Category Archives: USA

Manhattan after dark

Heavy rain combined to numerous neon signs made Manhattan and Times Square look like an endless sea of lights, as the puddles of water mirrored colours spreading along the streets. Tourists strotting around Times Sq. were hiding under their umbrellas, trying to find a better shelter from the rain. We took advantage of the awful weather and put our camera ready for some great nighttime photos. I was holding an umbrella, trying to protect the camera while Markus was taking the photos. Finally, when the rain stopped and the streets looked even more beautiful – our camera decided to run out of battery. Maybe it was a sign, that not all moments are meant to be photographed.

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Second hand shopping in Williamsburg

Last month we were visiting NYC and stayed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. One day we wanted to explore the neighbourhood and found a local second hand store – Le Point Value Thrift. I really like second hand shops and flea markets so this was a must-visit. I remember myself saying “let’s just check this out quickly”.. famous last words!

There was so much to explore! I hardly ever find any clothes as second hand because I am very petite, but there was a whole rack of size 2 and 4 shorts. I bought one pair. I also found 90’s Steve Madden shoes that were in really good condition – and also my size. Lucky me!

Markus too made some good findings and we left the store happy. Round the corner there was another second hand shop, except that there was a sign in front of the store saying “vintage clothing”. We entered and noticed that there was much similarity in the clothes with the previous store’s clothing. We were accompanied by older spanish speaking ladies in the first store, second one was full of young hipsters. Well, at least the prices were on the same level. Later we noticed that the clothing to both stores came probably from same truck behind the building – one store just was clever enough to call their clothing vintage – it seemed to bring more customers. I just found it a little funny.

If you are in Williamsburg and wish to buy some second hand clothing, check out this place – it’s on corner of Flushing Ave & Knickerbocker Ave. And there is another shop just round the corner.

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Finland, USA & Canada – my next travel destinations

After the dark, cold and tiring winter it’s nice to put your thoughts on the summer that is just around the corner (only 2-3 months away here in Finland!). During the past year I’ve become very interested in Finland as a travel destination and this summer I really want to explore this mysterious land more. I’ve never really travelled much inside the borders of Finland before, so this summer will be very exciting for me.

I have decided that during the summer (and this year) I will visit all of the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are here in Finland. Nice plan for summer travels, right? So far I’ve visited only one: Fortress of Suomelinna, located in our capital city Helsinki. Suomenlinna is a very popular among locals and tourists, especially in summer.

Cruise ship passing by / Old cannon in Suomenlinna

Our other UNESCO World Heritage Sites are Old Rauma, Bronze age burial site of Sammallahdenmäki, Petäjävesi Old Church, Struve Geodetic Arc, Verla Groundwood and board mill and Kvarken Archipelago. There are some places on the tentative list, such as the rock paintings of Astuvansalmi in Ristiina – those I’ve visited many times, because they are located near our summer cottage! Sadly the rock paintings haven’t yet made it to the list, even they were submitted to the list over 20 years ago.

I’ve visited a lot of UNESCO heritage sites abroad but never really thought of the ones we have here in Finland until now. I also think that our UNESCO sites aren’t very well marketed to lovely tourists visiting Finland – and not even to us Finns! Most of my friends don’t even know that we have UNESCO heritage sites in Finland! Maybe we’ll need to try to change that.

But even though I am very willing to travel a lot in my home country this summer we do have travel plans abroad as well with Markus. Our original plan was to travel to Kazakhstan, but suddenly Kazakhstan changed to Canada and Canada changed to USA & Canada-trip so now we are heading to New York and Montreal in the end of July.

Photo: Derek Key

Photo: Luca Nebuloni

I’ve never visited USA or Canada, so needless to say, I am very excited!

The reason for conquering North America is FINA World Masters 2014 competition where Markus will be taking part. I’m not a much of a swimmer myself but I wouldn’t want to refuse on a trip to abroad. Some of our friends are going as well to participate, so meanwhile the guys are swimming I can explore Montreal! We had some problems finding decent priced flights to Montreal, so we decided to fly to New York instead and take a bus or a train to Montreal from there.

Visiting New York has been on my bucket list for a long time so I am more than happy that I’m finally able to travel there. It’s not the cheapest city, but I’m sure we’ll manage somehow. I was actually a little surprised about the price of accommodation there – maybe it’s time to get a couchsurfing host this time.

Anyway, it looks like this summer will be amazing!

Do you have any travel plans for summer? Also, if you have visited New York and/or Montreal, share your best tips!

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