07 October 2010

Remember when weekends were international?

I'm impressed Blogspot didn't log me out after fourteen years of inactivity like this. So, first and foremost, thanks Blogspot! Keep rockin' it.

And now for the meat. And by meat I mean I-have-a-midterm-in-eight-hours-that-is-open-note/open-book-so-I've-tried-but-just-can't-convince-myself-studying-is-necessary-so-here-I-am-going-through-my-pictures-of-my-semester-in-rainy-but-hyperconnected-London-and-wishing-weekends-still-meant-international-travel-and-not-at-most-travel-downtown-and-even-that-is-excessive-for-a-Saturday-especially-since-even-my-much-anticipated-Sunday-morning-bagel-5-blocks-away-is-an-excursion.

And because midterms are not fun but France is, here are a few pictures:



What I'm really try to say is: Christmas is soon and Rosetta Stone doesn't teach Icelandic but they do teach French.

12 August 2010


06 August 2010

Life's Candy and the Sun's a Ball of Buttah

The weekend aaaggaaaaaaain?! I'll take it.

I'm in the middle of watching Funny Girl (for the first time ever!) and like most movies it will probably take me all weekend to get through it. Especially if I keep taking breaks to watch this (instant gratification has ruined my attention span). When I run through my apartment belting this, there is not a doubt in my mind that my neighbors (and the construction workers next door) love me.

04 August 2010

WWJDD? (What Would Johnny Depp Do?)

I am beginning to slowly accept the fact that yes, it is August, and yes, that means September is that much closer and so yes, it will be fall soon. And so yes, blogs should start featuring fall trends and shoe stores should start pushing sandals to the clearance racks and bring the boots to the front line.

And so yes, eventually it will be time that I cannot wear my shorts without wearing tights underneath. And soon enough I will need to invest in some new pants and jeans to protect my barely-tanned legs from the impending chill. (The Gap is having a great sale right now, and my paycheck's not even a week old yet...)

junya wanatabe mens rolled pants2junya wanatabe mens rolled pants
Junya Wanatabe Spring 2011 Menswear; both pictures via style.com

BUT! Before I give in totally, there's still time. I know they say this trend is only for the mens, but let me tell you that I have been rolling my pants all summer. And as Esquire's style editor said, "it's noncommittal." I just realized I'll be able to roll down my favorite jeans into a pair of well, jeans, come the first cold snap - and I got a little thrill out of just the thought. It's like two pieces in one! (Without the cheesiness of reversible clothing).
When it comes to saying goodbye to summer, I'm looking for any and every positive to get me through what's sure to be a rough breakup come next month.

02 August 2010

Happy Monday!

clockwise from left: Green Tea yogurt with raspberries, blueberries, and granola, by Peaches Yogurt (too good, and too close to my apartment for comfort); Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges; nails: Gone Fishing by Topshop

This weekend I:
- saw gorgeous clothes and incredible urban bamboo at the Met
- ate spinach fettuccine in meat sauce that was so good it put my I-never-order-spaghetti & meatballs-because-ordering-gnocchi-makes-me-sound-more-sophisticated pride in the grave
- caught up on sleep, even though that wasn't in the original plan
- hit up a thrift shop or two and left with a stack of books to be read
- reminisced on my European travels, both with random strangers at coffeeshops and you
- wondered how it is already August!

Wishing you a great week, and a great month!

01 August 2010

Rome, Day 3

Rest assured, my people! The rest of my European travels are not to be contained to my brain and my journals and the precarious hard drive of this not-so secretly detested computer. This is what you came here for in the beginning, and if you’re still nice enough to be here then so should the stories. Without further ado, let’s pick up where we left off.

Recall: I’ve been Spring Break-ing for a full week now, and am on my third and final day in Rome. I spent three days in Iceland (though if you’ve met me for more than 3 seconds since then, you know that probably far too well) and so far in Rome I’ve eaten lots of brioche and my blood has turned to cappuccino. I’ve been to St. Peter’s Basilica (and about fourteen million other churches around the city), in Villa Borghese for some nature-lovin’, and back into ancient Rome and all the good stuff that comes along with that.

SPRING BREAK 2010: Grand Tour

Day 7 (01 April): Rome, Day 3

Vatican Museums, Trevi Fountain, Santa Maria degli Angeli


Not wanting to waste any minute of my last day in Rome, I watched the sunrise over the walls of Vatican City. I figured I could sleep when I was dead, and the prospect of jostling thousands of others inside the Vatican Museums sounded a lot like death (and Purgatory) anyway. It paid off, especially since I took guidebook advice and decided to take the whole experience backwards – not unlike my Day 2 theory of getting the smaller sites (i.e,, Colosseum) out of the way first.


