Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mardi Gras riot

Last night during the final hours of Carnivale, we heard what sounded like a mobile club making its way down our street on Via dei Neri. There was a truck with beer, music, and some man on a speaker shouting things. I assumed it was just some carnival parade until I saw a number of people in these masks gluing things to walls. At first I thought it was a Bloody Beetroots fan club. 

After they had left, it looked like propaganda. I visited the website and had it translated by Google. It seems like it's an antigovernment/proanarchy organization that, ironically, is against organizations. They do have a neat little mascot called Babau the 
monster, however.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

One of the shots I took of a Ducati 749 went in to Photoshop and made a wallpaper (1440x900) from it. The font is Univers 85 extra black oblique and Univers 45 light oblique. Enjoy.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Carnival da Viareggio

Many of the floats are of political satire. This one has a man with Joker-esque makeup frying some naked republicans.
This was the biggest one. Keep in mind that all of these behemoths are animated.
This was a favorite, an African boatman with awesome music.
The streets were shoulder to should. People had to part to let the floats go by. So cool.
Empirical Rome and dead cows?
I'm sure if I was up with Italian politics, I'd understand this one.
Communism is the devil...
And Barack is Jesus?
Confetti. Lots and lots of confetti. And I am pleased about that.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Carnival da Venezia

The island of Burano is so colorful with every building being a bright color. You can't not be cheerful at this place.
We had a quick demo of some glass blowing/forming on Murano. The man in the sweater was so happy to show off what his shop is capable of. The showroom was spectacular, unfortunately photos weren't allowed.
These two pieces were completed in about 10 minutes.
One of the many show windows at Murano
One of the first things I saw on Venice was a violinist in a fancy mask. You think things like this only happen in movies.
Piazza de San Marco was full up, again, the word is spectacular.
San Marco's clock tower. Oddly, it's named after a saint and has zodiac symbols. The intricate design with the coloring is the typical Venetian style of the mix of Mediterranean and Arabic.
San Marco's cathedral. I find I'm amazed at every inch of architecture in Italy has something on it, hardly any blank space.
Ponte Rialto is pretty interesting although smaller than I remember it.
This was my most favorite moment here. It was a surreal scene of a number of boatmen all dressed in the same period costume floating on a turquoise canal. Note they are not gondolas, gondolas are the black boats with the axe-like blade upfront. 

Friday, February 13, 2009

New leather

I made a purchase today of some typical Florentine leather. It's a laptop/briefcase/m'urse. We were in the open market near campus and a guy in a booth asked what we wanted and took us to his shop 'round back. It was like any other leather goods store, purses, wallets, cases. I never got his name, unfortunately, he spoke English very well and was fun to work with promising us good deals. After some decisions not made, he took 35 off the big one I was looking at. I'm happy I have it, the quality is great. Stitching, seams, strap connection, leather feel are all nice. The shop is Andriano, Via dell'Ariento, 43r.

This weekend, Venezia!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ciao Firenze

With internet at a premium, I've not been able to update folks as to how my time in Italy is going. I've just had my first Italian class and using the school's internet at the moment. The closest I can get internet in my apartment is at a gellateria across the street. But since the walls here are two inches shy of being fallout shelter quality, I have to either go to the shop or hide behind out front door. Connection speeds don't allow for speedy photo uploads so I apologize for the few visuals.

Fortunately, my first weekend here had weather that was sunny and inviting for walking. After -2F temperatures in Michigan, 40F feels like spring. I'm still mostly lost around b
ut I've been told it's easy to find your way after a short time. Florence is just like anyone would expect it to be. Art everywhere, musicians on street corners, fashion shops, tiny markets, tiny cars, tinier streets and more gellato shops th
an you can sh
ake a stick at. So far I've cross the Fiume de Arno to Piazza Michelangiolo and saw an imitation David and an amazing view of the city at sunset. The Duomo is amazingly huge on the outside,
I can't wait to visit inside. Also at the piazza, the new Alfa Romeo MiTo and a classic Fiat 500 Abarth.
It wasn't hard to meet people, mostly US students. It seems that there is a common personality that studies abroad. Everyone is excited and nice and genuinely please to meet you. Two of my roommates, M
ar tin and Ed, I know from CCS and the other, Sean, is from Keane State. I met the people
above and below and everyone is really cool in my complex.

My very limited Italian has helped out some, particularly asking questions and prices. I'm still excited to continue my italian class. I really hope I can get around by myself decently by the end.

Ciao tutti!
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Detroit, MI, United States
I don't blog that much.