Today an interview with Gea Grigorjev, Spotter for our Tallinn Cityblog.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Still waters run deep.
Even though I might not be found each weekend hitting the main clubs in Tallinn, being first in row for the up-coming sales/new season releases in the shopping centres or trying to bring the spring-carnival mood to catch on in the local community, I still manage to keep my life busy and filled with enjoyable events and doings.
One of my favorites these days can be called catching the sun. At this time the air in Tallinn is filled with excitement of trying to notice the very first, almost invisible, but still so very real signs of the upcoming spring. So am I also, as many people around me, welcoming every day with heightened senses, to be sure not to miss even the tiniest ray of sunshine, tweet of a bird or smell that is bringing the season of new beginnings closer.
This is also clearly reflecting in everything that is happening in Tallinn in the early beginning of March. Smiles are reappearing more and more on the streets, coats are getting lighter, as is the mood, and a certain spark is to be noticed. Encouraged by this, slowly waking up from the winter-sleep, I find it even more enjoyable to start my day at work, figure out my (hopefully) soon-to-be-finished Master´s thesis and relax with my friends.
Which prejudices about Tallinn are true? Which ones are not?
I guess many people still tend to get a quite surprised look on their faces when travelling to Tallinn and experiencing a city-silhouette that is anything but Soviet and a heavy, moody grey. Of course there are still parts of the city that can bring one back to these nostalgic moods, but the rapidly developing centre and growing suburbs introduce a unique European capital. The at times even slightly eclectic visual and emotional atmosphere is something worth discovering and letting yourself be surprised by.
When it comes to food, even thought sarcastically known as a potato-country, where each dish served here is a certain variation of potatoes, Tallinn actually offers a huge variety of places to eat and an even wider selection of different cuisines. From a hundred percent traditional Estonian to classic Italian, exotic Japanese, African or young local gourmands´experimental attempts, there is something for every taste and mood.
What do you know about Tallinn what no tourist will know?
I know where the most magical street is in the Old Town and through which door you need to step in order to travel back in time. I know where there is a place in the heart of Tallinn where you can go and almost always be the only one there.
What is the most popular neighborhood to live in Tallinn at this moment?
One of the most popular neighborhoods to live in Tallinn at the moment is definitely Kalamaja and this is not only because of the fact that also I moved here about a month ago. Many of the explanations why this is such an amazing area, can be found here, but the reason I, some time ago, fell in love with this place, is because of the sense of certain homeliness and cosiness that radiates from each street, house and backyard you pass by (and as I am actually form a small town myself, this is a specific emotion that I always secretly look for somehow).
A fifteen minute walk from the crowded and modern centre of the town brings you to a calm little world with wooden houses, open markets, flea-markets, second-hand clothes and furniture shops, parks, little bakeries, alternative cafés and restaurants and of course – the seaside. Having everything you need and more just next to you, but still experiencing a close community and in a way isolated from the big city (if Tallinn can be called like this) buzz, this is the spirit of Kalamaja.
Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
Having many different faces, there are a thousand ways to create a perfect day in Tallinn, but for example waking up on a sunny and clear March Saturday, it would be great to have a big delicious omelet with a cup of lemon-ginger tea in Boheem (pictured at beginning) to get the morning started, visit the weekly flea-market in Kalamaja and go for a walk by the seaside (just to make sure not to miss the still slightly crisp sun rays touching your cheeks).
After this you could take the tram all the way through the city to Kadriorg, walk through the park up to the art museum KUMU to see some cool exhibitions followed by dinner in the NOP café, where you can also buy some good dessert (like dried berries or handmade chocolate) to go. And late at night when you don’t feel like ending the day just yet, Hoov (pictured above) awaits you with some good music, potential new local friends and there are always thrilling extras and special twists added to the program to enjoy.
So now you have also spent your day catching the spring :-).
Check out all other articles by Gea Grigorjev and our other Spotter interviews.