Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Pieces of Venice
36 Hours in Venice | NYTimes
Vanishing Venice | National Geographic
Venice Versus the Sea | National Geographic
Why Are the Venetians Fleeing Venice? | Newsweek
Acqua Veritas | DW-TV Global 3000, Story at 20:00 into video
City Known for Its Water Turns to Tap to Cut Trash | NYTimes

Pieces of Paris
Whining | David Lebovitz, an American in Paris
Paris Posts | Nichole Robertson, Little Brown Pen
Paris 26 Gigapixels | Interactive virtual tour of Paris

Monday, September 7, 2009

NEW York

While my friends were at work, I played. And generally ran myself ragged walking, busing, and riding the rails all over Manhattan.

For New Yorkers it was hot, but not hot as hell. For me, it was blazing hip-hop R&B a little too loud at 80+ degrees Fahrenheit, and humid. I'm glad it didn't rain and wasn't 90F or hotter, but damn. I could have showered five times a day and still felt funky.

Even though it was blazing bullets, I still wanted to be out-and-about outside. So much so that I didn't even hit any of the many museums that I'd planned on visiting. That said, I did make a point to visit many a museum store.

Other than a few minor purchases at museum shops, I didn't buy much. A few pairs of fun $5 earrings (talk about a cheap thrill) and a cute little etching of the classic "I ♥ New York" sentiment scrawled on a t-shirt by an artist selling her limited edition prints on the street near the Museum of Modern Art. That and a bunch of swim gear; I want to join a masters swim team and had been having the darnedest time finding a brick-and-mortar sporting goods store at home. I rightly figured that if I could find a Speedo retailer anywhere, it'd be Manhattan. Praise the lord people still shop the old-fashioned way - in person - there.

Did I mention that it was hot? Had I not had my camera gear to worry about, I would have ditched my bag and ran a lap, too.

Once upon a time I was accepted to NYU and Columbia, went for a visit, and ultimately declined their generous offers. Occasionally I wonder if I made a mistake in choosing UCLA, but on each of my handful of visits to New York since I regret nothing anew. While New York is a vibrant and exciting city to be sure, I am not a traditional big city girl (yeah, L.A. is a big city, but it's very different in big city feel and layout from a Manhattan). Visits to the Big Apple are fantastic (especially when you have good friends there to visit), but I think living there would be too much for crunchy California me. That said, you couldn't pay me to live in Los Angeles again, but if you paid me enough you just might be able to coax me into the luxe life in New York. It'd have to be a really pretty penny though and I just don't see that ever happening. Good thing making mountains of money and living in New York isn't a priority in my life.

I don't do double-decker tour busing. But maybe I should reconsider. I bet people snap some pretty sweet photos from up there.

I meant to see a show, but it never came to pass. Next time.

This is the kind of pretty penny Big Apple posh that a girl could get used to. Looks like Paris, but without all the bloody bureaucracy. Delicious living, if you can afford it.

My favorite aspect of New York is by far the mix of old and new architecture. I love the majestic Old World look and feel of the city, but I'm also strangely taken with the imposing scope and scale of the city's many towering structures of glass and steel. The way they make one feel small and insignificant as you pass below is frightening and awe-inspiring, both. Even some of the old brownstones and other buildings with a European charm and flair appear so large as to make you feel a flea. Frightening-fantastic architecture. That's New York to me, in a proverbial nutshell. I don't think I could ever tire of gawking at the buildings and snapping my impressions.

Well, that's about it. I came, I saw, I snapped. I got a lot of sun and had a lot of fun. I hope to repeat the experience again, many times, in the years ahead. Thanks again to Alexis and Fatimah both, and happy 35 ladies! Glad we got to spend a few too short days together in this milestone year. Cheers.

Questions? Ask away! Please use the comments feature to ask questions rather than contacting Marisa directly. That way everyone can learn a thing or two, too.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Paris On My Mind

In preparation for my next trip to Paris, which will be next spring and not soon enough, I've been wading through the Flickr photo fields and elsewhere online for info and inspiration. Half the fun of taking a trip is mapping out the details in the days prior, right? It should also be in brushing up on mon français, but I haven't quite got 'round to embarking on that particular portion of the blast, just yet. Anywho, thanks to my Married amie, I've recently discovered the joys of whining à la David Lebovitz. And by discovered I mean instantly obsessed. So much so that I bought the book after reading only a handful of his blog entries, and have it in hand today via Amazon Prime. Oh how I love my Amazon Prime. Et mon brand-spanking new Sweet Life. Perhaps the perfect and perfectly drôle companion for Sedaris' soujourn en France. I imagine les deux Davides are good friends. And if they're not, they should be. Immédiatement.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Venice Revisited

Visit number five, to be exact.

Other than my very first trip to Venice, this is my second visit to the fabled city, with friends. Lovely, but very much different than seeing the city alone. No better, no worse. Just different. Less intimate, I think.

Being there with two first-timers allowed for a few first-time experiences for the tour guide, too. My first gondola ride was a highlight in that category, for sure. It's so smooth and, well - serene. Really. I know it sounds cliche, but it truly was. As you'd expect to experience it in a dream, not your unscripted and oft lackluster-letdown of a reality. We hired a gondolier off the main drag, in a backstreet canal near our Castello home base. And yes, we hired him mainly for his dashing good looks. Christian was his name, I think. The 40-minute glide through heaven ran us 80 Euros in total. Split between the three of us, it was quite the deal when you consider how idyllic the surroundings, how cute the captain, and how smoothly serene the ride itself.

By the end of the trip I'd pretty well worn both my friends and myself ragged with sight-seeing. All the Venice standards, plus lesser known churches, nooks, and many a canal-lined cranny. It was wonderful to wander the streets again, seeing how much I remembered and finding how easy it was to get lost. Still. But by far the favorite part of the trip was seeing my friends there and picking up a few new ones, meeting their kids and loved ones. It wasn't nearly enough time, but the time I had I am grateful for. And besides, I'll be back. I'll always be back.

Questions? Ask away! Please use the comments feature to ask questions rather than contacting Marisa directly. That way everyone can learn a thing or two, too.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


I think Regina Nadelson hit the nail on the head when she mused, "Most travel is best of all in the anticipation or the remembering; the reality has more to do with losing your luggage." Though I've never lost my luggage, knock on my IKEA wood-derivative desk.

Now fully in anticipation of my upcoming trip to Venice, I've been strolling down memory lane and enjoying a look back at past visits. I've even retooled a picture or two to make the dusty dreamy and new again.

Allora. Enough reminiscing. Back to reality and brushing up on the basics of Italian. I'm happy with what I've been able to learn and retain over the last eight-odd months, but I should really be far further along by now. My research on the Venetian dialect has made no progress since my July post last year though, I'm afraid. Where does the time go?

Questions? Ask away! Please use the comments feature to ask questions rather than contacting Marisa directly. That way everyone can learn a thing or two, too.


Related Posts with Thumbnails