Friday, June 29, 2007

Piero e Giusy

last night was the lovely pre-wedding cocktail party at Peppe's parent's home. the food was delightful... kebabs, fried italian goodness, prosciutto, melon, little tasty things, sushi... and an amazing cocktail bar serving up mojitos and other crazy concoctions. the weather was perfect. the day was gorgeous and the best part about it (for me) was that my wonderful friend, alex, was there all the way from boston!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Things i'm obsessed with (june 2007)

of late I've found myself obsessed with a few things which, due to obsession, i feel obliged to share with you. i do realize that it's probably of little or no significance to you, but obsession is overpowering and one can't really help themselves... can they? The first new obsession is hibiscus tea. I got hooked in Cairo. Cairo dude getting people hooked:This was actually a big mistake due to the fact that it was probably what got me soooo sick when i was there. (oh god. daggers in my stomach.) But I knew it couldn't be the tea as a concept, rather the water used to make it, and therefore have since brewed some with our more reliable water and continued to chug it all day. It's not as sticky sweet as what you'll find in Cairo, which I suppose is further proof that we had really been drinking a hibiscus syrup and tap water and that that is what i fell in love with, but nonetheless it's very refreshing. Supposedly it reduces your blood pressure and is a good alternative to medicines for hypertension. Lucky for me I have lowish blood pressure. On the sixth glass I asked peppe if this would mean that the stuff was gonna make me faint or something. I did feel rather relaxed....

this "craze" is further compounded another obsession i have - the hibiscus plant that peppe's mother gave me for my birthday. it is not the same species as the tea type, which makes it simply a related obsession. i don't want to brag, but i think it may be the most beautiful one i've ever seen. i'm really hoping to take good care of it and learn how to 'hibernate' it over the winter. i am very faithful that this plant can be beautiful forever. but not really sure. i truly don't want ot let it down. it may be the most beautiful thing that i own.
the last and final obsession that i'll bore you with is getting into handmade/new designer art. there are lots of extremely talented people out there who make some really incredible stuff. i feel that looking at it and contemplating what you WOULD buy - if you were buying stuff - is a great way to foster your taste and make you feel you have a real opinion about art. cause you do. and it's great fun. my favorite things to look at are Design*Sponge and Etsy.

from the site: design*sponge is a daily website dedicated to home and product design run by Brooklyn-based writer, Grace Bonney. Launched in August of 2004,Design*Sponge features store and product reviews, sale and contest announcements, new designer profiles, trend forecasting and store/studio tours. In addition, Design*Sponge features a unique section dedicated to covering student design, national and international design shows. The site is updated constantly throughout the day (with an average of 6-10 posts a day), and attracts a core group of devoted readers. Design*Sponge currently has over 20,000 daily readers.

it's wonderful stuff - really. I'll highlight a few things that grace recently pointed which I have loved! These vinyl wall stickers from Domestic. They really give a room a fun twist and make it it very special, while not being permanent or very bothersome to put up. There are tons of really cute ones on the Domestic site. I recommend having a look.
this is also a really cute pitcher that design*sponge found for us. it's from Jonathan Adler who makes all sorts of really wonderful things for very affordable prices. It's a perfect gift shop!

If you are getting into this design fun too then definitely check out the Etsy website. Etsy is a place to buy and sell all things homemade. You can find just amazing things - like this cute bag. you can also search by shop. so if you find something you like, you can see what else the person makes. Really be ware, it's a huge site. there are so many things to look at... it can be a real time sucker.

a few last things to share... there are figs... they are delicious!
and look at this crazy insect who blended in SO well on the mint. i almost grabbed him in an earnest attempt to garish my hibiscus tea. thank god for good eyes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Blonde Redhead

Last night i managed to convince peppe to go to see the Blonde Redhead concert at Villa Ada with me. It was really fun and then he bought me a tee-shirt, which i'm so excited about! Villa Ada is such a great venue (there's an aerial photo of the park from our plane ride...). Basically the park sets aside a piece which is for this lovely outdoor concert area, complete with food and bars and a big stage and plastic tables and chairs. they have a pretty good lineup this summer (click here to see) (personally i'm looking forward to Juliette & the Licks next tuesday, the 26th). Last summer we saw OK GO and the Flaming Lips, which was a fabbo show. here are some photos from the show and some clips of the music.


