WELCOME TO HELSINKI by Anni Sinnemäki
“Helsinki is home to me. I was born and raised here. My whole history is here.
I remember streets, I remember metro stations as they used to be, I remember where new buildings have been raised, and where trams used to run, on streets that have tracks no more.
I have always loved places that have remained the same for years and years. The Fazer café on Kluuvikatu and Café Ekberg on Bulevardi make me realise that people have walked these streets long before me. Yet, I have started to like change: a changing and growing city is much more interesting than a city that remains exactly the same.
Helsinki is a forward-looking city and full of hope. Young people filled with ideas and desire move here to build their lives. You can feel it in the city’s atmosphere.
The presence of the sea, bringing ruthless cold wind but also beauty, accentuates the city’s open personality. More than anything, the sea has always borne a feeling that should I decide to leave I could go to the ends of the Earth. It brings about an acceptance, an awareness of the world being within my reach. That feeling of a possible adventure is, first and foremost, what the sea offers.
Welcome to Helsinki.”
Anni Sinnemäki is a deputy mayor of Helsinki and a poet. She was photographed at the City Hall.