Its real name is Vaasanpuistikko or Vaasa Square, but absolutely everyone calls it either the ‘square of eternal Valborg’ (a famous drinking holiday) or Piritori – thus even the Facebook meme in the picture. The metro station is actually called Sörnäinen, but some have suggested they change it for what it really is called and known for: ‘piri’ means amphetamine, ‘tori’ means a market place.
The square itself is really pretty, but for the past really really long years or rather decades, it has been the place for hobos, alcoholics, drug dealers and crackheads to hang about – at the same time the metro station is really busy and there are a lot of normal people who live in these relatively expensive turn-of-the-century brick houses. And there is a very normal supermarket for very normal people, I, as well as many other decent people, work nearby, have lunch and meet friends there…
We the city people don’t mind the roughness so much – the occasional sex shop or Thai massage parlour, the corner pawnshop, a soup kitchen for homeless and the dodgy bars. There are some nice ethnic restaurants in the area and from what I’m hearing a neighborhood activist group is working hard to get the square ‘cleaned’ up to use it for cultural events and fresh food markets and such.
Personally, I see the potential for improvement, but a part of me always feels sorry to see ‘real’ city culture disappear and turn into something more acceptable.
Piritori | Relaxing | Free
Vaasankatu and helsinginkatu