Sunday, May 29, 2011

PhotoHunt: Looking Down

Down of course for the New York subway! Sorry I haven't been around matters have kept me from personal time to unwind. I was hoping this 4 day weekend would be restful but alas, it's not. Hope you are all able to enjoy this weekend and remember the veterans!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

PhotoHunt: Missing

Here's a part of the The Parthenon Marbles collection at the British Museum. Noticeably, some limbs are missing from the stone wall reliefs. This exhibit has been housed at the National Museum since the early 19th century and was more informally known as the Elgin Marbles, after Lord Elgin, a British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, who absconded with these reliefs and sculptures from the Parthenon in Greece. However, since the 1980's the Greek government has called for the return of their missing ancient artworks. The debate is still ongoing over who is the rightful owner of these Marbles.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dances with Luigi

This blog sometimes turns into a book review corner. But I wanted to share with my fellow Italiophiles a book I am presently reading.

Somewhere, I think it was the Slow Travel board, the reference to a book, Dances with Luigi, prompted me to catalog this title in my mind. I am now in the middle of this wonderfully enlightening book. Enlightening because it articulates a clearer understanding of how *maybe WHY would be a better description* I was raised in a first-generation Italian family.

Dances with Luigi was written by Paul Paolicelli, a news reporter turned author, who travels back to his ancestral roots. Although much of his wonderfully eloquent descriptions of Rome weave throughout the book, his travels through southern Italy are more poignant.

I find it refreshing to see an American's point of view evolve into an appreciation and understanding of how past political events fashioned the fabric of Italian families. And was equally surprised to find answers to trivial questions I had in my mind while traveling Italy: Crossroads were considered spiritual places in ancient Rome - one reason for decorating make-shift altars and shrines at intersections in Italy today. Upon his request, Raphael was buried in the walls of the Pantheon. Vittorio Emanuele II is also there.

I am particularly enjoying the juxtaposition Paolicelli places with the Italy of long ago and an American's view of Italy, the traditions of Italy both religiously and culturally, and the genteelness of the Italian people.

I gleaned an unspoken message from Paolicelli - the urgency and satisfaction of learning one's history. I never knew my grandfathers and both grandmothers died when I was still in single digits. Later in life I realized I had lost not only endeared family members but also a reservoir of vibrant family history and the culture of a small hilltop town in southern Italy in the late 1800s.

The author writes in describing Rome: "Several writers have compared Rome to a beautiful and intriguing woman who reveals little of herself to a stranger. One needs to take time and effort to get to know her/it." Love it!

The two photos are my paternal and maternal grandmothers.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

PhotoHunt: Digital

Even maritime has gone digital .. thankfully. I am from a family of sailors and remember being in the fog with just a blow horn and wondering how far the ocean floor was from the boat's rudder. As the saying goes, 'you've come a long way, baby!'

This is my brother-in-law's boat. We frequently travel over Nantucket Sound to the Vineyard and Nantucket harbors during the summer. Digital instruments make these jaunts less stressful should the weather change quickly.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I caved

.. and got a Kindle prior to my Hawaii trip. Thought I would miss the feel of the paper and turning pages but didn't know how I was going to pack all the books I wanted to bring with me. Yup, shorts, bathing suits and sleeveless tops take a lot of room~

This trip was for serious relaxation so reading was a top priority. I shopped Amazon for six books and tucked the Kindle into my hand bag. Voila. Even ordered a Kauai tourbook (OK-I got carried away with the ordering aspect of it. I've been to Kauai 3 times and have a seasoned tour guide beside me but couldn't stop myself)!

Last weekend I was having a pedi/manicure and the woman beside me asked me how I liked the Kindle. She had the same reservations as I had...seems I wasn't alone. Have to say the Kindle is a good way to travel.