Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Couldn't resist..."My Milan (Italy)" has been named one of the best 150 blogs about Italy! Yeah!--YET ANOTHER UPDATE

Moving mania still reigns, but here's an update to the link reference confusion.

A link to my blog "My Milan (Italy)" was added to a list called "Top 150+ best Italy blogs" on a web site dedicated to Italy.

The links content (including the link to my blog) seemed just like the link list on the wonderful web site of Sheila: In fact, I had thought that it was HER, just revamping her site for whatever reason.

Sheila thinks they copied the link list from her blog on Italy: (Too bad I hadn't seen this message, first....)

They have communicated privately to me that they did not take the list from Sheila's blog, and that overlap is inevitable.

However, to avoid confusion and hard feelings, and since I had given Sheila permission to put a link to my blog on her web site, first, I have asked the other website to take off the link to my blog, and they have done it promptly.

I'm sorry to miss the exposure, but I'd be sorrier still to be in the middle of this misunderstanding, particularly since I had given permission first to Sheila.

And that's that!

(message updated 24 Jan 2011)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Moving hiatus...and not the emotional kind...unfortunately

Moving hiatus, my Milan-loving blog friends.

I'm caught up in the whirlwind of boxes, which may not die down until early February.

If I'm not able to "chat" and share pictures til then, stay well and safe!

There's no accounting for taste in the Enchanted Forest

There's no accounting for taste.

To each his own.

Live and let live (well, that's a bit different, but along similar lines).

I know nothing about art, but I know what I like (well, that's not really true, see my message, but it's commonly said in these kinds of situations).

No other similar phrases come to mind in English at this moment, but even this short list fits the bill...More......

The "Enchanted Forest" ("Bosco incantato") in Piazza Fontana by an artist named Angiola Tremonti. 'Tis true, they're mixed nicely with the existing trees, so, if we're unlucky enough to find that they're not taken down after the current public art exhibit, then the trees should provide enough leaf cover to make them mercifully almost invisible.

Up close, they're even worse from afar.

The poor women are probably meant to recall the Greek mythological figure of Daphne, who pleaded to the gods to be saved from the overly aggressive amoral advances of Apollo (go figure...he was young and good-looking, but she wanted to remain a virgin, as I recall...why? Can't remember offhand, maybe she had pledged her virginity to Artemis, or some such). They answered her request, but in a way maybe even she didn't expect: they turned her into a tree.

Could have been worse.

For the mythological figure.

The sculptures ARE worse.

The fertile bellies of the poor women are ripped open, as if they are being punished in the very spot for which they had what little worth they possessed in many ancient cultures. (Ancient cultures? Who am I kidding...I'm no strident feminist, but human dignity and equality should be a given, yet it seems that so many cultures--my own, included--still haven't found this delicate balance...sigh....)

So there.

I've finally gotten these sculptures off my chest, or should I say stomach?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bureaucratic war won without the blink of an Italy!

If you follow my blog, you might have noticed the warning shot ('they won the bureaucratic skirmish, but not the war! Well, here's the sequel...More......

It went like a charm.

Here's what happened.

I'm moving from one part of Milan to another.

Moving already is a painful experience (see the VERY funny blog post by a very talented young lady on moving with traumatized dogs:

One tries to organize as best as possible, in order to make it as painless as possible.

This includes setting up the "post forwarding" feature at the post office.

Oh, yes, even the Italian post office offers this service (for a relatively small fee). (Doesn't forward packages, though, so hold off sending me that diamond tiara til I'm in the new place.)

I went to their web site (they have a web site!), trembling with fear that I wouldn't be able to find the information in a typical maze.

Not so! It was easily found, intelligible AND downloadable! There's even a place on the form to specify the date on which one wants the service to start (that's your hint about where the upcoming snafu took place).

"It's practically done!," I said smugly to myself, "and so far in advance, too!"

For organizational reasons, that day it was necessary to go to the larger central post office, rather than my little neighborhood one, where I've gotten to know the people, at least face-to-face if not by name, and enjoy going to exchange smiles. ("What?! She ENJOYS going to the post office?!," I can hear you cry...a smile and a personal touch make all the difference in the world, bureaucrats and store owners, forewarned is forearmed.)

Years ago, going to an Italian post office (or any bureaucrat's office) was a nightmare: people amassing, pushing and shoving, no waiting in line. If you're old enough, and had gone to Italy in those days, you'll remember the pain for us Anglo-Saxon types. So, in the last decade and a half, or two, they've instituted a number system for the lines. Works great (and I'm always amazed).

That day, the number system wasn't working, but they did have a woman directing traffic, and people--now accustomed to lines (cordons are our friends)--were waiting patiently for their turn (most of them, anyway). Bright and cheery, armed with the knowledge that I was informed, organized and in plenty of time, I naively approached the window.

"Can't do it."


"Can't do can't specify the date on which the service starts automatically about ten days after you bring in the're too early...go away and come back, later."


"Can't do it, you're too early, go away and come back later."

