Best in Helsinki

The theme of this issue being Helsinki it was only appropriate that someone take on the job of tackling the subject of the best things in Helsinki. Thus, in a hellbent fashion, three of BTSB's staff members decided to find the places in Helsinki that matter to them the most. The Best Place to Buy Shoes: Kenkäfriikki, Kluuvikatu 3.

Next to Fazer Cafe in Kluuvikatu is, in my opinion, the best shoe shop in Helsinki. The shop assistants are always nice and they know their products. Kenkäfriikki has a wide selection of different brands, including, for example, Pura Lopez, UGG and Janet & Janet. The shop is clean and quiet and the mirrors are in good spots. As the shoes are more expensive than, say, in Dinsko, you have to focus more on buying them. For me that means choosing classic models which don't fit close but perfect and of which I'm sure that I'll use them for several years.

The Best Cafe Near Metsätalo: Espresso Edge, Liisankatu 29.

Espresso Edge might be more expensive than Robert’s Coffee or Wayne’s, but it has character and very good products that are made on the spot. The coffees are usually well made and the sandwiches are really tasty (try the Skinny California!). The soup lunch has been spicy and delicious every time I’ve tried it. Espresso Edge also hosts changing art exhibitions.

The Best Place to Buy Records: Keltainen Jäänsärkijä, Urho Kekkosenkatu 4-6

While Keltainen Jäänsärkijä lacks the hipster-cred of Stupido and the large selection of Levykauppa Äx, not to mention the ambience of any record store within a larger shopping center, this little record store right next to Kamppi deserves a lot of praise not only for having a great selection of classics that anyone would do well to have in their record libraries but also for being a great place to find that one obscure album you've been searching for ages. To add to the store's appeal their prices are extremely affordable in comparison to many of their competitors.

The Best Place for Planning a Better Tomorrow: Pub Magneetti, Mäkelänkatu 20.

With an almost invisible entrance, Pub Magneetti is one of the coziest places to enjoy a drink or two in the vicinity of the Helsinki center. The place is small and often packed by regulars, but still the atmosphere is welcoming and friendly. The drinks are served at student-friendly prices and the tables are often lit by candles. The decor is imaginative – metal paraphernalia is attached to the walls and ceiling, the place really living up to its name. Music is played at a volume that leaves room for conversation and the tunes are not your everyday MTV hits. Magneetti is a perfect place to lose yourself sitting with your friends for hours on end and it is one of the few bars in Helsinki that really starts to feel like an extension to your living room.

The Best Faculty of Arts Spex: Aallonharjalla, Malmitalo, 9.2.-12.2.

Aallonharjalla is the first ever spex, or academic theater spectacle, of the Faculty of Arts. Employing people from a gazillion departments, it tells the tale of three freshmen, Rauni, Masa and Hamlet, who get caught in the middle of an aggressive reform of their home faculty. Drawing influences from here, there and wherever, it addresses themes of existential student-life crisis, the changing role of humanities in post-modern society and the oh-so-quintessential ‟will professor Leif Salovaara get to go Dancing with the Starts?”. Tickets are 10€ for students and other wealth-impaired, 15€ for boring adult-like people and available from

Insider info: Even the newly elected President of SUB makes an appearance in Aallonharjalla! Will it be a cameo or the best thing since Heath Ledger in Dark Knight? There's only one way to find out.

Compiled by Kaisa Leino, Patrik Renholm and Esko Suoranta

I say HUMANIST, you say potato! January 2011

Letters to the Editor, January 2011