(as most everyone in Paris and a lot of people elsewhere know, the Tower I am writing about is the TOUR 13, an empty building in the 13th arrondissement of Paris which, for the month of October only, has been transformed into one giant Street Art Fest, with more than 100 internationally recognized "Street Artists" doing what they do best in the empty rooms and stairs and basement spaces of the building)
This is why:
This was the line - no 1/5th of the line winding its way around the said Tour the day I decided to go visit. The people in my shot were not going to get in, or maybe around 5:00PM ...and it was 10:00 AM!
It's a small consolation that I managed to get a few photos of the exterior.
Including a very clever fellow who was doing a brisk business selling coffee!
The tower is slated to be dismantled beginning of November.
As we were walking along the Gran Canal towards the Biennale in Venice, I spotted a wonderful stencil on the corner of a building. I had not noticed much graffiti. Maybe a few tags here and there, nothing noticeably offensive. Was this the anonymous work of an artist on the margin of the Biennale? Who else would be this discreetly, fabulously creative?
As we were having a leasurely lunch by a small canal in Venice one day, we noticed a fit young man piling up large plastic bags filled to the brim with something on the other side on the "sidewalk". After a while he stopped so as to keep watch on the increasing pile as other men with wheel carts came, added on to it and went. Finally, with the help of a strong acolyte, he started throwing bags from a boat that had just arrived along side, onto the "sidewalk" as it were and replacing them with the growing pile we had been watching. It all turned out to be hotel laundry. Dirty laundry was being dropped off and clean laundry was being picked up for delivery further down a canal or another.
So that's how they do it? of course! How else?
In Venice you are witness to unimaginable beauty...but you also encounter the very mundane. Like everywhere else. Just a little differently.
The main item on our list of stops as we cruised around the Lagoon in Venice was lunch at the Antica Dogana in Tre Porti, on the mainland as it were.
Arriving to any restaurant on the speedy white boat of a charming and chatty Italian, right up to its terrace is a treat in itself! Arriving to this one on a bright sunny day, having had a glass of Proseco, or two- it helped trying to bring back the few words of Italian hidden deep down from the bottom of my rusty brain- was priceless.
The setting was stunning, the temperature was just right, the restaurateur could not have been nicer and the whole meal was magical! more Proseco was consumed- our entire trip was one long Proseco-fest in fact- starting with the boat ride from the airport at around 11:00 AM! It was after all a birthday trip, and this was after all Italy!
I immediately noticed playful Murano glasses in an array of eye popping shades at each place setting.
The main course was 2 huge sea bass cooked in a crust of salt. DI.VINE!!
If you go to Venice one of these days DO NOT miss the Antica Dogana. Unforgettable!
On our 2nd day in Venice we spent the day on the lagoon cruising around the islands and our second stop was colorful, slightly commercial almost too postcard perfect Burano. It was a total change in atmosphere from Venice's faded ochres and orang-y reds. I must admit it was fun discovering what the house around the next corner was going to be slathered in...
Love this small alley leading to a very green garden. I just had to go have a peek!
Now, if this does not remind you of a Walt Disney production of some sort...
One thing you can say about Italy, among a whole lot of other things of course, is that their leaning towers seem to withstand the test of time...
The minute I saw the outline of Venice a few weeks ago, I could hardly believe my eyes! So familiar and yet so stunningly, breathtaking, softly amazing! We were arriving from the airport and little by little the city became clearer and clearer. What a beautiful sight!
We left our luggage at the hotel and immediately went to explore the little streets and cross the many canals and stop to admire the beauty all around us. Who could imagine for a second that this is a hospital! it is located in what used to be the Scuola Grande de San Marco, near the square by the same name, you know the one.
As I was admiring the surroundings I spotted what I have decided must one day be my home, there, on the right, with the flowers and trees,overlooking the canal..., one day.
And if not, then I'll settle for this one. The one with the green terrace and the pretty balcony, right above the little bridge. I'll settle for no less. It's decided.
The 4 days we spent in Venice were pure heaven. The weather cooperated and the trip was made even more exceptional through the priceless help of very very dear friends who, having lived in Venice for 3 years, were our "Venetian guides" with the pre-travel insider info and advice anyone going to Venice must have.
The boat ride from the airport to the Gran Canal alone will be forever engraved in my memory!
One morning we crossed the lagoon and went to San Georgio Island to see a breathtaking exhibit of the work - 1925 to 1931- of glass blower Napoleone Martinuzzi for the Venetian glassware company Venini.
The colors are spectacular and the artistry is unequaled. To say nothing of the humour in certain pieces; animals with minimalist lines
and vegetables with a definite 30's feel.
We did go to Murano and we saw the glass makers finishing leaves that were destined for a huge chandelier. The shop at that company had some extraordinary pieces, not all to my liking...yet, as we were accompanied by a wonderful true Venetian, noone pressured us to buy. A relief! I will share some of our other finds in a few days... and there were plenty!