11 December 2008

in my room

well, i'm home now. reverse culture shock is weird, like what's the deal with this english thing?
first full day back, hit up half price books and got a whole slew of records, including my new fave
the beach boys "surfer girl", feat. in my room, my winter break ballad. the kinks greatest hits i
purchased in genova during fall break was all it lived up to be, too bad i need a new stylus for
my player [it's already been ordered, thx].
already visited the kristkindlmarkt downtown with maxie the rockstar, bumped into frau apel,
only to inform her that i've forgotten whatever german i didn't really learn in highschool, but
hey i know italian and broken chinese. the brats were better at the santa croce kristkindlmarkt btw.

also went to the dmv to replace my license and i met a boy reading dante's inferno while we waited
for our pictures. total sweetheart.
took the bus around, then took the train. met up with trevor for lunch, had a chicken pot pie at
the 11th city diner with a cream soda.
things are so cheap here, even the pricey things.

happy birthday grandma btw.

amalia, you really coming to visit?
and landuh, you still surprise visiting too?
i'm in iowa for the weekend, let's meet some cuties.

hey you went to rome right?
yeah, i think so.

me and one of the many triumphal arches in rome.

me in the forum with lots of old bricks.

hey there's that place where they filmed "gladiator" and "300".

hey ace what are you doing to my face??

hey look at that tight augustus of primaporta. we like studied that in intro.

and lacoon and his sons. the uffizi has a replica, doesn't cut it. vatican has the best art collection.

check out all those busts.

st. peters is seriously bigger and more beautiful than greg gilbert led us to believe.

out in the piazza with pretty lighting.

hey they have graffiti in roma too.

i'll keep posting now that internet exists.

oh AND i gained 15 lbs thanks italia and fishsticks. now nothing i own fits. oi vei.

lexie frensly, can you show me how to dress please?

27 November 2008

jokes at 3 francesco gianni

so last weekend was a joke at 3 f. gianni. to begin with, abbie and i have been loaded down with work,
which isn't so bad in the grand scheme of things. keeps us busy. palma has work most days when we're
home, so we've been moving around the apartment, having breakfast and tea at our leisure, that sort
of thing. the apartment is freezing, because they use heat sparingly here, which i totally side with, don't
get me wrong, but sometimes when it's cold, and abbie has an awful cold, it's okay to turn the heat on.
but our radiator was broken last weekend. it was dripping buckets. buck-ets. like three buckets a day.
and it took half a week to get it fixed. but it works now, so long as we 'don't touch the radiator'. joke
central. last friday was funny. abbie and i didn't have class, so we thought that we would go to coop to
get fixings for lunch. we came home and started to make sandwiches in the kitchen... when... palma
runs into the kitchen with her pants half down freaked out that we're using her kitchen. she then
proceeded to sit and watch us eat lunch. it was weird and territorial and funny and sad all at once.

i know we rag on palma for being a control freak, but damn, she knows how to keep a
kitchen spotless. and we love it.

this is an excerpt from palma's really intense magnet collection. i like how the bumble bee has
it's arm around the giraffe. i think i might give her one of my chicago magnets. maybe...

this is the t. set that gets us through those long awkward moments at dinner when we don't
know what to say in italian anymore. my favorite show is la botola, a talent show where the
losers get dumped into a pool through a trapdoor in the floor of the stage. we also watch a
game show involving questions and money, and then after, always the news. abbie and i always
get so stoked when we see obama on tv. he's our homely guru, and we love him.

this is THE calendar. i.e. where she writes things like 'no sandy per cena' (sandy won't be
at dinner tonight). notice that she spelled abbie's name incorrectly twice on the 12th and
13th of november [NO ABY, NO ABFE].

i'd say that the cherry on the cake of this whole experience has been the food. when her
mother and father were living with us for the first two months, the dinners were amazing
though a bit too filling... either way, one of the first phrases we learned was 'molto buono'
i.e. dinner is delicious. after her parents returned to the south, we wondered if the quality
of food was going to go downhill. yes, we've had fishsticks more than our fair share of nights
[not joking.. fishsticks, with ketchup], but we were pleasantly surprised that the food was
still molto buono... until we opened the freezer to see dinners for the last month of our
stay at palma's pre-made and frozen by guess who... palma's mother. here's proof:

but sometimes when palma isn't home, and we don't have class until the afternoon,
abbie and i make tea and stand on the balcony. and for the moment, it feels as if 3 f. gianni
is our home.

