Saturday, December 31, 2011

Racing to the end of 2011

Racing to the end of 2011, just about an hour left....More...

A few firecrackers popping here and there...despite Milan's city-wide ban for safety's sake.

Mercifully quiet in my apartment building and surroundings...the noisy youth disturbing the late night peace now and then are doing their thing somewhere else (I'm turning into such a curmudgeon!).

Here's a snap I took recently on a moving tram. I love my light paintings. Hope you enjoy them, too.

Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Birthday grapes

In honor of my dear sweet sister's birthday and the holiday season, here's a snap--with intriguing reflections--of a Christmas tree with one of her favorite motifs: grapes.

Happy Birthday, sweetie!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post-Christmas Milan

Dec. 26, 2011. Slept in a tiny bit. Did some work reading (too much R&R can't be good for me). Ate a quick lunch, nothing special. Went for a nice long brisk walk on the day after Christmas. My neighborhood was very quiet.

What shops there are on the main drag were closed for the holiday (St. Stephen's Day in Italy).

(Italian duct tape...any engineers out there? For a funny flowchart on the conundrum of duct tape vs. WD-40, see:

Walked past the sculpture of (THE) Giuseppe Verdi in front of the Old Musician's Home he founded. He grew up poor, and so reputedly was a tightwad, but apparently knew how to spend his money where it was needed. The place still toddles along helping elderly impoverished professional musicians spend their last years in decent comfort and company.

Walked past some cute Christmas dwarves in Corso Vercelli (the continuation of Corso Magenta after Piazza Baracca) all the way to Piazza Cordusio--halfway between the Duomo and the Sforza Castle--almost without seeing a soul, only to bump into the fringe of a packed human flood on that pedestrian walk. Turned on my heels, jumped on the next tram for which I thankfully had to wait only a few minutes, and hightailed it back home. Quick cup of tea with a nearby friend, then home. Sewing machine still out, so did a few repairs that have been languishing lo these many months, and got started on another. That was the 26th.

Today, the 27th, was a bit livelier.

Still slept in a bit (I mean an extra hour...can't power sleep til after noon, as I once did when younger), still did some work reading (I really shouldn't sound so is interesting), but this time got myself up and out of the house before lunch. Walked briskly down to the store where my "" book with my photos was waiting (fun product: you upload your photos into one of their pre-fab photo book formats, click "send," and they'll print it out, and send it to a photo shop near you; you pay only when you pick it up).

On the way, I passed Verdi's Old Musician's Home (in a Neo-Gothic Venetian style), then walked some more, and snapped more pics,...

...including this little late 18th century mortuary chapel (whose sentiments are more appropriate for serious musings on the last day of the year, "You will be what I am now...") on the other side of Piazzale Aquileia from the 19th century panopticon prison of San Vittore (named after the nearby church) still in use.

Tiring out (I had been walking for about an hour and a half, after all), I took the bus home for a leisurely lunch, now some blogging, then back to the mending and a bit of movie watching on TV.

So as not to leave you on such a pensive note, here's what you need to look for if you need a gas station in town. They're not very obvious.

Tomorrow, visits with friends in sight! Yeah!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to all and a hint from Naples

Christmas joy on the Grand Canal of Milan on the 18th of December, 2010...I'm not often out this late at night, so with this year's austerity measures I couldn't say whether the lights are up this year, or not, but they probably have the strung lights up, at least. The underwater lights were unusually kitschy for Milan, though they make for a good pic.

But now, to the point of the post...Hurray for the Neapolitans.

A free sit-down lunch in the lovely Galleria Principe di Napoli for those less fortunate...More......(if you read Italian, or just would like to see a snap, go to:

The galleria is like Milan's, though the latter is bigger and better (I sound like I'm from Texas, don't I?!).

It's a great idea, kudos to you and a hint for us for next year.

(P.S., Dear Mr. Mayor, the organizer said they've been doing it for 16 years, and now can get it organized in 10 Naples, I'm why re-invent the wheel? Invite them to come to Milan to tell you how they do it.)

Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

"False friends" and dry goods

A "drogheria" might have been a place where you could have gotten drugs in the olden days, but it isn't anymore. "Drogheria" in this case is a false, not a true, "friend" in that it looks and sounds a bit like a word in English, but doesn't mean the same thing. Today, a "drogheria" is a kind of old-fashioned mom-and-pop little dry goods store, rather hard to find in Milan these days.