Capalbio

There is this lovely, little secret beach in tuscany. It's part of a World Wildlife Foundation Oasis called Lago di Burano. The best thing about this black + glass sand beach where the sand is so sparkely, is that it's empty. Italy has some really nice beaches scattered along its coast, but the problem is that they are so very overcrowded. Really, it can be overwhleming. This place is extra wonderful because it's so mellow and secret... shhhhh (wait, did i just spoil the secret?!?!).....

helping to clean up the beach... To get to the Lago di burano oasis, drive north of rome for an hour and a half and then you arrive in this little town, Capalbio. There is a parking lot in this town, that is quite well indicated, where a WWF van from around 1970, complete with rickety everything and no shocks comes every so often (but mind you, not THAT often) and picks people up from said parking lot and drops them off at the beginning of a trail which leads them through an estuary (top photo) straight to the beach. It's this part of the "getting there" that I think turns all the Italians off. That's why it's so empty. Sure it's a bit of a hassle to wait for the van, but it's not that big of a deal if you time yourself well and know the schedule.

So we decided to go up on saturday night after our flight over rome and stayed at a campsite in Chiarone Scalo (the town next to Capalbio). The old camping village in Capalbio Scalo had stopped allowing tents for some unknown reason. The chiarone scale campsite was o.k., but it was very expensive, plus they made you park really far from your tent and lug all your stuff to the tent. (o.k. so they provided a wheelbarrow and a golf cart but they were being shared by about 200 people and obviously not available when we needed it!). The campsite did have it's own beach which was pretty nice, but we decided to go to the oasis as it's just beyond "nice".

peppe at the barme at the campsite waiting for the coffee to kick in...
So the site was fine, but the highlight was its proximity to this great restaurant called "La Dogana di Capalbio". We kinda ended up there by chance, but were so surprised to find that it was this beautiful place with really, really good seafood and fish! lucky us!!!
Peppe at La Dogana
We had a great time, even if we got stuck in some merciless traffic on sunday coming back to rome... i still highly recommend going to the lago di burano beach and la dogana restaurant.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Volare .....

i organized a little trip up and over rome with CityFly which, i guess, is an "airline" which takes you for a little touristic flight over rome. I gave it to peppe for his 28th birthday. it was quite spectacular - the colors of the city from above are magnifiscent - it's all terracotta. it's all pink and orange and it's really so beautiful. here are a few shots of some landmarks.
us taking off:

the cabin:
the auditorium designed by renzo pieno:Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II:
Villa Ada:

Ponte Milvio:Stadio:Corso di Francia:The farm at the bottom of the hill:

Friday, June 15, 2007

Happy birthday, peppe!

peppe was king for a day....
thus followed a lovely birthday dinner. after downing a prosecco at aristocampo we headed to "dar filettaro de santa barbara" (roman slang for "the fillet place by saint barbara's") or more formally "filetti di baccala" (italian for "cod fillets"), a lovely little spot where the specialty is fried cod or fried cod. you can also have the fried cod. they make a damn good fried cod though, i must say. it's a pleaseure to sit in the little piazza of the deconsecrated church by campo dei fiori and watch the scenery and the evening unfold. the busy, sweaty fried cod guys whistle to the café at the other end of the piazza and then yell out "AOH, DUE CAFÉ!". a few minutes late the bar tender/coffee-maker abandons his post and his bar and walks over with a small tray carrying two coffees. He collects the used cups and walks back to his café. It's really a perfect symbiotic situation... the fried cod place has no desire to be bothered with a café machine - they are very busy. and the café owner sells a lot more coffee's when he get the entire restaurant ordering from him. on top of that, it's just great "aoh, due café!" ...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

June the month of Birthdays!

So i decided to celebrate my 28th birthday in style... vincent says that 28 is the new posh. so i'm trying to live up to that. we had some drinks on the terrace at the Grand Hotel de La Minerve on friday for aperitivo. It was very elegant and had a rocking view. Everyone came to see me. i felt like a real princess. When was the last time i had to reserve for 17?!?after drinks we headed to Miraggio in Trastevere. The place was empty because people had planned around the walking tour that Bush had planned and then pulled out of last minute due to safety concerns and protesters. After dinner I managed to pull some friends into Freni e Frizioni for a Mojito and then was bid goodnight by all my well wishers. It really was a rockstar birthday. and now i'm looking forward to Peppe's (tomorrow!).
So saturday was time for another celebration... we celebrated Seb's birthday at Cortney's apartment. There was a lot of Guacamole and Tiramissu and loads of drinks and dancing. it was a pretty rad time. Cort has the best place for parties as the terrace is huge, but on the flip side the neighbors suck. and always threaten to call the cops just as we're getting warmed up... i will never be a bad neighbor. (i don't think.) Dervla, Cortney and OscarArnaud looking pretty...

Sunday we caught up with Mike and Ewa who were in town for a "lab weekend". All the kids in the high-tech molecular lab in basel went to rome together for the weekend to "get to know eachother" and play trust games... (no i'm just kidding...) we went for a walk through the castel sant'angelo and had cold beverages at the top. it was a really sunny, hot day in rome - but very lovely as well.
So the birthday weekend really was quite a weekend. now we're prepping for the next birthday... tomorrow.........