Jennifer Merin really knows the fine shops of Helsinki (June 15). Her graphic descriptions of Finnish goods and where to find them literally made me long for another trip to Finland. For readers who associate Merimekko with Finland, I found the discount Merimekko right around the corner from the Presidentti Hotel. The bargains were marvelous--about half of what we would pay for the same merchandise here.
And not far from Finlandia Concert Hall, at 40 Mannerheimintie, is Kankurin Tupa, an exciting Finnish handicraft shop. Everything in this beautifully designed store is made by hand: rugs, tablecloths, bags, ornaments, clothing for children. A very large hand loom stands in the center of the store, and on the day I visited a Finnish artisan was weaving an intricate rug. The prices were reasonable and it was a joy to find one-of-a-kind gifts that were representative of the Finnish tradition.