There's a nifty one in Milan with an address on Corso Magenta, but with the entrance on Largo d'Ancona.

Why is it so nifty?...More......

Because, besides having a little bit of everything any self-respecting supermarket has (deoderant, house cleaning supplies, shampoo and the like), it also has candy-by-the-pound, teas and...drum roll, please...even some not-easy-to-find exotic food, such as various kinds of chutneys, English cookies (called "biscuits" in UK English, thank you very much), Chinese rice noodles and the like.

The place is called "Grossi" after a family name, but don't look for that on the store front.

All you'll see that is prominent are the yellow and red "J&B Scotch" signs, liquors and wines also being sold here.

Interested in more info about this and other exotic food stores I've found in Milan (no easy task)?

Go here, and download my (occasionally updated) list:

Forewarned is forearmed. The place is teentsy, and so half the store ends up behind the counter, or way up high, or behind glass doors, so you'll have to ask for help. In fact, within seconds of coming in, you'll be asked "Posso aiutarLa?" (May I help you?) or "Ha bisogno?" (Do you need something?), or something of the sort. So this means you'll get good service, and hopefully will find what you want, but there will be no price and product comparing.

If you're ready to jump into the purchase of your favorite kind of chutney (etc.), a simple "Sì, ma parla inglese?" (Yes, but do you speak English?) will get you started. If you just want to look around a bit, "Vorrei dare un'occhiata prima, grazie" (I'd like to look around a bit, first, thank you) will do.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas promises and Toll House cookies

I promised some friends I'd make authentic Toll House chocolate chip cookies for the Christmas lunch to which they so kindly have invited me.

Misson accomplished...and taste testing complete.

Had to make them with M&Ms because there are no chocolate chips, here.

Yummy just the same and jolly to boot!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What are the standard "To See and Do" things in Milan?

“What’s there to see and do in Milan?,” I was asked. That depends, of course, on a few important variables, such as personal interests, length of stay, and whether, or not, it’s your first time in Milan. If the latter is the case, I hope you’ve planned at least three full days to visit the city…and you’ll still only scratch the surface! Believe it, or not!

For special events...More......

...(including organ concerts on the city’s Renaissance organs) and temporary exhibits, the visitor should check at the government tourist office (once called APT, now IAT in Lombardy, at least) located in the Piazza Cairoli in front of the Sforza Castle.

The Last Supper (il Cenacolo) by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is de rigeur for a first-time visit to Milan, and reservations are necessary sometimes a couple of months in advance (, +39.02.8942.1146). Do me a favor. When you go into the refectory, resist the temptation to look first at the Last Supper on the right. Force yourself to look at the Crucifixion fresco on the left. It was finished only a very short time before Leonardo’s work, but it smacks fully of the Early Renaissance style: crammed with figures (the more figures there are, the more they got paid!), everything important smashed up into the front plane, heads all on the same levels, a great attention to surface detail, etc., etc., etc. THEN look on the right at what is left of Leonardo’s masterpiece, its seeming simplicity underscoring the gravity of the moment, the attention to the psychological impact of the precise moment that Christ says, “One of you will betray me.” The contrast showing you how revolutionary Leonardo was couldn’t be more plain. Don’t miss seeing the church, itself, either: the long nave dates to the Early Renaissance period, even if from the late 15th century, while the enormous polygonal chapel—substituting the original and more typical cross shape—now forming the apse was either built by, or inspired by a design by, the famous architect Bramante, who left Milan around the time the French invaded the city (1499), and hightailed it to Rome, where he built the little San Pietro in Montorio chapel, launching the High Renaissance style. Milan had him first!!!

A few other world-renowned "do not miss" items would be these (official web sites, even if only in Italian, have been preferred, when available…if you need English, use your favorite internet search engine):

