12.08.10 – The Esplinade, Helsinki’s Bond Street or Fifth Avenue, is probably one of the most popular places to hang out in Helsinki for locals and tourists alike. There are actually two sides, North and South, with a boulevard like park in between. People come to picnic, shop, meet friends, layout in the sun, but I was there to do a little shopping. I was looking for a birthday gift for someone whose birthday is just around the corner (hint, hint Kim!) Some of the nicest and most popular shops are on The Esplinade. Stockman’s, Helsinki’s most popular department store is around the corner, Louis Vuitton, and my two favorites, Marimekko and Iittala. I’m not one for shopping, but I love color and both Marimekko and Iittala are bursting with color. Luckily, as I always do when I’m forced to shop, I found what I needed in 10 minutes and then it was off to Ben & Jerry’s for the kids, a coffee for me and hour in the grass watching life stroll by.