Monday, 23 February 2009

Helsinki

Two Monday's ago I was lucky enough to go to Helsinki for a day for work. Between 7 hours of power-point presentations and a work dinner there wasn't a hell of a lot of time to shop. About 40 minutes, but I made the most of it. I dragged my fellow female colleagues to my favourite brand's flagship store: Ivana Helsinki. I was very happy to find it was sale time and each of us picked up a little Finish souvenir. Wonderful.
If you're heading to Helsinki I would suggest the following designer staples: Iittala, for gorgeous glassware and ceramics:
Arabia ceramics:
And of course, the textile designers at Marimekko:
And in our hotel I found a very nicely designed business card which lead me to an even nicer little website for My o My. Which I'll be checking out next time I find myself in Helsinki.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Trademark


Rad Mr P t-shirt by Tim Lahan. USD $25 / €19.80, however the site says sold out...but maybe is we pester Tim like a pigeon after your fries at the beach he'll make some more...

Friday, 6 February 2009

Sigulda, Latvia

The trains in Latvia are big. In fact they're huge monsters of serious transportation.
This particular train hurtled us for about one and a half hours out of Riga to the town of Sigulda.
Sigulda is a small town with a few nice ways to while away a winter day. You could catch a cable car across the valley to castle ruins. Stunning views....
Or, there's this. The bobsleigh track of Olympic standard. For €10 a turn you can sit a padded sleigh and zip around the icy 1km track. It takes under 2 minutes and it's bloody fabulous. Highly recommend it. And that is Latvia.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Jurmala, Latvia

Another day trip, this time to Jurmala on the coast of Latvia. The train ride I think was about an hour and really nice once you get out of Riga and the city outskirts.
Jurmala is small beach resort town by summer that was still pulling in a fair amount of tourists in the dead of winter. A lot of Russians.
It's got some stunning, though rather tired and decrepit houses (see below), but I actually was more impressed with the train station. Just LOOK at this:Brown tiles, line green detail, and gold molded ceiling...FABULOUS. It also helped that there was beautiful warm lighting setting all the walls a glow.It was pretty ghetto. The locals obviously don't like it as much as I do.
Such a shame a space like this is going to rack and ruin.
Ok, enough of the station. Jurmala proper...pretty buildings...
The frozen beach.
More crazy architecture.
I think this building is super fugly but also kind of endearing. It's a lot of average brickwork trying to be grand. Points for trying.
All in all, worth the trip out and braving the weather for, but for me not for the reasons listed in the guide book. Oh, that station...


Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Day tripping, Latvia

And another Latvia installment...
While in Latvia we took a few well planned day trips (thanks CC!). The first was to the Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum just outside Riga.There are about 50 wooden buildings scattered through a forest here. These building were gathered from the all over Latvia, disassembled and then rebuilt here as examples of the heritage of Latvia. Many of them are 200 years old.
It was a little 'Hansel and Gretel' at times, and a little 'Blair Witch' at others...
The fact that we were three of about seven people in the entire park didn't help.
But really nice to wander through this crazy winter wonderland.
And then, frozen to the marrow, we bused it back into Riga.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Restored

Also on the Haarlemmerdijk, just a few doors doors from Teabar you'll find Restored. The result of creative pair Petra van der Scheer and Marijke Hukema, they take vintage items and give them new life.
A lovely old interior space filled with all things crafty. They sell clothes, accessories, ceramics, jewellery, you name it. All items are either their own creation and that of other local talent.Their shop is also a working studio space and they have a few workshops on offer.
Restored: Haarlemmerdijk 39, 1013 KA Amsterdam
Tel: 020-3376473
Open: Monday to Friday 10am - 6pm. Saturday 11am - 5pm.





Monday, 2 February 2009

Teabar

A lovely new find on the Haarlemmerdijk from this weekend is Teabar. A great assortment of teas to take home or enjoy in their upstairs cafe with a cake or choccie. They also have an online store.
Haarlemmerdijk 71, 1013KC Amsterdam.
tel: 020-6233211