Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Chicago: The Adventures of Saara, Meeri and Marie (with funny details)

On the place where Chicago was built there was originally no river flowing to the Lake Michigan, only marsh between the lake and the Illinois River system. A canal was dug through in 1840's and it's now called Chicago River. Later the rivers flow was reversed (yes!) to flow away from the lake to keep the lake water clean.

There are a lot of revolving doors in Chicago. We were told that normal doors would not work in a skyscraper because in tall buildings air pressure differences between inside and outside would cause strong drafts.

Over 250 000 trees have been planted in Chicago after 1989. We saw also thick seas of flowers, especially tulips were everywhere.

I was fascinated by the El-trains. They ride on elevated tracks above the traffic and between the buildings in their own small universe. The elevated structure is bare, rusted and stangely beautiful.

There are weird big statues in the city. Here's the flamingo and the bean. The bean attracts wedding photographers. And tourists with cameras. Including us.

There are a lot of old skyscrapers in Chicago. A lot of them were built after the great fire (1871) that destroyed almost everything. We attended an architectural tour (it was great) and learned to tell apart three different styles: the Chicago style (with three layers), the art deco (reaching the skies) and the beaux art (pretending to be classical).

We also visited the tallest building in the world measured by the height to the top of the antenna. According to Wikipedia there are four categories in the contest of being worlds tallest building: 1. Height to the structural or architectural top, 2. Height to the highest occupied floor, 3. Height to the top of the roof, 4. Height to the top of antenna.

The longest time was spent in the Art Intitute. It does not come close to the big museums in Europe, but nevertheless it was awesome. I learned who Georgia O'Keeffe is and we saw the funny picture of the sad people. And they had a great exhibition where I saw some old friends.

We also saw a Broadway musical, drank Cosmopolitans, ate at Chicagos oldest restaurant, saw rabbits at night, did some souvenir shopping, spent a lot of time trying to find bars, restaurants and cafes, and laughed, walked our feet tired and generally had fun. And we took care to leave a lot of things to do for our next visit.

For proof of any other activities, check my picture account and Meeri's pictures.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Good News – And Bad News

A while ago I was obsessing about my former school being threatened to be closed down. Yesterday an article in Hesari revealed that my school is saved for now. My school. But that does not help all the other schools they want to close down.

Now, here's a question: Is it right that the people who complain get what they want and others just have to suffer? Or is it so that if you get a lot of people complaining about something then what they want is actually more valuable than what others want?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Differences: Food

Today I went to Unicafe in Exactum for lunch. Unicafe is the student cafeteria at the University of Helsinki, Exactum is our building. In the remarkably unlikely case that you have not yet heard me complain about the food in Unicafe, let me try to explain. It's really bad. Somebody suggested to me today that one would get used to it. But I rather think that after eight years I've gotten slightly too used to it already.

On the menu today were funny fish pieces (sic). I personally did not find that funny at all. (The pieces were trying to be funny wery hard though: they came in different shapes.)

To console myself I picked up some takeout food from Bamboo Center in the evening. And that reminds me of another thing I've just learned. Takeout food is in Finnish take away food.

And! On the way home I saw an empty icecream stand in Kamppi with banners: "Ben & Jerry will be here soon!"

So I guess on average I'm quite happy.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Goodbyes and homecomings

The flower is called särkynytsydän in Finnish and according to the dictionary one calls it the bleeding heart in English. Which is close. It is not very close though to what I feel. When I came to Ann Arbor in January I felt like coming home, like I had always been there. Now I feel exactly the same about Helsinki.

It definitely does not mean that I wouldn't miss you guys. But here's my trick: I never leave a place forever. I always think that I'll be back some day. Regardless the reality – or the fact that no place is ever exactly the same when you come back.

Anyway, thanks for the amazing spring in Ann Arbor. And let's hope we'll have an equally amazing summer here in Helsinki.

The picture is from my mothers garden. There are already some flowers here as you can see. But it is rather cold. According to my Ann Arborish standards. I need to recalibrate.

And yes, I know that I still owe you a story about Chicago. It's coming...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Unveiled Dancer

My thanks to Unveiled Dance Company for the following reasons:

I've had an amazing dance spring with you!
You're all such wonderful animals!
We've had a blast in our little forest!
We've learned so much togeather!

With you I've become a dancer again.

I'll miss you guys!

Monday, May 7, 2007


The Spring has finally come and I have to go back to Finland. I'm cheating with the picture though, it's taken last year. But it tells the current truth.

Also this post should really be about Chicago. Which I'm using as an excuse for delayed blogging.

I could also say that I haven't been writing since I'm discouraged by the lack of comments.

But the current truth is that I've been very busy. Mainly having fun.

More old Spring pictures here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Hauskaa vappua!

To celebrate vappu, here's my yearly Ann Arbor fractal poem. This one is dedicated to a very special cat who's afraid of ants.

or Cat

O Ant, ran or not, cat can't!

Cat: "O! An ant!" Cat ran.
Corn or acorn, not to cat.
Ant can't con.

Torn cat rant: "O, can't an orc ant rot?"
Cat: "Ant ran on corn".
Arc or cart, acorn can not act.
To a cat, an ant actor can't act con art.

A torn ant: "Cat at rant!"

Ant: "O, ant can't rant!"
An ant orc, an ant orc, rot on cat corn!
Ant orc ran.
Orc on torn corn.
Ton arc RNA or cat cart or acorn.
To can or not to act?
Rant to rant: A rat cat act.
An orc ant con actor rat can't rant.
Act to con an art cat.

On a can: torn cat & ant rat.
Cat RNA at con rant.

Tao ant act: O, an ant act!
Can't ant rant, can't
an orc ant rant?
Orc: "Can an actor ant act orc to rot?"
Oat on coat
, cat on corn
, an ant on orc.
Cat ran, ran.

Orc rat on a torn cat.
Corn, acorn,
ton orca, arc on RNA, Croat or NATO cat.
Can cart
tan or can acorn rot?

To can-can cat or rat. Not act.
To cat
act co.

Rant cat to act.
to a T: rat, tao cat, con act.

To an art orc, to ant, to con actor.
Actor can't
rat on, can't act rant.
Cat act A to O: con artist, an ant, art to cat.

The poem imitates the Cantor set, or rather it's complement. Different generations have different colours. Imagine the poem continuing forever: the Cantor set is what is left between the words.