A New Twist In Biking In Helsinki

Boris had a very bad bike accident on Wednesday. He says that’s because the sun was bright and because he was not looking at the road but looking back, making sure I was not left behind. In my opinion, the problem was his state of mind. Before we went, I asked him whether he was sure we should go, and he said – yes, it might become better.

He had very serious reasons to be upset, so all is understandable, but as a result, he ran into the rear of a police car – at full speed! I am not even going to describe his face (it still looks very impressive, and actually worse than right after the accident), but the most amazing thing is that he broke a police car bumper!!!

The police filed a proper report, and the hilarious part of this story was that the officer said: we hope our insurance will cover the damage, but we need to check. Most times, it’s not the bike hitting a car, but the opposite, so we need to check whether they would cover the situations like this!


I thought this trip felt a bit too perfect to go as planned. I am not flying to Ireland tomorrow, and it is very sad, mostly not because of Ireland but because I won’t see my friends. The only consolation is that it would be much worse if we found it out tomorrow! I spent two hours rebooking and rearranging my life for the next five days, and somehow it was rebooked and rearranged with virtually no financial loss.
I will cover the last three days later – they were great, but now I am infinitely sad and disappointed that things didn’t happen as planned.

Igor’s Articles

I wanted to share a couple of recent Igor’s articles

And last but not least – an article, in which he himself became a part of the story with his editor’s follow-up:

In Milwaukee

This weekend was a birthday weekend for my granddaughters. Since I had Friday off, I thought that I would go there for a long weekend, possibly leaving on Thursday evening. It was only later that I realized that that was the same weekend I had to leave for Europe (and early enough to work on Monday). Fortunately, due to the very convenient scheduling of the direct flight, I could still accommodate the whole project; I just had to leave Milwaukee on Saturday night instead of Sunday.

On Friday, I took the first Metra train from Rogers Park (at 5 AM) to take the first train to Milwaukee at 6 AM. It felt insane to get up that early, but it was the best decision – I had the whole Friday!

First Metra Train of the day

So Kira is now two, and Nadia is five, and I do not even know which of this more unbelievable! Or maybe it’s the fact that Anna is a mother of two:). Nadia and Kira are such different personalities, and both are just absolutely amazing. It feels wonderful to see them growing and their stories unfolding. Looking forward to many many years of this journey!

Some weekend pictures:

Breakfast with Anna upon arrival
Visiting Mitchel Park Domes
Visiting Mitchel Park Domes
Visiting Mitchel Park Domes
Walking along the river
Getting ready to the party

Window Washing

In my old house, I used a special window-washing attachment with my garden hose to wash the outside part of the windows. The was enough pressure to wash the second floor. Since I moved to my new house in May, I decided that I will think about the windows next season. Now, next season has come :). I started to ask my neighbors in April, and one of them showed me the trick. Interestingly, he only knew about this trick because his father worked in this industry. The house didn’t come with a manual!

But now, that I learned about it, I know how easy is it to wash the windows here – and I can do it even better than in Palatine!

Summer Grocery Shopping

Three things make grocery shopping in summer fun. First, I need to shop less because I decided to keep both of my CSA sign-ups (a half-share with Urban Canopy and a small share with Nichols Farms), and both are delivered to my house. 

The second is that Glenwood Street Market moved back to its location right by Morse CTA station, so it is now super-close to my place, and it operates on Sunday! Saturday markets are always challenging because there are too many things happening on Saturday mornings!

The ribbon-cutting two weeks ago

And the third one is that I can bike to the stores. Earlier this year, Boris found a perfect bike “saddle” bag: it is extremely spacious, easy to attach to the bike rack, and perfectly balanced. 

Urban Gardening

This season, almost everybody in our building beautified their balconies, and the courtyard looks just splendid.

My balcony

Also, at the end of last summer, one of the neighbors put together two large planters using the pieces of old furniture that those who were moving in and out were throwing away. This neighbor has also moved since then, but the planters were ready to be used.

Eight people from the building including me were interested. We bought the solid together, and one of the neighbors fixed the planters (they were too low). And thus, we opened our first urban gardening season.

As you can see, I am trying yet again to grow dill. Maybe it will work this time???

Salonen and Kuusisto

Continuing on the topic of cultural activities. Last week, when Boris was in Chicago, we went to two CSO concerts, both with Esa Pekka Salonen conducting. I like him a lot and didn’t mind at all that after a couple of ticket exchanges I ended up having two pairs of tickets to two concerts just a day apart.

It was a very exhausting week in terms of work, and I was not sure whether it would be a good idea to make myself sleep-deprived for two days, but both concerts were exceptionally good!. One piece which stood out was Dessner’s violin concerto performed by Pekka Kuususto. On my way home from the concert, I found a recording of this very piece performed by Kuusisto with a different orchestra.’

If you watch it, I guarantee you would feel what I felt!