Archive for October, 2010

DAY 16.

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Skyline

I met Ceri in Brooklyn. Delightful neighborhood. Finally something that I can put myself in proportion with. Ceri is an immigration lawyer and this made the interview very interesting. She is the very person that handles visa issues of immigrants. I also had a little problem when I applied my visa before my travel. I always answer questions truthfully and I told the embassy in Helsinki that I’m doing video work in US. It took two weeks to get the visa after that!

Ceri probably had a little bit more ”hands on” experience about immigration than my other interviewees because of her work.

DAY 15.

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Halloween in NYC

I met Matti and Lisa in Fairfield. They live the American dream. Lisa is Matti’s 23 years old daughter and he has another younger daughter Tina, too, but she is in Finland studying in Turku University. I think about my life and how different it is from Matti’s and Lisa’s. They talk about money a lot and how to be successful. We see some very beautiful houses in the area. Lisa and Matti know how much they cost and it is a lot. I value hard working greatly and I work hard myself. But I must admit money doesn’t give me motivation as the themes or subjects I work with do. If you have shoes on your feet, what does it matter how they look if they keep you warm? Lisa told me that she couldn’t sleep at night if she didn’t know that she’ll be receiving next month’s paycheck. I understand her. But still, money doesn’t guarantee everything even though it helps. Everything can change in a blink of an eye. The Finnish immigrants left to US in the change of 19th and 20th century with very similar thoughts as Matti in the 1980′. Better life, better paid jobs, success. Standards of living have changed for better in many countries since then. But we still want more and more.

I notice that many think some immigrants should be sent back to their countries. But hard working people who have good education are still welcomed. Matti and Lisa couldn’t tell how good and bad immigrants are defined but they said there should be control. If you’re uneducated, you can’t make it in the work markets, because there are not enough jobs.

DAY 14.

Friday, October 29th, 2010

I couldn’t understand where I was when I woke up in the morning. I understood after a while that I’m in New York but I didn’t have any idea why. Strange feeling. I went to Harlem to film the former Finn Hall building there. I met some of the people who work there but they didn’t know for what the building was used for before. It is a church now. This was an important place for Marilyn Haikara Loos. I like Harlem, too.
I thought I’d visit Guggenheim on my way back from Harlem. I came up from subway and started walking fast to the direction I was positive to be the right one. I noticed I had made a mistake called 180 degrees and gone to opposite direction. It took me for very long to get the map the right way in my head.

Guggenheim is a genuine tourist attraction. The building is very beautiful and it reminds me the one favourite places of mine which is EUR in Rome, Italy. I didn’t go further from the lobby, though. I figured I can see enough of French, Italian and German classicism in Europe. I thought about tourism as I often do and the reality that is build for tourists. Tourism is a home abroad.

DAY 13.

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

I take a train to New York City. I’m restless and couldn’t stay at one place so I go to the train station a little bit early. Again with public transport. What is is with the cars in US? Public transportation means independence and freedom to me. If you can’t move around anywhere without your car, you’re forced to buy and pay one. American dream is probably universal.

It is said that New York city never sleeps. I woke up to listen to the city sound at night. It’s not very loud. Why not sleep? If a person goes to the forest, they sleep when the sun goes down and wake up to the first beams of light in the morning. Why not sleep? Cities are very fragile constructions.

DAY 12.

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Marilyn's licence plate

I go to meet Marilyn in King of Prussia in the morning. I think places that don’t have proper public transportation are suspicious. Despite of all the warning I got, the public transportation in Philadelphia is not that bad at all. I get to all the places where I want to go. I have very little time to get this town into my head so I don’t make too many extra movements. Marilyn and her husband Wes are wonderful elderly people Marilyn thinks that everyone in the world are immigrants. Only one that wasn’t was the first human in Africa. Still, she thinks that there should be some kind of system to prevent the immigrants of today taking benefit of all the public services in US. I’m surprised. I thought that there are not that many public services here, but everything must be privately bought.

Many people I meet talk about depression and the coming elections. The situation is difficult and president Obama has to work hard to clean after Bush’s mess.

I meet Kirsten in the evening in Newtown. She is a friendly teacher who lives in a beautiful old house build in 1850′. Kirsten thinks that her immigration background have had influence in her identity, but above all she is American. She thinks the immigrants make the society rich. We spend a wonderful evening with good food and nice discussion. There are also friendly ghosts in Kirsten’s house!