But I did sorrrrt of follow the rules (and the map they gave me) and started out in the nucleus of the complex of Vatican Museums, Cortile della Pinecone – I mean, Cortile della Pigna.



I stopped to show some of my never-ending love for mosaics, and also to check out the rippling muscles of the Belvedere Torso (hottie), which sculpture greats like Michelangelo used as a sketching model.


Enough of models he used though; I was ready for the big guns. Dun-da-dun!!!




Don’t tell anyone I have these pictures, because they kept yelling at people for taking them (ruined the mood a little, if you ask me). Apparently there is no picture-taking or talking or even breathing in what I now deem the Shh-istine Chapel. But there is lots and lots and lots of beautiful artwork. Groundbreaking observation, I know. I strongly suggest doing as the guidebooks say and hustling over here first thing – I was thankful for the seat I managed to grab along the side of the room, when I needed time to breathe (silently, of course) and try to understand what I was surrounded by. Also, spending a lot of time with your neck bent backwards runs you the risk of toppling over if you’re not careful.


Not to mention that your legs just get plain tired as you stand there for way too long, discovering new bits in each of these magnificent works. Hours would not have been long enough to fully appreciate The Last Judgment; the muscles of the shoulders and knees of each character, and the way the light hit every one of them.


I sat there for long enough that I managed to get myself upset about the fact that Botticelli and Perugino and all the other artists who show here in this room don’t get the same stardom that Michelangelo does. But then I reminded myself that Michelangelo is here because they all are; the Sistine Chapel’s original ceiling wasn’t up to par with the artists it covered, so Pope Julius II commissioned a 33-year-old kid to fix the problem. Four years later, he did, and in doing so created the raw material for millions and millions of mass-produced posters for middle-school art teachers to hang in their classrooms.

Because I am not a salmon and this was not a stream you wanted to try to swim against anyway, I decided to not actually do the whole thing backwards but instead just do it twice and fast forward (or not) through the parts I had already seen.

New sightings included crusty old mummies, lots of body parts sculpted from marble, and tapestries (which, having seen it done right, I’ve developed a benevolent feeling towards – in fact, just ordered one for my room. Seeing the world has really changed my life, can’t you tell?). There were also more crazy ceilings…



…frescoes by Raphael…


…and, in case you thought religion wasn’t relevant, modern art.



They even tossed in some foreign references! Wait eight months and I’ll get you a retelling of my trip to the city where the original is housed.


After leaving the thick brick walls, I said goodbye to all my old haunts on a beautiful day. The lack of threatening rain clouds makes Castel Sant’Angelo even prettier.


This is one side of Bernini’s Four Rivers Fountain, in the middle of Piazza Navona, a whole section of my guidebook that I hadn’t even planned on exploring but proved a good place to put up my feet while I slurped up yet another gelato.


But you can’t really say goodbye to Rome without saying it at Trevi Fountain. I did it the cheap college-student way – that is, without actually tossing coins over my shoulder like you’re supposed to (one to return, two to return and fall in love). Sorry, but that’s a gelato I’m literally throwing away. And now that I know the approximately 3,000 euros tossed in daily subsidize a supermarket for needy Roman citizens, I feel like a jerk. A big, fat, American jerk.

So I went to a house of God to repent my sins. Not really, it was on the way back to my hostel, where I was headed to pick up my bag and my 7:30pm ticket to Naples.


Santa Maria degli Angeli used to be public baths, until that guy Michelangelo got his hands on it in 1561. Does he ever take breaks, seriously.


I guess he had these 50-foot granite sticks lying around, but he couldn’t use them until he raised the floors in the place by six feet. I thought ancients were shorter than us now, did they really need that much head-room to bathe?


Oh, and did I mention it was Good Friday? And I was in a church in Rome? Final verdict on “Rome during Easter – crazy or awesome” question: Awesome.

Related Links

Rome, Day 1

Rome, Day 2

Facebook Photo Album: Roma

Two cities down, three to go. And that’s just Spring Break! I plan to intersperse the remaining travel entries liberally, in amongst all the other pearls of wisdom you’ll find here – stay tuned!

30 July 2010

"life is no brief candle"

"I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work the more I live.

I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me, it is a sort of splendid torch which I've got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."
- George Bernard Shaw

At the end of every yoga class, they read a quote and play Tibetan singing bowls (as the tinny reverberations fill the studio space, I like to act like my spaceship is about to take off) - this was the quote from a class earlier this week and it left me with a huge smile on my face.


I'm in that sweet spot of time where I'm still interested in doing some sort of physical activity today - so I better pounce on it before it disappates as it is wont to do. But before I head out for my run (read: walk), I wanted to leave you with something for your weekend. I'm running, pampering myself, visiting the Met for the first time in far too long, and that's just today's plans!