--the world-famous paintings at the Pinacoteca di Brera (Mantegna's Dead Christ, Bramante's Uomini famosi, Raphael's Marriage of the Virgin, and Piero della Francesca's Virgin and Saints, just to name a few) (, in Italian)
--the world-famous works at the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana (Caravaggio's Fruit Basket and Raphael's full-size sketches for the School of Athens, Ambrogio De Predis' Portrait of a Woman, Leonardo's Portrait of a Musician, the Pietà and Madonna Enthroned and Saints by Bramantino, other works by post-Leonardo Lombard masters, and, on a kitsch-y note, a lock of Lucrezia Borgia's hair, for history buffs) (, for the moment in Italian, the “English” button doesn’t work)
--the world-famous works at the Sforza Castle (including the life-size equestrian marble sculpture of Bernabò Visconti by Bonino da Campione and--completely out of character for this museum that concentrates principally on Lombard art--Michelangelo's Rondanini Pietà; the painting gallery has just reopened after being renewed) (for the “Museo di arte antica”, see:, yeah, the version in English works!; there are other museums in the castle, as well: Egyptian art, Decorative Arts, and temporary exhibits)
--the world-famous Crucifix and Gospel book cover of Ariberto d'Intimiano, Milan's last vastly powerful "prince-archbishop" in the first half of the 11th century (in the museum of the Duomo and the treasury of the Duomo, respectively; both have other marvelous things, too), as well as the Duomo, itself, a fascinating example of a balancing act between the late International Gothic style and local Italian/Milanese architectural currents, later modified by late Renaissance post-Tridentine religious requirements by Saint Charles Borromeo's favorite architect, Pellegrini…start the exterior visit at the back, where the architecture comes from the late 14th century…the farther you move towards the front, the “younger” the architecture is, until you get to the façade finished in a historical style in the early 19th century (, yeah, in English!)
--the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a marvelous and fairly early "noble" use of previously denigrated "industrial" materials of iron and glass…and you thought malls were a recent invention! (
--the Early Christian imperial basilica of San Lorenzo, its ancient Roman colonnade, and the blocks taken from the abandoned ancient Roman arena to shore up the foundations…these are off the right hand nave under its chapel [the stairway goes down behind the altar] of Sant’Aquilino which is another “don’t miss”…even if you do have to pay to get in…it’s part of the oldest areas of the church, and dates to the 4th century A.D., and perhaps even was the intended burial place of Galla Placidia, the ancient Roman empress…her so-called “Mausoleum” in Ravenna originally wasn’t a mausoleum, and the presence of a sarcophagus reputedly containing her remains is not documented there until about the 8th, or 9th, century A.D., as I recall…notice the ancient Roman doorway between the two chapel areas, as well as the ancient Roman mosaic fragments still adorning the two chapels’ walls (don't forget that Milan was the de facto capital of the western world from the late 3rd century A.D. onward--the Edict of Constantine, fundamental for Christianity's survival and flourishing, was issued here in 313 A.D.--prior to the threat of invasions by Gauls that encouraged the court to move to Ravenna in 402 A.D.) (, in Italian)
--the basilica of Sant'Ambrogio in all its artistic, architectural and historical glory; don’t miss the Chapel of San Vittorio off the right hand nave…even if you do have to pay to get in…it dates from the 4th-5th century A.D.! Besides, are you from UCLA? Royce Hall’s façade was inspired by the façade of this church. What is it like to hear the Mass in Latin? You can find out, here…they have one around 11 A.M. on Sundays…check the web site! Oh, and by the way, the Catholic churches in all of the diocese of Milan—the Catholic church’s biggest diocese—follow the rite established by Saint Ambrose about 400 years before the merging of the Roman and Gallic rites in the Carolingian period resulting in today’s Catholic rite (Without Saint Ambrose's insistence on Christianity's orthodox, rather than Arian, traditions, the history of Christianity, and hence the Occident, probably would have been radically different; almost the entire panoramic history of Christianity can be followed through the architecture and art works of this church) (, site in Italian)
--the Portrait of a Woman by Pollaiuolo at the Poldi Pezzoli Museum is lovely, and there are other lovely, but less famous, things there by famous and less famous artists, as well; the museum was opened to the public in the 19th century as a house museum featuring all the art and artifacts collected by the noble Poldi Pezzoli, but it was heavily bombed during WWII, so it was reconstructed principally as a “normal” museum (, in English)
--the Museum of Science and Technology is far more interesting than the name implies; in addition to its fascinating range of developments, materials and machines of all kinds—there are even (small) remains of an ancient Roman ship, as well as a reassembled antique clock workshop and real submarine, planes and trains!—it also has large globes, frescoes and a freely adapted Renaissance copy of Leonardo's Last Supper (one of the ways we can imagine what the damaged parts of the fresco looked like), and, you also can see for yourself what a Renaissance monastery would have been like…the museum is housed in one, and the foundations of the ancient Roman imperial mausoleum over which it was built have been revealed in the courtyard (, in English)
--La Scala Theater: when there are no practice sessions going on, it is possible to view the inside of the opera house when visiting the theater's museum; if that’s your principal purpose for visiting this museum full of knick knacks once belonging to famous musicians and conductors, as well as music pieces, pianos, sketches for costumes, etc., and their portraits, ask at the ticket booth before paying (, in English)
--the relatively recent Diocesan Museum in the ex-cloisters of the church of Sant’Eustorgio (itself choc-a-bloc with wonderful lovely things, including the Renaissance Cappella Portinari); this museum offers religious art, including fragments from the 4th century A.D. sculpted wooden doors of Sant’Ambrogio, and often has lovely temporary exhibits (, site in English)
--the Archaeology Museum, set into the reworked Renaissance cloisters of the church of San Maurizio (see below), it offers not only a taste of Milan’s ancient Celtic and Roman past through art and artifacts, but—if you go out into the courtyard—you’ll also be able to see some of the structures once belonging to the ancient Roman circus, an imperial age addition to the earlier republican period city walls (fragments of the foundations of which are visible in the basement level of the museum); if you’re lucky enough, the polygonal tower (so polygonal that it looks round) is open: it was turned into a chapel in the Gothic period, and its frescoes, fairly recently restored, are only rarely available to the public (, in Italian...dear City of Milan Webmaster...shorten your link addresses!)
--the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum is one of Europe's most important and best preserved historic house museums; it has some very interesting pieces, including works by Gentile and Giovanni Bellini, as well as by Giampietrino and Zenale, post-Leonardo masters, but its principal strong point lies in the fact that it is a "magic window" onto Milan's recent aristocratic past: each item has been replaced where the original owners intended it to be, so it is an authentic experience of the taste and noble life style of Milanese aristocracy at the end of the 19th century (, in English); the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum was one of the founding museums of the Circuit of Historic House Museums in Milan: (in English)

