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30.12.19

Favourites of 2019

Ragnar Kjartansson "Scandinavian Pain" at Kiasma (Dec 2019 in Helsinki, Finland)
Making favourites lists seems futile. However, I looked back at the posts I had made about 2015, 2017 and 2018 and I enjoyed them. (I don’t know what happened in 2016. :))

I’m greedy. I have this feeling that I could do more and see more, always. At the same time I can’t recall many wonderful things I have seen and heard. I crave for a time out. And then some of my favourite moments are as random as a pitstop at a roadside market looking at the photos of local heroes and cheerleaders. 

Rambling aside, here are some of the most memorable experiences of 2019.

MUSIC/albums
  • (Sandy) Alex G “House of Sugar”
  • James Blake “Assume Form”
  • Lana Del Rey “Norman Fucking Rockwell”
  • The National “I Am Easy to Find”
I have this underlying fear that what if I never listen to anything new again. Like I am too tired. I wanna cling to the familiar (I mean, if I love something then I love something). But thankfully life always throws a curveball (is it really a curveball if it seems to happen always?!). Apart from the albums mentioned I listened to a bunch of different artist. And of those four two are new loves - never before had I been sucked into Lana Del Rey’s world so completely. And Alex G is just a new kid on the block for me. 

MUSIC/concerts
  • (Sandy) Alex G (Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, USA, 29 Oct)
  • Courtney Barnett (Huvila-teltta, Helsinki, Finland, 26 Aug)
  • Father John Misty (Flow Festival, Helsinki, Finland, 11 Aug)
  • The Holy (Huvila-teltta, Helsinki, Finland, 26 Aug)
  • James Blake (Flow Festival, Helsinki, Finland, 11 Aug)
  • Mitski (Flow Festival, Helsinki, Finland, 11 Aug)
Holiday Lights (Dec 2019 in Helsinki, Finland)
ART/exhibitions
  • Anja Niemi “In Character” (Fotografiska, Tallinn, Estonia)
  • David Jiménez (Sala Canal de Isabel II, Madrid, Spain)
  • Darío Villalba (Sala Alcalá 31, Madrid, Spain)
  • Karoliina Hellberg (Didrichsen Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland)
  • Ragnar Kjartansson “The Visitors” (Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland)
Let’s be clear now - Ragnar stole my heart in 2019! He had me first hooked in 2014. And I mean, stealing my heart with video art is mission impossible to begin with.

ART/museums&galleris
  • Oakland Museum of California (Oakland, USA)
  • Pier 24 Photography (San Francisco, USA)
  • SFMOMA (San Francisco, USA)
I had to make these subcategories, because during my trip to San Francisco I visited three spectacular places. Oakland Museum of California is probably the overlord of all museums, because it beautifully combines art, history and nature. Not the mention the temporary Burning Man exhibition. Got a feeling that if Burning Man were a baby it definitely grew up being nothing like its parents had imagined. I’d like to place my bets when will it turn into a soccer mom retreat (how crude!). But I mean, it was a wonderful museum experience. And Pier 24 is the make believe wonderland for anyone interested in photography. Say, even if you hate photography it probably has something for you. All hail! (in all sincerity!)

ART/experience
  • Leonardo da Vinci “Lady With an Ermine” (National Museum, Krakow, Poland)
Because you can’t visit Krakow without encountering the painting in all forms all over the town. To be fair, it was nice (my heart rarely beats an extra beat for art from that era, so I mean, it was great success). I choose to tell how it is my favourite da Vinci painting (not that I have seen that many of those). I think that will make me an astonishing conversationalist and a hit at all social gatherings. 

Lasipalatsi (Dec 2019 in Helsinki, Finland)
VARIA

I discovered Sally Rooney (I read night and day wishing there were more books by her) and Alexander Chee ("How to Write an Autobiographical Novel" is a gem). I traveled to Northern Spain (Cantabria wins) and Northern California! I’m a Northerner, so much it almost breaks my heart (ah, good old melodrama). Also appreciating the irony that some Norths are so much more sunnier. I have seen the mountains and the ocean - some of my favourite things. And my godson was born! (Disclaimer: it’s a non-religious godparent thing.)

So this is it. In a nutshell. The end. Here's to 2019!


