Stairway to heaven | Day 16 of 365 days of stories

September 27, 2010

Stairs, St. Peter's Basilica
Stairs, St. Peter’s Basilica

This picture is one of those literal pictures that doesn’t require too much story, too much explanation. Italy has any number of long, steep stairways that wind and curve their way up into the domes of various basilicas or towers. There was something special about this one, though, at the church of all churches, St. Peter’s Basilica.

The sunlight flooded in from above, gleaming off the rather pedestrian tiles (compared to the mosaics inside) and gave this photograph an other-worldly glow.


Look up! | Day 11 of 365 days of stories

September 22, 2010

Street Lamp, Rome
Street Lamp, Rome

Street Lamp, Rome is a reminder that sometimes you just need to look up. Even on an overcast day, with a chilly breeze, there’s loveliness to be found.

That’s it. A short story suits a minimal photograph quite well, me thinks.


Number 5 | Day 8 of 365 days of stories

September 19, 2010

Cats of Bobobli, No. 5
Cats of Boboli, No. 5

Cat Number 5, as I lovingly refer to him, is one of my favorite cats from Boboli Garden. Some might ask why, since he’s only showing me his behind, but it’s more about the feeling of the photograph than the actual subject (sorry Number 5).

This photo reminds me very much of Dutch paintings in the 1600s. Partly it’s Number 5’s position. He looks as if he has cornered something, and it brings to mind the metaphors of the paintings. The lighting also is a bit reminiscent of the Dutch paintings. While we don’t get into the full-blown black of the Dutch pieces, there’s definitely shadow and light playing together in the image, with the warm overtones from the fading sunshine and the dark wood.

So, of all the cats in the Cats of Boboli series, that’s why Number 5 is my favorite. Behind and all!


House Number 1548 | Day 6 of 365 days of stories

August 31, 2010

1548, Venice
1548, Venice

“I’ve found the perfect place,” he said under his breath, as he sipped his coffee and pretended read the newspaper.

“Oh?” She tucked her foot back, stretching, to tap his sole. It was a slight movement, no real physical contact, but it meant the world to her.

“In the courtyard, near the osteria where we first met. Number 1548.”

By all accounts, the place looked nondescript. There was tape holding the buzzer in place, and a grocery mailer stuck in the scroll work. But, ohh, the scroll work! Somehow, it all seemed so special, so full of meaning – the hearts in the scroll work, the location, the house number alluding to the day they met. Seemingly commonplace to most, but heaven to her.


Buon giorno!

September 25, 2009

It’s Friday, and I think I just blew some snot into my caffè. Gross. Oh well, I guess that will just give it a slightly salty flavor.

I’m readying myself for another weekend with a long to-do list, which I’m sure I won’t get through. In fact, most of the to-do’s are left over from last week. This morning, I’m looking through the many photos from Italy, again, trying to determine what I want to put on the wall above the dining table. I’m thinking the warm tones in most of those photos would work in the room. I have a photo on the wall now, but it’s not working for me. Too dark.

The photo above is from Firenze. I like the mixture of fresh fruit and overly processed junk food offered. You don’t often see that in America, so you don’t feel so bad if you reach for the Haribo and Sprite, because tasty-fresh apples and oranges aren’t available at the local gas station.

I’ve been reading a new book, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler, which isn’t really a self-help book like you would think from the title, but actually an insightful look into how the food corporations make the food we crave and why we crave it. There’s lots of talk of testing on lab rat testing, fat, sugar, and salt (To the point, sometimes, where I do not want to hear those 3 words again. I get it!!! already.), and reward. The one thing that really disturbs me is the talk of the food companies trying to make food that melts in your mouth. The food is described as almost pre-chewed and reconstituted just so it takes a few less chomps to make it melt in your mouth and disappear, thus taking the work out of it for you. Really? I’m so lazy that I can’t chew 10 more times before swallowing? Maybe not lazy, but apparently this is something people react positively to in their food. Come to think of it, those Lay’s potato chips do melt nicely in my mouth. Speaking of Lay’s (don’t they have the slogan “bet you can’t eat just one”?), another theme that pops out in this book is the fact that the food companies want you addicted to their food. Anything less than addicted just won’t do. Seriously.

So while I’ll never give up my M&Ms and Ruffles with French Onion dip, admonish those who, *gasp*, eat American cheese, or become one of those people who notes the calories of the Chili Cheese Coney with tater tots and an Ocean Water trying to make myself or others feel guilty about what is being enjoyed in the moment, this book is reinforcing my need for home-cooked meals, restaurants that I trust not to feed me frozen, pre-cooked food that can be picked up at my local Safeway in the freezer section, “shopping the perimeter” of the grocery store, or better yet, shopping the Farmer’s Market, and just in general enjoying some yummy food. Food, not reconstituted, addictive, melt-in-your-mouth, chemically-laden, overly preserved… un-food? Not sure what you call it at that point. Filler?

Hmm, I have went from “I need a picture” to soapbox in one post this morning. I guess I’m making up for my lack of posts this week.

Til next time… Ciao! (yes, I’m trying to learn Italian, too)