Other equally important, but lesser known things, are:

--the church of San Maurizio, founded during the late Lombard, or early Carolingian, period (i.e., around 7th-8th century A.D.), the current building was started in 1503, finished about 20 years later, and is carpeted with marvelous frescoes, principally by Bernardino Luini, one of Milan's post-Leonardo masters, and his sons (
--the Museo del Risorgimento, for Italian 19th century history buffs (, in Italian)
--the Museo di Milano, for the curious: what was Milan like? Here there are painted views of how beautiful Milan once was, before they began covering the canals with asphalt and tearing down old buildings to make way for new (this latter aspect, however, typical of Milan's historical striving to be modern, so in itself is indicative) (, in Italian)
--Filarete's mid-15th century ground-breaking and influential hospital, now used as the main seat for Milan's state university humanities campus, Università degli Studi Milano; Filarete had planned a larger structure, but stayed in Milan only long enough to see the right hand / 15th century part (with the external porticoes) built until his Florentine fancy pants were no longer welcome by the local Lombard architects, who finished his building with some decidedly non-Florentine taste; the central part (where the main portal and large courtyard is) was built in the early 17th century, though the façade is “in style” with the earlier part; the left hand section—today a plain dark red—was added to the hospital by a private benefactor during the early 19th century Napoleonic period. Heavily bombed in WWII, the structure was converted into a university in the 1950s (
--the Natural History Museum (, in Italian)
--the Planetarium built by the famous architect, Portaluppi (, in Italian)
--the Mondadori headquarters outside Milan, built by the same architect responsible for Brasilia: Oscar Niemeyer (, in Italian)
--some of the art in public spaces also might be interesting (Arnoldo Pomodoro, il Sole, Piazza Meda; Claes van Oldenburg, l’Ago, Piazza Cadorna; Igor Mitoraj, Piazza Santa Maria del Carmine) as well as the unintentionally kitschy "Leonardo" horse, which—despite what the American donors say—isn’t really HIS horse, since we still don’t know what definitive form his life-sized model took, and he never executed the sculpture (today’s bronze version by Nina Akamu is appropriately placed in the piazza just in front of Milan’s horse racing stadium in the area called “San Siro”…a great place for this “white elephant”)
--a host of Milan's other churches, too numerous and too varied in their appeal to mention individually (O.K., I can’t resist: be sure to see Sant’Eustorgio with ancient origins, but the current structure principally from the Gothic and Pre- and Early Renaissance periods…O.K., I also can’t resist mentioning San Nazaro and San Simpliciano, both founded originally in the 4th century A.D., but both subject to rebuilding throughout the ages…San Nazaro, on Corso di Porta Romana, is fascinating because its now destroyed atrium butted up against a long covered portico in the street leading out from the republican era city gate, in the area of Piazza Missori, out and down this street headed in the general direction of Rome, hence the street’s name…the gate farther down in Piazza Medaglia d’Oro was built in the late 16th century, and was part of the Spanish Walls which once circumference and protected the city until torn down during the Austrian Hapsburg period in the 18th century)
--other scraps of Milan's historical monuments scattered throughout town: ruined bits of the ancient Roman baths in Corso dei Servi, the imperial palace in via Brisa; the foundations of the ancient arena in via Molino delle Armi; the foundations of part of the ancient Roman circus in, well, via Circo; the foundations of the ancient Roman granary under a building in via dei Bossi, and available only with special permission from the Beni Culturali office; an interesting medieval and Renaissance palazzo façade near the beginning of Corso di Porta Venezia, etc. The “Navigli” (canal system) which used to surround the whole city, but now survives only in the one area near Sant’Eustorgio (there are boat tours available, and it’s also one of the more popular night time areas for the young and young-at-heart). The only two gates still standing from the medieval period: the "porta nuova" at the end of via Manzoni (not to be confused with the "Porta Nuova" at the end of Corso di Porta Nuova) and the gate kitty corner to San Lorenzo (look at a map: these two gates are opposite one another, and will give you an idea of the size of the medieval city of Milan). At Piazza Medaglia d'Oro is the late 16th century gate, once part of the mid-16th century onwards "Spanish Walls"...the next larger circle, giving you an idea of the size of the city until the late 18th century. From the 16th century onwards, the swathes of buildings surviving "modernization" become more consistent, including the 19th century semi-circle, called Foro Bonaparte, around the city side of the Sforza Castle

