Monday, March 12, 2012

On my way home from work, god talks to me

Any minute now, the magnolias will be joined by the cherry trees and the symphony will be deliciously defeaning

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New York Times: Lodz one the places to see in 2012

Earlier this month, New York Times listed Lodz as one of the places to see in 2012, citing recent announcements by David Lynch and Frank Gehry to establish major projects in the city, future redevelopment plans and cultural projects and of course Manufaktura, Lodz's cultural epicenter-cum-shopping mall.  A bit more than a year ago, I was able to visit the city and write about my opinions about this somewhat grimy albeit rising city.  Although I'm sure Lodz is on its way to becoming a major cultural center in Poland, I think NYT is highlighting the the city merely as a novelty rather than a real travel destination.  Especially if seen in contrast with other Polish cities such as Warsaw, Poznan, Krakow and Wroclaw, Lodz's road to transformation is still long, maybe even going further than the goal of becoming a European Capital of Culture in 2016.  I think it is also dangerous, that this city is being highlighted as a novelty during a time when it is still trying to determine its identity.  Lodz needs time to figure itself out.  It does not need pressures from foreign interests dictating the direction of its development.  Let it be, and maybe in a few years we will see a truly cosmopolitan Polish city, not another Central European tourist trap.

At the bottom of the list, Portovenere makes it as an alternative to Cinque Terre.  It's nice to see them mention a place to potentially alleviate the barrage of visitors that go during the summer months, but I wish they included all of the Ligurian coast.  Oh well, more unvisited places for the rest of us...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bad blogger, bad baaaad blogger!

Hello folks, apologies for laying too low, too long.  Sadly, I am actually getting ready to leave Italy for New York.  Besides being sad and depressed to leave this great and beautiful place, I've been busy packing my stuff, seeing people, and seeing places I was yet to tick off my list.  However, I should be posting on my recent travels soon, and maybe some Christmas-y things to soothe our collective post-holiday depression.

In addition, this blog will be moving out soon to accommodate the fact that all too soon my travels will not just be of Europe.  Stay tuned, and hopefully you are still up for reading about the great and silly things I encounter once in a while.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Villas of the Veneto; Villa Thiene (Quinto Vicentino)

Located at Quinto Vicentino's main intersection, Villa Thiene's brick facade does not look like much.  It's simplicity makes it blend well with the other buildings around it, making it very hard to spot while driving even though there are approximately five or six signs within a mile of the villa telling the driver that it is in fact in the immediate area.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Graffitti Fridays: Cute, Folgaria

Idleness and Being-Back-ness

Hey all--sorry for sitting idle for a few days, I have been out doing some travelling.  Shockingly, for that short span of time it seemed like Italy's economy went on the brink of collapse, then its prime minister quit, and a possible Bilderberg Group tool replaced him, and now everything might just be OK again.  Oh, and Liguria suffered some major floods again and United Colors of Bennetton forced a whole lot of powerful men to liplock for their latest humanitarian campaign to sell jumpers.  The world, I guess, has its way for correcting its imbalances I guess.

In the meantime, Romania is great, and everyone should go.  Modern in parts, almost medieval in others, its a perfect portrait of a Europe that isn't quite there yet.  The people are friendly, the food is good, and the landscapes are spectacular.  Sounds like a no brainer to me!

Fortified churches all along the central part of Transylvania

Bran Castle...allegedly Dracula's

Streets of Sighișoara

Celebrating St. Martin's Day in Sighișoara

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Italian Beer Series: San Gabriel "Birral della Scala" (Busco di Ponte di Piave)

Founded in 1997, San Gabriel is a brewery located near Treviso that is committed to the "purity" of the Reinheitsgebot and the greatness of the products of the Veneto.  Following the basic Bavarian recipe, the company sources much of their barley and hops from local producers, and they take great pride with their local source of water.  However, they also produce seasonal beers from local products that are definitely not kosher with the Bavarians:  figs, radicchio, and chestnuts from Treviso; yellow peppers from Zero Bianco; rice from Isola della Scala.  Despite their professed adherence to the Bavarian law, this brewery is, in the end, an Italian type through and through.