"But there's a space on the form I downloaded from *your* web site where it says it *is* possible to specify the starting date."

"I don't care, it doesn't work like that, it can't be done, go away and come back, later."

That was the skirmish won, but not the war.

The very next day, I took the same form to my little neighborhood post office branch.

I took my number.

I waited patiently until it was my turn (this time, with a little less confidence).

I got to the window, smiled, explained briefly what I wanted to do, and shoved the form under the glass separating window.

The blank look and pause threw me until he said, "I've never done this before, but wait a minute, are you in a hurry? no? good, let's try."

Dazed with appreciation at his willingness to work and think (something obviously lacking in the previous exchange at the central office), I answered questions posed.

We even had to go through the procedure twice because he punched a wrong button at one point.

No biggie.

It was done, as it should have been in the first place, and with a few smiles to boot.

I'll miss those people in that little post office.

P.S., I am wondering, though, if the service really will start on the day specified, or, as the man at the central post office said, it will start about ten days after submitting the form. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Interesting gas stations

Here's the other interesting gas station, also "on," or at least only a handful of meters away from, Piazzale Accursio. It's harder to date, but could be from the post-modern period (that is, from the 1980s onward) when the nearby districts began growing as bedroom communities.

See my, the first of the series (perhaps there'll be more!), for the whys and wherefore's.

Like the previous photo, this one was snapped on the 11th of December, around 12:30 P.M.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Interesting gas stations

I love it when the blogs I follow inspire me to hunt up something in Milan, whether already snapped, or a new photography adventure.

This time it's the turn of interesting gas stations (industrial architecture in general is a fascinating topic full of unexpected beauty)...More......

Here is the "culprit" this time. A blog dedicated to posting an old picture a day, and to allowing people to share their memories and expertise in identifying and commenting on the images, has adopted old gas stations as its theme for this week.

So, having just noticed and snapped a couple, here's the first of the two.

This one, which must date to the 1930s/1940s, is on Piazzale Accursio on the street, once in the middle of nowhere, heading out of town to the new cemetery. Now, the city has grown up and around not only the gas station--no longer functioning as a gas station--but also around the cemetery. I wasn't able to find any info about it in my handy dandy "Milano" by TCI-Touring Club Italiano, Italy's version of the AAA, nor on the internet.

I snapped this shot on one of our rare blue days, lately: January 11, 2011, at about 12:30 P.M.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

So, it's a New Year

So, it's a New Year.

Too much whirling around to make resolutions? Here's another possibility to add to the whirl...More......

I'll give you a hint. The sculpture is called "To Blood Donors" ("Al donatore di sangue"), by Eva Olah Arre', 1994, and is on the far side of the park on Corso XXII Marzo (so far that it's visible only from the other side).

The sun and clear blue sky was a relief, after a rainy few days around Christmas, but didn't last long. Epiphany has come and gone, but the drizzle remains.

I snapped the photo on January 1st, 2011 at about 3:45 P.M.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Self-perception test

Sorting, tossing, hesitating, putting away and pausing.

This one brought a smile to my face and heart.

My first (and so far only) trip to Boston (lovely city), and I spotted this neon sign, so expressive of the owner's self-perception, in a Sicilian restaurant window.

It's not Milan, but the photo--dating probably to the second half of the 1980s--is mine, and we all could use the smiles.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Trumpeting angels to herald in the New Year

On Monday, I try to choose something for my blog on Milan, Italy, that also allows me to create a "Milan Monday" diagram for my needlepoint blog. Today, I felt the urge for angels trumpeting in a (hopefully) Happy, Healthy, Prosperous and Serene New Year....More......

Problem was, while the picture is great (I think!), getting a good frontal snap of just one of these angels would have at least required a tall ladder and who knows how many kinds of permissions, so I decided to post this picture, and use a free clip art image for my needlepoint blog (see:

I snapped this photo for you down Corso di Porta Vittoria on December 27, 2010, at about 6:15 P.M.

Happy, Healthy, Prosperous and Serene New Year

Now that Christmas 2010 is over, and 2011 already is a couple of days old (where did THAT time fly?!), here are a few polar bears and a chaperone deer I snapped around 1 P.M. in a florist's window on Piazza Missori during my New Year's Eve search for photos for you....More......

Deciding what to say to start the New Year right, some topics are being put off, at least for a few days, and I decided to focus on my goals for this blog: my photos, my thoughts, my slice of this city.

"Here my are!" reflected, along with the façade of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, in the glass of this new museum dedicated to 20th century art, particularly the first half, when Italy played such an important international role in the development of art.

This guy on the Rococo façade of Palazzo Litta on Corso Magenta looks like he had too much to drink on Christmas Eve.

For the origin of the "Here My Are!" theme, see my:

I snapped some other fun shots for you on Christmas Eve day and New Year's Day, and I'll get to reviewing the new museum, soon, but I'm falling asleep at the keyboard, so I just wanted to thank you for reading my blog, and to welcome you back for 2011.

I hope we all have a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous and Serene New Year!
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