Dec. 6th, 2007

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It is fucking freezing this morning.

I didn't sleep at all well last night, so I've been up since stupid early local time. Holy crap, it is too cold for me. I'm under three layers and my trench, and I'm still freezing.

Last night was again spent at the cafe with the artists, though two new people joined us. So all told, we were: me, Josie, Tore, Birgit, Liesl, Helga and Louise. It was a lovely evening, though I turned in early at the time, because I thought I was so tired.

Yeah. I shoulda stayed out and had some wine.

The waiter at the cafe now knows me by name. His name is Sam, which cracks me up. It's not exactly the typical Italian name, especially since he looks like Spider Jerusalem with a goatee. He digs my photography. He also takes great care of me, without hitting on me.

On the way around last night, I found that there's a tiny church next to my hotel with a gorgeous little courtyard in front of it. The facade was never complete, but in this tiny container garden, there's a gilt fresco of a Madonna and child. Beautiful in the darkness. I hope the photo does it justice.

Tomorrow is laundry day.

Today, first the Fortezza to pick up my banquet ticket. Then a slow meander to the Uffizi for some Botticelli. Birth of Venus, here I come.

After that?

Well, I have 4 Gb of memory on my camera. Heh. There are photos to take.

Pray for my feet.

In the meantime, a tiny sliver more of what I've shot is over at flickr:

I'm going to be uploading photos for days when I get home...

The Uffizi

Dec. 6th, 2007 06:44 pm
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Well, I had to utter some heresy at some point.

Went to the Uffizi, the museum that everyone told me was the equivalent of the Louvre.



I know. What's wrong with me?

Dunno. Don't get me wrong. There are some lovely pieces in there. But Louvre it is not. The Silenus and Young Bacchus made me smile. I discovered that I love Caravaggio in real life.

But the rest?


I think the decision to not restore the paintings is a mistake. I know that it's this big decision they made.

It's bullshit.

I know for a fact that those paintings can not have been painted that dark in the original. You can see how the dirt has darkened the oils. This is NOT what the artists intended. I know that as an artist. How is letting a great work of art turn black from age honoring the intent of the artist?

Maybe that's why I loved the Caravaggios. They seemed to have held up the best for their age. His painting of Bacchus was a delight.

But the rest?

I love me the endless Madonna and Child theme. But do we really need that many treatments of Leda and the Swan? Really?

Someone had major swan fetish issues. That's all I'm saying.

And after all of that, I sat at my usual spot in Independence Plaza and put in my iPod headphones. And Joe Satriani started playing Secret Prayer and I burst into tears. Because sitting in the Italian winter sun, nothing was more perfect than Joe on my headphones and fat pigeons at my feet.

After that, well, it was back to the hotel. The daily Bataan Death March seems to be agreeing with me. Today's nap gave me a Mr. & Mrs. Smith'esque dream where Brad Pitt defended himself in the martial art fight in the cafe with a tiny espresso spoon.

I now want to see them film the scooter chase that ensued.

And now to dinner. There's caffe and pastry in my future.


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