Transmogrify 4: Florence, London, San Francisco

McDonald’s is everywhere, even in Florence. Such a pity:

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McDonald’s in Florence

Whitechapel, London

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Street Art, Whitechapel, London

Tattoo Parlor: Moth and Dagger, San Francisco

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Photo in the Front Window of Tattoo Parlor MOTH AND DAGGER. The words on the man’s chest are the words to the Lord’s Prayer.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Transmogrify 3: Picasso, Prada, Botero

To transmogrify is to “change in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely; transform.” (Michelle W., The Daily Post)

Self has three different examples of transmogrification: sculpture by Pablo Picasso and Fernando Botero, and shoes by Prada.

From the Picasso sculpture exhibit last year at the NY MOMA: A harlequin.

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For something a little different:  A (really on fleek!) pair of shoes, seen in the Prada store in Venice, November 2015

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Final picture: A Fernando Botero sculpture can be glimpsed through an open door. Botero’s sculptures were on exhibit in Palo, Italy, November 2015.

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Nostalgia for Venice

More from the watershed trip self took with Margarita Donnelly (founder and managing editor of Calyx Press) in April/May 2013, less than two years before she succumbed to cancer. We rented a small two-bedroom apartment in Ca’ San Toma, Venice. Margarita’s adventurous spirit far exceeded self’s.

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The Bridge of Sighs, April 2013: View From the Doge’s Palace

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San Marco Square on a Rainy April Day

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Self on the Rialto Bridge, April 2013: Margarita must have taken the picture. Even though self’s face isn’t visible, she really likes this picture for the mysterious red umbrella.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Nostalgia For Venice

  • For this challenge, show us what nostalgia means to you — perhaps a moment or scene that makes you feel wistful, happy, sad, or somehow longing for the past.

— Jeff Golenski, The Daily Post

Self went with Margarita Donnelly to Venice in April 2013. Margarita was battling breast cancer. She passed away in December 2014.

What self remembers of that trip was that she was always getting lost. The streets of Venice are labyrinthine.

These pictures have a melancholy feel. Her Venice is more the Don’t Look Now Venice instead of the hectic, tourist-packed place it really is.

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This was self’s second trip. The first time was when she was 11:

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Moments, Florence

Self is still looking for pictures to accord with the Daily Post Photo Challenge this week, RARE.

Back in November 2015, she got a surprise invitation from her niece Irene to go on a trip to Florence.

But of course! Self has decided that she will never say NO when it comes to travel. And she’d never been to Florence.  All the pictures below are from that trip.

First, a picture taken in the Piazza Signoria. Self had spent the day at the Palazzo Vecchio, her niece had gone to the Uffizi. We met up at the square to have dinner. Self took the picture from one of the sidewalk cafés:

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Piazza Signoria, Florence’s Iconic Square: November 2015

On our first morning in Florence, self and Irene were wending our way from our hotel to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore when we passed a library. And though the library was not in any of our guidebooks, self never passed a library she didn’t wish to explore.

So here’s what was inside:

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Self’s ever-curious soul led her to this library, on a street close to the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral.

It turned out to be a library made up entirely of opera librettos. And self thought that was the most fabulous thing.

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The most rare and fabulous thing.

Stay tuned.

Narrow 2: Memories of Tuscany

When I think of a beautiful landscape, the image that usually comes to mind involves an open expanse: a mountain range, a windy meadow, the beach on a sunny (or stormy) afternoon. Every so often, though, I’m reminded of the magic of narrowness: how it forces the eye to focus on details and textures that would’ve been lost in a wide-open panorama.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

Self accompanied her niece Irene on a short trip to Florence last November. Just eight days. Amazing how much you can see in eight days, especially when you’re traveling with someone as organized as Irene.

Irene found a one-day tour of Tuscan hill towns. San Gimignano, Pisa, Siena — self can’t remember the names of all the towns included in the tour.

It was great fun sorting through her picures from the trip, looking for the ones that matched this week’s photo challenge:  NARROW

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MY BRILLIANT FRIEND, pp. 256 – 257

I traced lines between moments and events distant from one another, I established convergences and divergences. In that period it became a daily exercise: the better off I had been in Ischia, the worse off Lila had been in the desolation of the neighborhood; the more I had suffered upon leaving the island, the happier she had become.

My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein

MY BRILLIANT FRIEND, p. 83

So sedate is Elena Ferrante’s pacing that, when something truly horrible happens, on p. 83 of My Brilliant Friend, it is like (to borrow an over-used term) a punch in the gut.

There.

Also, needless to say, SPOILERS.

Don Achille, the terrible Don Achile, was murdered in his house in the early afternoon of a surprisingly rainy August day.

He was in the kitchen, and had just opened the window to let in the rain-freshened air. He had got up from bed to do so, interrupting his nap. He had on worn blue pajamas, and on his feet only socks of a yellowish color, blackened at the heels. As soon as he opened the window a gust of rain struck his face and someone plunged a knife into the right side of his neck, halfway between the jaw and the clavicle.

A few days ago, self was telling a friend that she didn’t think My Brilliant Friend was as good as some of Elena Ferrante’s earlier work.

But this event is so masterfully delivered. Kudos, Elena Ferrante. Just — kudos all over the place.

Stay tuned.

Harmony 2: Peace Out, People

The Daily Post Photo Challenge for the week is HARMONY.

My take: “A blissful state of contentment. Only achieved when mind/body/emotions are in a state of peaceful awareness.”

First Photo: Venice, November 2015

Second and Third Photos: Tuscany, November 2015

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Self and Irene, Café Florian, San Marco Square, Venice: November, 2015

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View From a Vineyard in Tuscany, November 2015

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More of Tuscany: November 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Harmony: 2016 Daily Post Photo Challenge, Week 10

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is HARMONY: “the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole.” So here are three attempts to illustrate the quality: the first two are examples of harmonies of color. The last is an example of harmony of shape.

First, an illustration from a child’s picture book: Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Wild Swans,” illustrated by Susan Jeffers. The subject is Elise, lying in the forest. Her gown is green, and other shades of green are all around her:

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A Susan Jeffers Illustration for Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Wild Swans”

Next, a handmade book by an Artist-in-Residence at the Mendocino Art Center, Mary-Ellen Campbell. Self loves the delicate (tonal) harmonies and shadings:

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One of Mary-Ellen Campbell’s Handmade Books. She is having her own solo exhibit at the Mendocino Art Center, April 1 – 30, 2016.

Finally, from a quickie trip to Italy that self and her niece Irene took last November, the immortal La Serenisima, Venice:

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San Marco Square, Venice, November 2015: The curves are repeated in the windows the lampposts, the round tables, the aluminum chairs, and the bowl of ice cream in the foreground.

 

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