Saturday, July 28, 2018

I've found a ghost town...

It sounded almost impossible that a city like Helsinki could have as well its own ghost town. Well, more than a ghost town I would call it a ghost quarter.
I am talking about the area of Kruunuvuori, of which, so far, I entirely ignored its existence.
Indeed, this is not the place a touristic agency would like to show to the people coming to visit Finland, so as I arrived here (many years ago) the place wasn't ever mentioned. To be honest, I believe that there are even a few people who have been born in Helsinki which are aware of the existence of this place.
So, a bit of story to understand it. Kruunuvuori was built originally between the 19th and 20th century, and at those times all the areas outside the city center were nothing else but fields or forests.
Due to the beauty of the area, people started to build their residential villas, where to enjoy the rural life and get a spot of paradise.
Between the 1926-60 the place was one of the most wanted locations for wealthy people where to build their villas, but things started to decline already from the fifties when an ambitious businessman got the idea to convert the place into an urban area where he intended to build housings for more than just a small elite.
He then bought the place, but he never got the permission to put into practice his plan. At this point, the area remained neglected and forgotten.
What is left now is a place full of memories of a glorious past, and beautiful villas destined to decay with the time.

Nature is slowly taking over the place and vandals complete the destruction that has already reached the levels beyond which those houses cannot be repaired anymore.
Perhaps, the best thing to do would be to return the whole area to nature, tearing down those villas and restore the woods as they were before the first building was erected.
It is sad to say that it would have been a lovely place where to live, even only for a few houses. It would be good to understand that those buildings can be saved, and someone would take care of them.
I really cannot imagine leaving such amazing villas to rot and decay this way, I feel like a personal struggling with the history of those buildings, of the ghosts still living there. I feel sad for those walls which have seen love, hate, tears, and joy, and now there is just a slow but certain death.

Everything has a beginning, and everything has an end. Nothing is forever, and in this cycle of life, death and rebirth, I feel inspired to reconsider also my own life. 
So this time, with a little melancholy in my voice, I wish you all a very happy weekend. Stay tuned for other stories from The Wandering Writer.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

I got lost in the woods!! (and I can say you should too)

Well, yes, it happens that from time to time, I get lost in the woods, and when this happens, it happens that I always have a camera with me (how peculiar!).
Admittedly, living close to the woods makes the temptation higher than deciding to go to the city (even if the distance is the same).
Most of the times I feel like having a walk to the boulevard, on the main shopping street or to the seaside, it doesn't appeal me the way the calm and peace of the forest does instead.
Therefore this time I tell you about the many reasons why, unless you need to go shopping or meet friends at a cafeteria, it is advisable to have a walk in nature.
The first of all is that it's never crowded.
One thing for sure is that the forest is so vast that it is almost impossible for it to be crowded, besides many people get fatally attracted to the city than by the woods.
Nevertheless, you will always meet new and interesting people:
You will get into dark alleys where fairies and dwarves will invite you to enter. You will never know whether it is a friendly invitation or a trap, one thing for sure, you might not even think of missing the chance to find it out by yourself:
In those mystical places, where every noise seems innocent, yet alerting, you will definitely find your inner peace as the whole world finally opens its secrets to those who can listen and are willing to see further and deeper into this darkness.
You get tempted to explore and see thing from a different angle:
And if you do, you might be amazed of all the details you might have not noticed before. You get reminded that you are not just a spectator; you are a part of it, and you need to respect everything of that natural equilibrium. Without it, there is nothing, not even us.
Take your time, sit down, explore it until you can feel it inside your soul. Then, when you finally go back to your home, there is nothing more rewarding than looking back at what you have left behind and being amazed with a blaze in the sky, as the sun goes down for the night creatures to sing their songs.
Have a great day you all!!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Amsterdam! an old adventure; an old flame.

I was thinking about what to write in this weekly blog for the whole week. I had some ideas, but I could not make up my mind. Then, yesterday, browsing old photographs, I stumbled into those pictures I took a thousand years ago in Amsterdam. At that time, I didn't have doubts anymore, and I had to tell you something about that city.
Like every memory, I still remember it and treasure those memories like the most precious ones, not only because Amsterdam is one of the most interesting and cute cities I have ever visited, but because it holds still the memory of my very first travel abroad.
At those times I was frequenting the Art Institute, and together with the teachers we decided that a trip to Amsterdam was a must considering the richness in art production (and a must for us students for the legalized cannabis).
Ah! The good old times when the Wandering Writer was just the "Maybe" Writer. At those times, I had no idea about what my life would have been like. I think that just like the vast majority of the students, I was living day after day, without bothering too much about the future. Yes, 18 is not just the age of responsibility, it is the age when you have all the freedom to experiment and see the world with your own eyes, accepting all the responsibilities. At 13 years old, you start to stretch your wings and see whether they might be strong enough for your first flight, from 15 on you start to fly, knowing that for every fall there is still someone else who will take responsibility for your actions.
Now, we reached Amsterdam following the cheapest route, the train... it took two days, and we were all exhausted as we arrived. The first thing we noticed was the dramatic difference between the places we were used to seeing every day and our first taste of the outside world.

