Sunday, March 27, 2011

Karl Lagerfeld Photography Exhibit in Rome

If you love photography and/or fashion, I highly recommend this show. The exhibit ends April 10th.

I went with two friends last week.

I knew Sir Karl was a talented photographer but it was the first time I've seen a collection of his work. Amazing.

The first section is dedicated to portraits, fashion, landscapes, architecture and nudes (including his muse Jean Baptiste Giabiconi). The second section showcases Lagerfeld more experimental work.

The Bramante gallery (Chiostro del Bramante) is one of my favorite spaces in Rome. It's worth a trip for the building alone.

Chiostro del Bramante
Arco della Pace, 5
00186 Roma
+(39)066 8809036

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Flashback Friday (on Thursday) - Elizabeth Taylor Tribute By Paul Newman

I'm in shock. Which is strange because nobody lives forever.

However, Elizabeth Taylor seemed so larger than life, to hear of her death surprises me.

Many people are called "Legends" or "Movie Stars". Few deserve these titles. Elizabeth Taylor does and was one of a kind. With her passing, another member of the Golden Age of Hollywood is gone.

Elizabeth has always been one of my favorite names. My paternal grandmother was named Elizabeth and if I ever had a daughter that is what I would've named her. Don't tell my mom. I do like the name Martha, my maternal grandmother's name but Elizabeth has been number one on my list since I was a child.

People who have met Dame Taylor have told me she really was luminous, funny and kind. She will be missed.

This short tribute by Paul Newman is lovely.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Help! I'm addicted to The Rachel Zoe Project.

The show has recently started airing in Italy on E! Italia. I cannot stop watching it.

Ms. Zoe grew up in the same area as me (I've already discussed how much I love Short Hills Mall) and I totally hear her slight, suburban Northern New Jersey accent.

I'm pretty sure Zoe (like myself) has been saying "bananas" before Gwen Stefani's "Holla Back" song. Once that song came out I had to make an effort to drop "bananas" from my vocabulary. It made me salty as bananas was one of my favorite words. It's so useful. Living in L.A. and now Rome, I constantly find myself in situations that can only be described as "BA-NAN-AS". As in, getting a driver's license in Italy is bananas.

Zoe gets a lot of flack, even from her husband sometimes, about how serious she takes her career. It's dismissed as "only" fashion. Sorry, but I respect people who have a passion for what they do. I hate that the creative arts/crafts are not respected in America unless you make a lot of money.

There are many very talented and smart people who work in fashion. Clothing is the one thing that touches almost every single person's life, unless they walk around naked.

Yes, some people are over the top but so freaking what? Fashion should be fun. With all the horrific things going on the world, it's great to get excited about something that speaks to you, whether it's a photograph, a painting, a film, a song or a beautiful dress.

A clip from the show. Everything is so DRAMATIC! I do remember seeing Cameron's Chanel dress and Eva's Dior dress on the red carpet and thinking they were gorgeous. It's interesting to see how the outfits came together.

An interview with Harper's Bazaar.

This spoof cracked me up. The two have met and did a video together. It's good to see Zoe has a sense of humor. Too many people in Hollywood do not.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Snapshot Rome: Spring Has Sprung

I'm not sure what type of tree this is.

I saw several of them at the top of Gianicolo Hill. The blossoms smell amazing.

I'm so glad Spring is here. I bought some Sudifed when I was in L.A. last October. This time I'm ready for allergy season.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Buon Compleanno (Happy Birthday) Italia!

The sun broke through for a few minutes this morning. I used to opportunity to get in a work out and took my camera. I ran up to Gianicolo Hill, one of the highest hills in the city.

Nile Guide's Erica Firpo has written a great POST about the activities taking place in Rome to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Italy's unification.

Men in uniform getting ready.

Giuseppe Garibaldi keeping watch.

The cannons are ready.

Earlier this year, restorers were cleaning and repairing these statues.

Before the unveiling.

In Europe people don't really fly their flags all the time like we do in the States. It is unusual to see so many Tri-colore flags in the city.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Salotto Locarno - Get Your Cocktail On

Isn't this champagne cocktail pretty?

Each cocktail comes with a plate of food to nibble on (after 6:30).

I have been on serious lockdown finishing a script and working on my novel. Plus, I've been in a surly mood, thanks to my dwindling bank account. Several good friends told me I have to leave my house. It's not healthy to stay indoors working all day.

Friday morning I hit the wall. I had to make some changes.

This weekend was the most social I've been in a while.

I met a friend at Salotto Locarno (pics on left). I stayed at this hotel during my first trip to Rome. I always thought the art deco bar was pretty and they have a nice courtyard.

I'm not sure when it happened but now the bar is quite the scene. Friends have told me in the afternoon they do a lovely spread for tea.