19 November 2008

Oh Champs-Élysées

okay okay, things have settled down here. i went to paris last weekend, and guess what... I DIDN'T LOSE ANYTHING. my life is already back on track!! paris was completely out of this world amazing. take new york city, make everyone speak fluent french, and put the eiffel tower there instead of the statue of liberty, and you basically have paris.

i did:
the louvre
the musee d'orsay
the champs - elysees
the eiffel tower
the pere lachaise cemetery (where jim morrison is buried)
sacre couer
notre dame
arc de triomphe
saw sigur ros in concert [!!!!!!!!!!]
indian food
tibetan food
japanese food [twice]
averaged two crepes a day
and bought a piece of chocolate that was 4.20

everyone there is fabulous and dresses extremely well. let's take a note from the french and be less lazy.

open-air market

the pere lachaise cemetery

my favorite bowls in the world

notre dame from the seine

candles in notre dame

inside notre dame

winged sculpture [louvre]

people taking pictures of mona lisa [louvre]

assyrian art from intro classes [louvre]

medici cycle by rubens [louvre]

spiral stairs [louvre]

me in the pyramid [louvre]

arc de triomphe

view from the fifth story balcony [musee d'orsay]

immortal naploeon sculpture by rude [musee d'orsay]

view of paris [sacre couer]

the park from "amelie" and sacre couer

walking to the eiffel tower

eiffel tower at night

12 November 2008




03 October 2008

broken showers [venice '08]

mi dispace for not updating in so long, but the internet access here is so hit or miss, that i just kind of cut that added stress from my routine. either way, i return loaded with stories of adventures, mishaps, and trials of my devotion to studying abroad.

let's start with venice. venice was effing cool. canals, cute boys, great monuments and museums. rain, shine, yoko ono and sean lennon mixed with fabulous modern art. i fell in love with our waiter at the hotel, and we had a room with a view; i.e. the only room in the whole hotel that had a balcony.

we started off in padua where we got to see the arena chapel with basically really incredible frescoes by giotto, that had the richest blue ceilings i've ever seen. we also visited a fabulous cathedral, where we dipped in the escape from the rain.
here's a picture of the piazza with the great donatello equestrian statue:

getting to venice was a relief, since we were tired and wet from th traghetto (water taxi) ride over, and dinner was great because there was wine paid for by acm. we got a little rowdy that night, hitting up bars, getting lost in the rain, and splashing through puddles, but the over all excitement of being in venice never got old.

these are from the first bar we visited:

after our crazy night, we had an early 8:30 breakfast, and a lecture outside of santa maria della salute, a baroque church i studied with my art history class last year. it was a really chilly rainy morning, so we had the lecture from the traghetto stop (basically a room floating on the edge of the main canal).

we walked from site to site, visiting a palace or two, as well as some museums, but my memory is a bit foggy from all of the sites we saw. i basically walked around taking pictures.

here's a picture of noah, ian, and in a very memorable alley in venice:

we went to a ton of piazza's, but i'd say the best one was st. mark's square because it was a terrific mix of architecture and everyone loves big beautiful buildings, especially me.

um these are the tetrachs and we studied them in art history and there's nothing quite like seeing this stuff in the flesh. so so so good. so good.

basically venice was and is beautiful. go there before it sinks away. see art. have fun. ride in a gondola for 50 centisimi as a short cut to your hotel. and windowshop.

hey people reading this, write me. i want to hear what everyone else has been up to.

sandy guttman
c/o linguaviva scuola d'italiano
via fiume 17
50123 firenze italia



happy jewish new year by the way. mariel, abbie, and i went to the synagogue for high holiday services on monday night, we dropped breadcrumbs into the arno yesterday near santa croce, and we had apples and honey every day this week. :)