26.12.19

Week 52: Dance


Listening: Kristin Anna

On 1 Jan 2019 I sat down at my kitchen table. I took 52 pieces of yellow paper and wrote down 52 random words. I rolled them up and tucked away in a Belgian cookie tin with nuns on it. Every week I take out one word and shoot accordingly.
25.12.19

Week 51: Chicken


Ps. It's really a turkey. And I wanted to call  the pic 'Post Mortem'.

Listening: Christmas songs

On 1 Jan 2019 I sat down at my kitchen table. I took 52 pieces of yellow paper and wrote down 52 random words. I rolled them up and tucked away in a Belgian cookie tin with nuns on it. Every week I take out one word and shoot accordingly.
19.12.19

Carmel-by-the-Sea


I wrote several paragraphs for my Carmel-by-the-Sea update over the past week. I got so carried away that some of the text was actually about Monterey. Human mind, so reliable. :) So, here I am binding those fragments together. Carmel was all cute and it had the ocean. I love the ocean. I am biased to places where all mighty ocean hits the shores. I'm all like... a surfer and a magic maker inside. (Let's take a moment here to appreciate the irony. I mean, I am also terrified of speed and unpredictability.)


However, on that day in Carmel I also learned that I am not interested in a fairy tale life. Not even spending a longer holiday. Maybe I shouldn't say it out loud. I mean now people can shove it to my face - you rejected the magic and asked for the mundane, deal with it, don't complain. (And I am kinda totally into complaining.)





Tourists. Tourists. Tourists. All those European vibes. How unfair is that. I mean, after all, it is us Europeans who settled there. So why do I complain (ha!)?! It looked like some distorted version of German cottages and French riviera, where I have not been; but I have this compelling illusion what it must be like. But okay, if you prefer - just like Belgian Northern coast packed with holiday apartments and cottages. I have been there, solid argument (I am laughing at my own jokes here, ahem).










Why do I think that the man I saw in some other small town with weathered face and a bright red beanie was somehow more real than those people there enjoying their all American (e.g. Kate Spade) shopping in a make believe fairy tale town?! Or why do I think that shopping should be done in a different town surrounded by different buildings? Or is it really that I would prefer my car being smaller than my house? That's for me and my alter egos to debate over under different circumstances in another time. (Our conversations hardly ever run dry.)  














Yet, I took many photos. Too many photos of something I claim I have no real interest in. The joke, it might be on me. (Wouldn't have it any other way.)




16.12.19

Week 50: Nuts


Listening: Beastie Boys

On 1 Jan 2019 I sat down at my kitchen table. I took 52 pieces of yellow paper and wrote down 52 random words. I rolled them up and tucked away in a Belgian cookie tin with nuns on it. Every week I take out one word and shoot accordingly.
9.12.19

Week 49: Despair


Listening: FKA twigs

On 1 Jan 2019 I sat down at my kitchen table. I took 52 pieces of yellow paper and wrote down 52 random words. I rolled them up and tucked away in a Belgian cookie tin with nuns on it. Every week I take out one word and shoot accordingly.
7.12.19

Travelogue 2019

As per travelogue tradition (see 2017 and 2018) here we go in chronological order. This year I have been the furtherest from home so far - close to 9000 km in one flight. Yet I felt more at home in San Francisco than I have been feeling at some more local hoods. Geographical distance is just that - kilometres. Speaking of home - I also returned to my beloved Madrid and discovered some of Northern Spain (I am such a northerner ;)). Rest assured mountains and ocean are my absolute favourites. It's like ocean is the liquid mountain range. Last, but not least, I would like to thank everyone who shared their home and time with me during those travels! Ho(s)tels are fine, but it also extremely nice to sleep on a friend's sofa now and then and get all the inside scoop. :)

Krakow, Poland

Glendalough, Ireland 

Powerscourt Gardens, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Madrid, Spain

Ichnite route, Spain

Rioja, Spain

Santoña, Spain

Arredondo, Spain

Vega de Pas, Spain

Santander, Spain

Comillas, Spain

Llanes, Spain

Oviedo, Spain

Aviles, Spain

Salinas, Spain

Covadonga, Spain

Lebeña, Spain

Picos de Europa, Spain

Valley of the Fallen, Spain

San Francisco, CA, USA

Oakville, CA, USA

Yosemite National Park, CA, USA

Berkeley, CA, USA

Pigeon Point Lighthouse, CA, USA

Monterey, CA, USA

Bird Rock, CA, USA

Lone Cypress, CA, USA

Pebble Beach, CA, USA

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA, USA

Fruitvale, Oakland, CA, USA