Friday, 27 February 2015

The Kauppatori, Helsinki

Most European cities have an old town/old section and in that area, there's frequently a central market. Helsinki's market is located right in the middle of the old harbor area, right there by the piers full of boats and ferries ready to take tourists on various day trip jaunts.

The dockside market.

Maybe you're looking to put together items for a great picnic? Start with fresh berries and add other foodstuffs.

How about lunch or breakfast? It's never too early to eat salmon, especially when you see and smell the beautiful planks of it being grilled bright and early. Mmmm.

Non-food things like crafts and textiles are also available, drawing thick crowds.

The breakfast of Finnish champions: Coffee, cruller and waffle with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Taking A Look Around The Streets Of Helsinki

Wander around Helsinki, away from the central harbor and related promenade highlights of the central city, and you start to get an idea how the streets flow and how the city has unfolded.

A little splash of color at the end of the street.

Green space sharing the city. Many windowed school.

Super-neat renovation site.

Fun with street grid perspectives.

Everything gone except orange.

Elevations leading to the unknown.

Helsinki's real life mixed media.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Helsinki's Harbor

Proximity to water is Helsinki's claim to fame and the original harbor is now a tourist focal point, much like our hometown of Baltimore. Ship building is still a major industry, as Finland supplies many of the mega cruise ships the world seems to gobble up. Those big projects are now conducted away from central Helsinki, leaving the original harbor as an historic center of the city.

Hello harbor.

Take a boat from the central harbor area and you quickly find yourself drifting among a pristine archipelago, day dreaming about small island life.

A variety of small vessels service the islands.

Bigger boys in the main harbor.

Ready to start looking at real estate listings? Wait until January...

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Hanging Around In Helsinki

Hello Helsinki.

One of the major landmarks in the harbor area, Uspenski Cathedral. A little stroll, mother and daughter with matching knapsacks.

The Kiasma, Helsinki's contemporary art museum and exhibition space, its own artwork.

Water all around, whether gritty harbor or classic fountain.

The other major religious landmark, Tuomiokirkko.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Day and the Winter Solstice In Helsinki

James happened to be passing through Helsinki during the winter solstice. Forget a midnight glimmer of blue in the sky. How about a noon sun that's barely made it over a four-story building? At the airport, the sun gave way to clouds that then brought snow. A fitting winter solstice.

A leftover dusting.

And then a fresh supply of snow.

Friday, 20 February 2015

A Gauzy Look At The Charles Deering Estate

Being at the Deering estate feels like a dream, an escape from the present-day urban creep of Miami. Historic home, ample acreage and a water view. One can dream...

Your home?

Wander the grounds, enjoy the lines of royal palms.

A porch from which to enjoy the view.

And what's your view? Inlets and mangroves.

So sit back on your rocker and imagine the day away.....

Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Charles Deering Estate

A somewhat undiscovered gem of old Florida is the Charles Deering estate, nestled in a grove on the water in south Miami. Deering was a Chicago businessman, the head of International Harvester. Midwest winters being what they are, he preferred to be in Florida during the cold part of the year. He died in 1927, leaving the estate to his heirs. The state of Florida and Miami-Dade County eventually took over the property in the 1980s.

The main, stone house.

Living room and library/dining room.

The grounds are gorgeous. There's a large inlet for docking your yacht.

Mmmm, a wine cellar. Deering had it built during prohibition. The entrance was a vault door hidden behind a bookcase. Substantial stairs.

Deering's office.

One of the many bathrooms and bedrooms.

The other main structure on the property, Richmond cottage. It's the original structure on the property, opened as a rooming house for fishermen and anyone willing to venture into swampy Florida at the turn of the 20th century. BAC - Before Air Conditioning.