Thursday, November 29, 2007

Shops in Florence Italy

I have to look for a new place to live. Not sure I should give specifics about why since I am in a foreign country and all. I do not feel free to discuss the problem that the friend I am staying with is having, in case it makes things worse for this friend. And few people know that I am here.

Anyway, room hunting has led me to walking around town at hours I would otherwise be working on my art and I am getting to see many shops that are not normally open when I am out and about. The shop in the image here is near the Pitti Palace, I think. Or maybe Santo Spirito, but I think the Pitti.

You may not be able to see, but there is a man working diligently behind a desk way at the back of a long and rather narrow shop. He makes masks and other art objects for decoration. I do not know if all of the paintings in this shop are his, but some fit the theme with the masks and faces. I have been enchanted with many different kinds of shops here and wonder how anyone can pay his rent. Most shops specialize to a degree that I cannot believe there are enough buyers out here to keep things rolling. But, oh, the eye candy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Locks of Love – Florence, Italy

The Italians are quite the passionate bunch. It shows in many ways – from the care that is put into the preparing a meal to the pure enjoyment of every passeggiata, the evening walk throughout the city’s streets, usually arm in arm. One can see lovers, friends, siblings, and parent and child couples of all ages walking linked and involved in familiar conversations as they people-watch.

Of course, the passion extends to areas of romance. Pictured here are some of the proclamations of a lasting devotion – the locks of love. One can see them in various, sometimes random, places around Italia. Sometimes so many locks are placed in a spot that they are eventually cut off and the process may begin again. This image was taken at the end of the arched walkway that is near the famous Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy, along the Arno River.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Festival dei Popoli – Documentary Film Festival Florence Italy

Last Tuesday night, I was invited for a quick dinner after I finished my drawing for the day. Then my friend Simone took me to the Festival dei Popoli – a documentary film festival – at Cinema Gambrinus, a movie theatre near the Edison (English language) bookstore and Piazza della Repubblica. I was really tired, but rarely turn down an invitation to see the interior of some space in Florence, especially by a local.

Allora, the first film was a depressing view of an Israeli soldier’s term of active duty in the reserves. It had Italian subtitles, which helped me to learn more of this language, and see how common phrases are interpreted, even some naughty ones. Hey, these are soldiers in a war after all. The second film was titled, “King Corn” and chronicled the adventures of two men who found a plot of land in Iowa, USA, to plant corn for a year. It was a comment on how much corn (usually by way of corn syrup) Americans eat.

I do not often see a lot of documentaries; however, I assume this was better done than others. And the message was “preaching to the choir” for me. And in all fairness, I slept through a lot of it, off and on. The snoozing was more about me than about the film though. And what I do remember was that there were many quite beautiful and artistically composed images of the farmland and skies in Iowa. Simone loved the film’s poster, but it was too much yellow for my taste.

The Cinema Gambrinus is not nearly as beautiful as the Odeon Theatre in Florence, but charming in its way. There was a sculpture of three women (Graces?) above the screen and you can see one pink chandelier in the photo above.

I was really charmed by the live classical musicians playing outside of the cinema when we exited about mezzanotte. But the Italians do seem to love the night, even during the week.