It’s hard to stop!

See! Milan isn’t just a gray dull city for business!

Calling all bagel makers!

What do I want for Christmas?

A good bagel!...More......

...It's the "little" things you don't expect that you miss when you're an ex-pat like myself. I've talked about the foods I miss in another post (

Let's concentrate on bagels because I'm so disappointed in the new (to me) place I had stumbled across yesterday, and which shall remain nameless for the shame of it all, oh the shame!

The magic word "bagels," and I was in the shop like a shot, but immediately suspicious. They didn't look right.

They didn't taste right, either.

The texture was too much like normal bread. It wasn't chewy at all.

And it was so greasy. Yuck.

And there was a weird after taste that the other one had, too. Too sour and bitter.

The only minimally decent bagel I've ever had in Italy was an industrially produced bagel that is no longer available. Got the scoop from the shop where I used to buy them. The producer lost the lease to the bakery, and couldn't find other suitable ovens. End of story.

So, if you make great bagels (anyone in New York reading this message?), please start producing bagels in Milan.

I'll even give you a hint.

The American-style coffee chain "Arnold" has moved into town, recently. Try selling through them, and you've already got known outlets without the bother.

Any takers gonna make me happy for Christmas?

(Thank you, Microsoft, for this free clipart, MH900424367, but a slap on your hands for this and other images: the download doesn't work properly, and was a bother!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

The fun of giving love gifts

Time is money, in Milan as elsewhere. My most precious gift, which I often deny myself...More......

This year, I finally put my thoughts and my hands together.

I've seen the hen theme at the house of dear friends, who kindly invited us to dinner while my husband was still alive, and even more kindly still invite me now that he's gone, though still present, somehow, for which I'm very grateful (for the invites and for my dear sweetie's continued presence).

The thought to make the lady of the house (who's a wonderful cook) a stuffed hen for her collection always came to mind while there, but fled into dark dusty forgotten corners with the whirlwind that was life.

This year, the thought and my hands came together in the couple of days' lull between the end of a very heavy project and the appointed lunch hour.

First, the drawing, then cutting out the various bits, and...

...sewing the bits into workable larger pieces, including a gusset for the plump tummy (I'm quite proud of that!).

Finally, the assembled hen--with a tiny yellow beak and two big wattles--on her way to her new home!

I'm not so sure Italians appreciate handmade gifts. They're not very crafty, themselves, which is quite surprising given their renowned and well-deserved ability and creativity as craftsmen (and craftswomen...craftspeople...craftspersons...oh crap). At least the Milanese I know. Anyway, the poor little dear was welcomed, if without resounding fanfare, and we'll see if she makes it into any place visibile (though it will be hard to tell...if they don't like her, they may stick her away some place, and just drag her out the time, or two, a year that I go). I hope she sees more light of day than that.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Today would have been...

