Skip to main content

Orientation

Saturday, January 17, 2009, 4pm
It’s Saturday, and everything is finally starting to come together. I’ve figured out the metro stops, found the grocery stores, and this morning experienced the outdoor market. The market is crazy—hundreds of little old ladies pushing you aside to get to the produce. The market closes at 2pm and isn’t open on Sundays, so when we got there at 12:30, most of the best produce was already gone. By 1:00, when we had had time to look around and decide what we wanted to get, most of everything was gone! We only managed to get onions and some cashews, then had to go to the regular grocery store for the rest of what we wanted. Below is a photo of our school in the Villa Caproni:

Fortunately, all the Italians I’ve interacted with have been very helpful and patient with me. At the grocery store, someone helped me find the right button on the scale so I could print the sticker for my broccoli… the lady selling nuts had to explain that they were 1.5 euro per 100 grams (un etto), not per kilo, as we assumed… etc. I’m still intimidated by stores and ordering things there, because my Italian isn’t good enough for me to understand everything they say, but not bad enough that I’m forced to point, so I’m not sure what to do! But in time it’ll be fine.

On Thursday morning was a walking orientation: we walked with a graduate student down Via del Corso toward the center of town, passing the Piazza del Popolo, the Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon. After lunch we wandered around town, saw the Ara Pacis Museum designed by Richard Meier, the Mausoleum of Augustus, and the Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna). In the evening we went to a cooking demonstration at the school with the professor of printmaking, who’s going to be my professor! His pasta sauce was really delicious. Afterwards we made spaghetti with pesto.


Yesterday (Friday) we had most of the day free, so we went to the Villa Borghese park (not to the museum itself) and walked around; the park is very nice, with a pond for rowboats, lots of little museums, and monuments, including an enormous one of King Umberto I. We found really good pizza near Via Vittorio Veneto. Then we climbed up to the overlook over Piazza del Popolo to take pictures, then back down, then walked down Via Cola Rienzo to find the department store there and saw the Piazza Cavour. In the evening we went to a talk about Italian culture.


Today (Saturday) after shopping in the afternoon we tried making our own pasta sauce, but we forgot to get the herbs we needed so it was a little bland. But we’re learning! After dinner we took the metro downtown to see the Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi), which is lit up at night and looks really nice. I hope you enjoy my pictures!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: "Theory and Design in the First Machine Age"

Reyner Banham's Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1960) is an engaging overview of the important theoretical developments of the early 20th century leading up to the "International Style" of the 1930s-40s.  Banham does a fairly good job, in my opinion, of avoiding excessive editorializing, although he has a clear viewpoint on the Modern Movement and finishes with a strong conclusion.  In opposition to his teacher, Nikolaus Pevsner, whose own history of modernism came out in 1936, Banham dismantled the "form follows function" credo that became the stereotype of modernism, arguing instead that formalism (a preoccupation with style and aesthetics) was an important, if not overriding, concern of Modern architects.  Two sections of the book struck me in particular: his analysis of Le Corbusier's famous book Vers une architecture (Toward a [new] architecture) from 1923, and his Conclusion (chapter 22), where he breaks the link between functionalism and …

Vertical Bike Rack

The work of our hands!


A little backstory:  We bought two bikes as soon as we could after moving here, so we could both bike to work.  After a few uneventful months of chaining up our bikes next to our car in the carport of our apartment building, Justin's bike was stolen.  (Mine was mysteriously left behind, together with Justin's pannier, which the thieves helpfully folded up and placed on top of my bike.  My only guess is that the chain holding my bike was harder to cut than the chain on Justin's.)  Since then, we've kept our bikes inside, hauling them up and down two flights of stairs to our third-floor apartment every time we take them out, which is usually a few times a week.  Ugh.  Better than buying a new bike every few months, though.

We needed a rack that would keep the bikes off the floor, off the walls, and in as small a footprint as possible, without requiring us to drill into or otherwise damage the walls (or floor or ceiling).  This proved a challenge t…

Voter's Guide - June 5, 2018 Election, Santa Clara County

If you're like me, you spend a lot of time figuring out who to vote for, because there is no single place to get all the voter information you need.  So, since I have already spent the last several hours deciding how to vote, I've compiled all the information I used here, so you can decide for yourself!  This is relevant to the Santa Clara County election here in California, so if you are looking for San Francisco-specific information, you can try SPUR or other sources.  Obvious disclaimer:  I am looking for progressive candidates who support strong liberal policies on the environment, housing, education, human rights, and the economy.  If you disagree with me, you may want to look elsewhere.



For each position or proposition, I'm going to list the position, my recommendation, link to my sources, and then note other viable candidates (if any).

State & National Offices

Governor:  Gavin Newsom
Former SF mayor Gavin Newsom has an almost overwhelming amount of policy object…