Sunday, February 27, 2011

love in the eternal city

like last year, i was fortunate to be in rome around valentine's day (even though it really doesn't seem to be celebrated with the gusto we have for the holiday here in the states) and, like last year, love was on display at many sites around the eternal city. i'm hoping next year, if i'm lucky a third time and get to go back, my valentine will be with me.

(yes, rich, i'm talking about you.)

this is a fairly new tradition in rome, started around valentine's day a few years ago--couples take a padlock, affix it to one of the bridges across the tiber (it started on the ponte milvio but you can find them on any bridge now), then throw the keys into the river symbolizing their unbreakable love for each other. of course, the italian government has the locks removed with bolt cutters on a regular basis because the weight of one collection of locks brought down a streetlamp...but you get the idea.

be here now, in my heart--ram dass intentionally or unintentionally cited in a really well-done piece of graffiti

c'é une cuore en mi caffe latte!

valentine's day chocolate by the spanish steps

it's a bit meringue-y, but it makes a lovely valentine's wedding display

bikes and kisses with michaelangelo's creation of adam, all on a candy apple red vespa--perfection!

more vespa-lust and the quintessential modern expression of love in rome

moriondo e gariglio chocolates! you just need to smell the store to feel your hips expand

valentine's graffiti

don't be fooled by the jewelry box--these are boxer briefs

i tried so hard to come up with a single place i could wear these red lovelies in iowa city and came up completely blank...thus they still reside in rome

Friday, February 25, 2011

rome 2011: shopping at the porta portese market

tutti per un euro! there must have been 100 stalls like this

i landed in rome early on a sunday morning and knew where i wanted to go...porta portese market! my hotel room wasn't going to be ready for several hours but the concierge was kind enough to keep an eye on all my stuff while i took off to go dive headfirst into the madness. i realized on the flight over that i had forgotten to bring a converter so i could charge my that gave me extra incentive to brave the crowds.

porta portese market, so named for the giant city gate that marks the "start" of the market, is held early on sunday mornings just across the tiber from via marmorata in trastevere. thousands upon thousands of vendors come to ply their wares to thousands upon thousands of buyers in about a one square mile area over the course of about six hours--it is a mad crush of noise, goods, humanity, sights, smells, and basically anything else you can imagine (except, oddly, there is almost no food there, unlike every other market in rome)...and then it is gone as quick as it came. the prices are rock bottom and everything is negotiable; criminal activity (pickpocketing, theft) is going on in the melee but it isn't rampant and there are several cops around--you should definitely experience this ginormous flea market/goodwill/dollar store for yourself if you can!

gotta love the license plates--i taught the vendor how to say "eye-owa" rather than "ee-owa," but "pottawattamie" was completely out of the linguistic question

i could easily see queen sophie riding this through the marketplace, with a stuffed panda strapped on the back

lots and lots and lots of beads--they seemed to be stone, too

scarf fluffer--there were guys like this who every 15 minutes or so would grab big piles of their stuff and turn over the stock, to pull what was on the bottom to the top

voluminous jewels

fancy panties

seeds--where the hell do people grow anything in rome?

very cool buttons in any possible size, color combination--there must have been a hundred thousand buttons at this stall

very cool retro phones that weigh like 20 pounds each

stockings with which to bestocking your legs

fierce kitteh

frames--i loved these wooden handpainted beauties and i wish i would have bought some

yes, you can even buy your wedding dress at porta portese market

cacti--noli le tangere!


metal ephemera

chandelier ephemera--there were thousands of crystals at this stall, one of which i'm sure would have matched our lovely chandelier and corrected its prism lacuna

honestly, i love this--and i was tempted to buy it--enlarge the photo and see if you can identify more than four actual english-language words in the text (spellcheck before you screenprint, people!)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

happy birthday lindsay!

i wonder what you are doing today as you are currently in kuching, malaysia--from whence the above photo was stolen? can you get a piece of birthday cake or at least a birthday cupcake there? what about candles? i know you like these things...i hope you are having a fantastic trip and that you take a lot of pictures--i can't wait to see them!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

back and beswined, again

i'm back from rome, but i seem to have acquired h1n1 fucking AGAIN. apparently rome is having quite the outbreak and i didn't get the memo before i went. i was laughing to myself at all the japanese tourists there wearing face masks the thickness of maxi pads...however i'm guessing they didn't import the flu back to their home country as i did. i'm going on day 7 of this shit and if last time is any indication i'm nowhere near through. yuck.

so, back yes, beswined yes, and pictures to come when i can stay awake for longer than five minutes at a time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

rome in (roman) snow, 2010

exactly one year less one day ago, i was in artiste's cafe (i think it was called that) in the eternal city experiencing a rare snowstorm. all of about an inch fell and stuck for maybe an hour, but it was lovely nonetheless. and, it was ROMAN snow...somehow that made it alright. i'll be there again day after tomorrow hopefully with sun, not snow (but i'll be happy just to be there). be back soon!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

snow angel

my snow angel, gus! check out that beautiful eye...

a photographer for getty images was out at lincoln elementary today while gus and his friends were sledding (we got like a foot and a half of snow yesterday, so school was cancelled). click here for the photo credit!