...our 16th wedding anniversary....More......

I love life, this infinite ship, this reawakened dream, this book never printed, often disordered as a handful of folded sheets of paper, as single sheets of paper, as snippets of phrases now here, now there in this room in which you have just walked, you go back and walk through it, again, and find it another and different and you translate into time your steps and into memories the corners. Somewhere there is, but I don't know where, no one knows where, a hidden door and the walls that seemed four, because thus swore the geometry of the mind, are many, too many more.
(Roberto Vecchioni, Eng. trans. S.K. Meyer)*

My dear sweet husband, I miss you so much.... Where is the door that will take me to you?

*("Amo la vita, questa nave infinita, questo sogno svegliato, questo libro mai stampato, spesso disordinato a quinterni di pagine, a fogli singoli, a stralci di frasi ora quà ora là in questa stanza che appena l'hai camminata, torni a ripercorrerla e la trovi altra e dispari e traduci in tempo i passi e in memoria gli angoli. C'è da qualche parte, ma io non so dove, nessuno qui sa dove, una porta nascosta e le pareti che sembravano quattro perché così giurava la geometria della mente, sono molte troppe di più." Roberto Vecchioni, "Quell'inutile voglia di imparare," SETTE, 17 dicembre 2009)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Golds and oranges

One of the lovely blogs I follow (Serendipitous,, which often muses poetically about the colors and changes of the seasons, asked the readers to reciprocate with fall colors, so here I go with some golds and oranges snapped mid afternoon during the "O Bej! O Bej!" ( a few Sundays ago behind the Sforza castle in what is now a public park, but which used to be the duke's private hunting grounds right in his own back yard.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." (blech!)

Used to sing "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" happily...until I tasted them...BLECH.

Far be it from me, in this delicate economic moment, to discourage spending sprees at your local chestnut vendor's, but (there's always a "but") I'm just glad I don't have to eat those nasty little things.

Awful roasted...and even worse "glacé" popular here.

And the Italians tell you (ad nauseam) that they have such wonderful food.

Then why do they eat these?????

(Believe it, or not...Tony Bennett just came on my radio station singing...yup, you guessed it...I'm haunted by chestnuts! What a voice! I'll bet his agent put him up to singing this song....)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Here my are!

Another snap from the "O bej! O bej!" fair, yesterday.

"Here my are!" shadowed on the back of a woman's coat.

(For the "Here my are!" history, see:


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

O Bej O Bej 2011

December 7th is the annual day dedicated in Milan to its patron saint, Ambrose. Lots of things are closed, so I worked at home, and decided to take a walk in the clear brisk bright wintery air after lunch. Where to go, though? Passed through Cadorna, the train station remodelled a few years ago by Gae Aulenti (there's a Claes Oldenburg sculpture out front)...More......

"Oh! I know, I'll go to the first day of the city's two day pre-Christmas fair, called "O bej! O bej!" ("Che bello! Che bello!," that is, "How beautiful! How beautiful!")." It used to be in the area around the church dedicated to S. Ambrose. Now it's all around the Sforza Castello.

Since the fair is more commercial, now, the traditional Lombard artisan products have company: products from the south, perhaps moved up here after the influx of southern workers in the 1960s for the factories. The factories have given up the ghost, unfortunately, but the yummy southern products have remained.

The crowds are pretty intense, but there were breathers now and then...I wonder if the economic crisis contributed to that. It's usually PACKED.

By the time I had made the rounds of the entire castle, the moon had come up.

On the way home, snapped a shot while walking under the strings of Xmas lights.

Once this spate of work is over mid-month, I'll get some night shots of the Xmas lights. Nothing like in the States (sniff, sniff), but the Xmas tree up in Piazza del Duomo looked nice.

Until then...Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Milan's metro...again

I love taking purposefully blurry shots that capture the perpetual motion of living in a big city. Here's one from that misty day a few Sundays ago.


Sunday, December 4, 2011


Late misty Milanese Sunday afternoon...snapped a couple of weeks ago for your personal non-commercial pleasure.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hopper-ish in Milan's Metro

For privacy reasons, I (usually) avoid snapping people...unless they're unrecognizable for one reason or another.

Here, the folk are too far away...and too busy to look at the be identified.

A Hopper-ish moment in Milan's Metro.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...