Tag Archive for travel

More Assisi, and a little Bastia

I had the best of intentions of blogging often. I was thinking Ah, I’ll be lounging about, drinking a little cappuccino, laptop on my lap… My tenth year here at Art Workshop International in Assisi and I still haven’t figured it out. Between teaching and hanging with my buddies, between walks and art and my local friends I only see once or twice a year, all that lounging time doesn’t exist.

So here I am, belatedly, back again, with some photos. Most of them are from Assisi, though we took a little trip — and I mean little, literally 4 minutes on the train (though of course you have to walk down to Santa Maria degli Angeli to get the train, and then wait for the train, so from the hotel the trip is about an hour and 4 minutes) — to Bastia, and strolled around.

View from our favorite cafe

 

Breakfast at the Hotel Giotto (plus a little fruit for lunch…)

 

The hard-working guys holding up the rose window at San Rufino

 

Below street-level plantings. Don’t show this to Grow Dammit, he’ll feel insecure.

 

Flower pot on the wall

 

Sunflowers, almost ready for harvest

 

Bastia: the market’s over

 

Bastia: painted wall

 

Filipina nuns in habits and identical straw hats waiting for the bus.

 

Bastia: I don’t think this is the police station any more…

 

…or else some cop has a very green thumb.

 

Dragon sings karaoke

Assisi, Assisi

Arrived at the Hotel Giotto, went to my regular room, unpacked and I already know where everything goes. Charles Kreloff and Bob Hughes had a slice of Pane di San Francesco waiting for me. Went for a walk around town: it’s been beautiful for 1,000 years and it changes but it doesn’t; still beautiful. Herein, the first set of photos. Including food, as requested.

Salad at dinner

Archway

Bootleg photo in the Basilica (no photos allowed!)

Basilica door detail

Outside my room, dawn

The Pope’s Dining Room in the Basilica. For nine hundred years, when a Pope visits Assisi, this is where they feed him.

Interior garden at the Basilica

Lemon and sage ravioli (SO yummy)

We visit the Basilica at night

Walkway

 

A great idea! In fact, two.

I’m just loving this: ice stupas!

To bring water to drought-stricken areas.

Photo by Sonam Wangchuk.

And speaking of the Himalayas, come to Kathmandu!  Click the link for details. (Not the photo, the link.) See you there!

http://www.himalayanwritersworkshop.com/mystery-writing-in-kathmandu

 

More Mississippi

Now that I have a little leisure — after the New Orleans/Mississippi trip there were Philadelphia and Saratoga Springs, and the teaching semester started — I’m catching up on some photos I wanted to show you.  At Dunleith Castle, a mansion we toured in Natchez, one of the rooms has absolutely sensational wallpaper. Les Zones Terrestres by the Zuber Co. is what it sounds like — all the climates of the earth, shading into one another in a 33-panel spread that wraps around the room. These are details. I was hoping to find more complete photos on the Zuber website, but no. The blocks it was printed from were destroyed during WWII, so it’s not made anymore. It’s astoundingly beautiful. The White House has a Zuber wallpaper, Vues de l’Amérique du Nord, in the Diplomatic Reception Room, and another Natchez mansion has a different set, Hindustan, along the gallery walls. I’ve never been a wallpaper fan, but these knocked me out. I wish I could show you more but I couldn’t back up far enough to take wide shots. If in Natchez, though, do not miss this!

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Doe’s Eat Place

This is me lurking in the shadows of Doe’s Eat Place, Greenville, Mississippi. Doe’s was originally a honky-tonk, and later a restaurant. On the wrong side of the tracks because Doe himself was Italian, which made him, like the Lebanese and Jews of Greenville, colored folk, the restaurant found itself sneaking white folks in the back door because the steaks were so good. Now anyone can eat at Does, and I do recommend it.

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A day in Florence

The rest of the photos are on the camera and so have yo be downloaded, but this was on Jonathan Santlofer’s phone so here it is. After a hot and hectic day, we chillaxed in a sidewalk cafe that was, actually, in the street.

 

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Evening in Assisi

Assisi, like any other, oh, gee, 2,000-year-old place, has some extremely cool things going on. I’ve learned about a few over the years, and they’re too great not to share. Here’s me on an evening walk, running my mouth for the benefit of newcomers about the cloth, brick, and tile measurements built into the wall by the town fathers 900 years ago so you wouldn’t get cheated when you bought your goods at the market in the square. Photo by the sneaky but invaluable Jonathan Santlofer.

 

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter…

…from my hotel room window at sunrise.

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Turtle and giant carp, LA

Just thought you might like to see what’s in the pool at the Hilton.

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Greetings, earthlings

SJR coming to you from the Newark Airport United Club, my home away from home in Terminal C. I seem to spend half my airport life in Terminal A, where the short hops go from, and I expected this flight to Cleveland to leave from there, too. Terminal C in my mind has always been for international adventure — the flight I take to Rome (for the Assisi program you’re all going to come study with me in this year) leaves from here, as well as flights to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul (which is for Mongolia as well), Tokyo. And such non-short-hop US destinations as Portland and San Francisco. Love me some Terminal C.

But lo, Cleveland takes off from here, too. This is a good thing, because this is where the Club is — no such comforts in down-market Terminal A — and I need a nice place to sit and drink a nice cup of tea, because I’m 2 1/2 hours early. Which is about an hour longer than the flight. (Remember, I went to Oberlin, I know this trip.) I heard a horror-story report on the news last night about hour-plus waits at security even for TSA Pre-check passengers, and I figured it’s Friday so lots of people would be traveling. So I cleverly left very early. Here’s the thing, though: TSA workers denied it, but the news story smelled to me like an unauthorized work slowdown to protest understaffing. (Apparently TSA has stopped paying overtime, which means fewer workers per security station.) I guess they got their point across, because I breezed through that Pre-check line like grass through a goose and now here I sit.

And by now you’re asking, “That’s all very well, but why are you going to Cleveland?” For this: Sisters in Crime Northeast Chapter’s Death March Conference. I’m giving the keynote, on “Categorization and Its Discontents.” Hope to see some of you there! The rest of you, as the poem has it:

Write right
Right wrong
Sing song
Long gone

I’ll report from beautiful Ohio.