So last fall I started experiencing my "Rovaniemi Renaissance" - it seemed that my adopted city was starting to feel fresh and cool again. We finally had a 'real' record store in the centre again (albeit the Free Record Shop chain) where I could browse a rather limited selection of overpriced CDs. A very cool cafÃ© opened (something that's been at the top of everyone's 'what Rovaniemi is missing' list). Life was good. Now it all seems to be crumbling away. On the same day that I walked through Sampokeskus to notice that they were boxing up the remains of the Free Record Shop, I read that our illustrious town council has decided to rename the main square Lordi Aukio in honour of own hometown Eurovision winners. A clear sign of the apolalypse. How much longer will KauppayhtiÃ¶ last in this cultural morass? My Rovaniemi Renaissance has descended back into the Dark Ages. So much for Enlightenment.
UPDATE 02/06/06: Returning to Free Record Shop it seems they haven't, in fact, shut their doors but merely reduced stock to essentially bargain bins and the last pop shmaltz. They might as well have closed.