Something is fascinating with the way the houses are built, and we were quite amazed at how different the architecture was, then respect the one we were used to seeing daily. I fell immediately in love with those old houses, and my mind started to race about how would they look like from the inside.

Amsterdam is an amazing place, rich in history, arts, culture famous for the incredible development of its tolerant society. Its history started as a humble fishing village in the 13th century and developed into what it is now, a center of commerce, tourism and culture. Romantic and beautiful with its Canal Ring, a network of waterways, which originally allowed the city to grow beyond the fortified walls to evolve into the city’s typical canal side’s houses. And it should be no wonder that it was added to the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Another thing you don’t want to miss is a tour outside the city to the tulips fields, believe me, you will love it. Perhaps you never thought how beautiful those humble flowers might look like, but centuries of hybridization created so many different species with so many colors that will surely grab your attention. Not to mention what Holland is famous for; the windmills. Immediately it came to my mind the book of Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote (you remember the dude fighting against the windmills… LOL).
But there are so many things to see and recommend, the museums; almost 100 museums all worth a visit, then the cafeterias, monuments... You might need a whole month to see everything, and yet I still consider it a tight schedule, if you don't want just to visit, but to enjoy.
My favorite place was the Van Gogh museum, as a lover of his paintings, this was for me a real must, and it grabbed my heart to see from real those paintings I have admired only through the images of books. 
If you ever have the chance, visit, visit, visit Amsterdam. You will thank me!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

The W(o)ndering Writer is back!

I know I am late. Today nothing went according t the plans, at least time-wise, but even if a bit late, I am still going to bring you something from the deep of my considerations.
This is the time when I change once again my hat, and from a Wandering Writer, I transform into the "Wondering Writer."
Once I have mentioned that there is a very close connection between reading a story and watching images, whether they are pictures or paintings. I am still convinced that you can read a photograph or a drawing as much as you can watch a novel. The process is different, but the final result I guess it is the same.
Let's take a good book, the one you liked to read the most, what did it happen when you started to read the first chapter?
I tell you at least what happens to me, I start to see the places, even those that are very summarily described. Fast images, flashes or very defined ones. I see the actions described and the characters like in a movie. As the reading goes on, I can see everything as it would happen in front of my eyes.
Did this ever happen to you?

Something similar it can happen, and at least to me it does, when looking at pictures or paintings. I start to think about the places or the people, I imagine what happened before and after the shot was taken, what was that particular person considering at that moment, and how his or her life went on during the rest of the day.
For me, the world of the images and words are strictly connected with each other, and they tell stories and show you images.

I am a big fan of the Impressionists, and I am thinking about writing a short series based on a few selected paintings, but this is just only an idea in my mind, there are so many projects going on that I am afraid it must wait for its turn.

Here are a couple of examples that enticed me and forced my mind to think about the stories told through those images. Those are two of my favorite paintings, and there my soul found its freedom in imagining the life of those two women, their struggle, what were they thinking, their dreams. Every time I look at these two paintings, it is like opening a book, where I can read, or imagine the stories of these two women and how they ended up captured in the canvas.
The first is L'Absinthe of Degas,
The other is "The  woman with a parasol" of Monet
On the other hand, there are many books that could transport me in the story so profoundly to make me live, struggle, and see the actions, but perhaps the one that did the job better (because this is the first that comes to my mind) is... "the light that failed" by Rudyard Kipling.
 It was like watching a movie, and I enjoyed every image that book gave to me, besides the strong feelings. I have never seen the movie, and I prefer never to do so. I am afraid that it would spoil the images I have built in my mind. Besides, I am always disappointed when I read a book and then I watch a movie from it. The only exception was perhaps It Had to Be Murder by

The long road of writing a book.

Publishing a book is a journey on a rocky path that involves several stages, from writing and pre-editing to editing, formatting, selecting ...