Monthly Archives: July 2006

the “alps” are overrated

a little slice of planet all for me  sigulda, latvia

years ago i had a friend report back from switzerland that it was like lodi with the alps. i’ve never been able to shake that from my mind for the utter lack of appreciation and waste of airline ticket that it was. it always comes to mind when i hear of a place referred to as “the (insert-name-of-place-being-referred-to) alps”. yesterday i rode out to sigulda, the latvian alps. my guess is that its a tongue-in-cheek reference from the start. from all that i’ve seen so far, nothing latvian geographically approximates the elevation needed to come close to an alpine reference. so my first thought upon reaching sigulda is that it was latvia’s lodi. which turned out to be a necessary vantage point for appreciation. all that came after my initial impression was positively bliss. camped along the river, went swimming in its refreshing iced-tea coolness, and simply enjoyed being outside of the city.

a roman holiday from my roamin’ holiday

these are strays from the italy diversion that defy proper category… because this website is… so… um… well-defined…

because a leash is humiliating  verona, italy

a great new game: italian cop or backstreet boy?  florence, italy  photo: kimberley kidger
still trying to work out the relationship between the police and the african street merchants. obviously the africans are selling illegally, but we couldn’t work out why they fold up their wares and make a mad dash at times and why they just go through the motions until the police pass at other times. how do they know when to run? when do police decide to take action and when are they just inconveniencing the sellers? kim shot this while we watched two africans lose their faux D&G gear to the very fashion-conscious police… i wonder what they do with all that contraband?

tribute  venice, italy
i collect pictures of urban street art everywhere i go. love it. can’t get enough of it. but usually never know the significance of it. saw this stencil around venice many times. while shooting a picture of it, a russian man standing nearby asked if i knew what it meant. told him i didn’t and he explained that it was a tribute to the men who died when the supposedly nuclear russian submarine “kursk” sank in the barents sea after an explosion… he was bitter that putin rejected help from the west (who had the equipment to raise the sub) out of pride or fear.

shot it like this and inexplicably like it enough to share  florence, italy

me on a stoop awaiting the gelato express  verona, italy  photo: kimberley kidger

florence is a troubled ghetto

rippley (believe it or not)  florence, italy

heart not quite into it  florence, italy

finding guinness with the best people in the strangest places  florence, italy

italy has been hot. africa hot. and following up a meander through humid, sun-baked streets and airless museums with a stroll uphill on the other side of the river got us a deleriously and dryly joking about the suppposed treats we could find at the top, on a sunday, away from the tourist throng. kim peaked the list of unattainable desireables when she pleaded certain that there we’d find ice-cold guinness.
so when we reach the top, our thrist, like the view, was stunning. walking around, i found the outdoor cafe was open… and unbelievably they had GUINNESS (YES!) in cans (oh.) without the widget (sigh…). the guy pours delicately from the can into a plastic cup (como agua para chocolate) so there is not even the slightest hint of the trademark foamy cream floe that separates guinness from the lesser pack of chocolate-flavored barley water. i wasn’t sure i could pass it off to kim as the thing it was. she’d suspect deception. but the bartender set each glass on the small plate of a ultra-sonic device, flipped a switch, and within seconds the cup was clouded cream, with the cascading separation taking place as though it were draught freshly poured from the tap. like most, i’m reluctant to use the word “hero” self-referentially, but were i to judge from the look on kim’s face and the subsequent smiling disbelief as i stood before her with the very improbability we joked about…
(if you’re lost, you don’t love guninness… hey, look down there, it’s a horsey!)

horseandcarriage!  florence, italy

pollyanna sunset  florence, italy