At night it's packed. The drinks are not cheap. It's less pricey than Hotel de Russie but not by much. As the weather gets warmer, I suggest making reservations if you plan to go on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. Not sure if it's less crowded earlier in the week. Service is sloooooooow. The little bar gets overwhelmed by all the drink orders.

Salotte Locarno totally reminds of L.A.'s hippy/chic Chateau Marmont. When I met my friend, someone was being interviewed by a camera crew. Very L.A. The man who runs the Salotto (I think he does) was very nice. I can't wait until Spring when we can sit outside in the courtyard.

Salotto Lorcano
Hotel Locarno
Via della Penna, 22
+(39) 06-361=0841

Friday, March 11, 2011

Flashback Friday - Sheila E. - "The Glamorous Life"

Sheila Escovedo is one of the baddest drummers on the planet.

I played this song to DEATH back in the day (1984). I had the 12' extended Club Mix on vinyl.

Written by Prince, "Glamorous Life" was a massive hit in the '80s.

Random fact: Nicole Richie is her niece.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Il futuro anteriore indicativo/future perfect - non mi piace

Okay. What the heck is this verb tense about?

My Italian class is truly kicking my butt. Our professor was telling us which verb tense is best to convey irony. What?! Irony? I can't worry about being ironic in Italian when I'm still trying to lock down the congiuntivo (subjunctive) tense. The subjunctive is rarely used in English but it's an important tense for correct Italian.

That said, I really like her method of teaching. She told us a story about her parents in Sicily getting ready to go to a baptism. Her father wasn't crazy about her mother's dress. We had to construct a likely conversation using the correct tenses and idioms.

One day in class we were listening to some audio and then had fill in the correct tense of the verbs. In one sentence we thought it was the imperfect. No. The present perfect? No.

Finally, I guessed it was passato remoto (preterit). I was offended, yes offended, to see this tense in a basic conversation. The professor laughed and told me to get over it.

All jokes aside, I'm glad she is pushing us. It's very frustrating not being able to communicate fully in Italian. I can keep up with simple conversations but I'm not close to being fluent. Also, given what I do for a living, I'm bummed that it takes me forever to write even an email in Italian.

Our class is small, only four of us, and our professor zeros in on things that would be missed in a larger class, like pronunciation.

One exercise that is brilliant (and sometimes painful), is when she has us "interview" each other with a microphone. In the next class there's a printout of the conversation and we listen to the tape. You can clearly hear your mistakes when you listen to a recording of yourself. I was putting the accent in the wrong place for the word "abito" (I live) for the longest time. I won't make that mistake again.

Another day she gave us a print out of a Carmen Consoli song with certain words missing. We had to listen to the song and fill in the blanks. She then gave us the complete lyrics.

Here's the song. Mi piace.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Design Inspiration: Annette Joseph's Cinque Terre Apartment

I first became aware of interior designer/photo stylist Annette Joseph when I saw the film location apartment she created for Gwenyth Paltow on GOOP.

Then one of my favorite design blogs, Design Sponge, profiled her APARTMENT in the Cinque Terre area. STUNNING!!

Later, I saw her work in RUE and realized I had seen her work before in my beloved DOMINO magazine (RIP).

Annette has been coming to Italy since she was a child. Six years ago she and her husband decided to buy a place on the coast.

I love Annette's use of color in her apartment. Grey is having a moment but I don't think it will ever go out of style. It's a classic neutral.

The bathroom is amazing (that sink!!). I like that she used a lot of local materials.

Annette's apartment is light and airy. Perfect for a place near the sea.

I highly recommend Annette's BLOG. She has great posts on not only design/decorating but entertaining, cooking, etc. Very inspiring.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Snapshot Rome: Fish - Trionfale Market

I need to learn how to cook fish.

Once in a while I would buy shrimp or salmon at the Gelson fish counter when I lived in L.A. Not sure why I didn't buy/cook fish more often.

I grew up eating fish every single Friday. My dad went to Catholic schools but my mom was/is Methodist. I'm not sure where the fish every Friday tradition came from. One dish I had no love for was fish head soup. Pass.

Of course having Caribbean parents, we had to eat what they ate. There was no "kids menu" at our house. When we got older, like in high school, sometimes my mom would say she was thinking about making either one dish or the other and would ask our opinion. Other than that, nope. My mom was not running a restaurant. If you didn't like what she made, guess you weren't eating that night.

Growing up in the islands, fish was a big part of my parents' diet. My dad was Mr. Breakfast on weekends and sometimes we would have fish then as well.

I happened to buy sardines the other week and eating them reminded me of Sunday breakfasts in Jersey.

Now that I'm surrounded by excellent fishmongers, I need to step up my fish game. heh

To be honest, I'm a little overwhelmed by all the choices. I'm slowly learning the Italian names for different types of fish and my goal is to try a "new" fish every month. I have never cooked a whole fish. This is one of my personal Top Chef Challenges for 2011.