Monday, May 24, 2010


In case you haven't seen this in the NY Times, scoot over there now. You'll smile. Really you will.

{image link from the New York Times}



Friday, May 21, 2010

Slowing down, speeding up

The whole idea of accepting the assignment in Naples was to slow down a bit. When I'm in Bos-NY, the days spin by so quickly, with work and then getting home (whichever one that is) and then keeping myself busy. Here I imagined I would stop to smell the flowers while nibbling on some cheese and sipping white wine, if you'll pardon that very badly mixed image (especially since Italians don't really believe in food on the move -- standing at a bar yes, moving no). I have actually managed two of those three, but that's another story.

(But can't resist one of those stories. My neighborhood cremeria gets mozzarella from Avellino every morning. And I'm not being a snob here or anything, but truly it tastes heavenly just for the day. Even the next day the flavor diminishes.)

But slow down? Not really. Here it seems as though are blowing by. I've met friends, seen art, worked hard, had fun, but not really slowed down. Perhaps that's just not meant to be me?

Well, I leave you with two images then from a recent exhibition I went to by Mat Collishaw. Any guess what these are? I'll tell you below...

It is a lithograph on Corian...


Friday, May 14, 2010

Food for the stomach and mind

Am I little embarrassed by my food obsession? I am. But not too much. An Italian friend of mine worked for a while with a travel agency in Boston which arranged guide tours of Italy. She the most common question that she would get is: what will we eat? It can cut both ways. I have known Americans who must travel with their Oreo cookies (and not just to single out Americans, Gujarati's - my people - are known to travel with their own snacks, dry chutneys, and if they can afford it their own chef) and those who are more excited about the food they will eat than what they will see.

For me Naples has been mostly about work (sadly, but the Flugelbindery is paying the bills) and meeting friends (much happier -- and the nice thing is that this a small town in the end - you meet people everywhere - crossing the street, in cafe, walking home late at night...). But I can't deny a thrill when I go to the local cremeria and see little balls of mozzarella floating lazily like fat fish in a tank. And I won't deny the thrill of seeing a cheese platter when I'm invited to dinner.

But for me also food for the mind (less fattening, you know?). Below a picture from Rita McBride's latest exhibition in Naples. Can you guess what the shapes are?

The neon versions were constructed by an aged neon master in Naples who I had the chance to meet.

Though I haven't read them before, Rita McBride is famous for her "faux" novels. Her first was a faux museum catalog / romance. She has also done faux science fiction. Very cool woman.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday lunch box, Naples

I have no nostalgia for the lunch box. Lunch hour at school was a difficult experience for me. I was a finicky eater and was usually stuck with food that I didn't really like (Is it really my fault though? Is Havarti really the best cheese for a child's lunch box?) or that I liked but that was so bizarre that the other kids made fun of me (I recall one really great day when my mother gave up and gave me a piece of cake for lunch -- I realize now that my classmates were probably jealous, but that's not the way it came across then -- and in case you are worrying about my health -- don't -- my mother did that only once).

In any case, here at the Flugelbindery in Naples we have a pretty basic cafeteria. But basic in Naples includes at least three freshly cooked contorni and fresh mozzarella on offer. Oh, and a coffee bar manned by Pepe (who smokes while he draws the coffee and who is constantly rolling up the sleeves of his half-sleeved t-shirt even further, but I digress).

But one of the boys (ok - I mean older gentlemen) brought in some nice pasta and an apple for lunch. So I got to thinking, perhaps I should bring my own lunch with me. You have Exhibit A above: olives, arugula, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella (hidden underneath, you can't see it), olive oil that put at at the bottom of one of the cups, a piece of bread, and in the bag a small little cake).

My mother doesn't read my blog, but you can bet that I'm going to send her this picture!



Saturday, May 1, 2010

This morning in Naples

Cappuccino 1.30 Euros
Cornetto con crema 1.00 Euros
1 glass water gratis
Total 2.30 Euros


P.S. Approximatley US$ 3.05. Starbucks, where is thy sting? Dunkin Donuts, where is thy glory?

P.P.S. When I first started the blog, way back when (oh, it's been a while), I intended this to be a regular feature. Only my second installment. Let's see if I can do a few more while I'm here.
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