do say so myself.


Time Out Sunday

Tsundoku. Sums up parts of my life so well. I had it all under control until I stumbled upon a stand that had old books in Spanish for 2€. I am somewhat doubtful I'll read them all, but I just love them. Also, when the salesperson noticed me with all the books, he came to me, gave me a bag and told to take my time. So I also chose some books in English and French (pretentious much). That's book fairs for me, folks. A trap. Not only that, I also love magazines. The copy of Vogue from Italy is my current favourite photo book. I just love love going through magazine stands at airports. But really, my future guests will have endure me showing them some of my favourite things in Vogue Italia no. 817. Also, the H&M dress I bought is in it. I feel very en vogue (har har).

Blue skies have returned (yay!), but they have brought along some serious winter vibes (nay!). So wintery that wearing what I deem a winter coat was not an overkill. (It is extremely unclear when I can wear my autumn clothes, because now we have leaped from warm spring weather into... winter!)

I had taken notes of what I wanna blog about, but then I realised it's winter time and for my body it's like midnight already, so I just do this mobile shots and random ramble update - to have a reason to share Jakko Eino Kalev'is "This World". His record release gig was love. And I am having some home made chocolate chip & oatmeal cookies.


Time Out Sunday

When life hands you nuts hide them and forget about them! (The less known Squirrel Proverb from Seurasaari.)

They know how to work in front of cameras.

Yet after visiting New York all furry running rodents make me a little jumpy. Totally rat-like, n'est pas?!

So yes, this is my animal therapy update. Happy Sunday!