September 30, 2015

The new studio in Florence, for the time being

It might not be a lot but here's my new studio, provisional I hope, in a corner of our combined kitchen and dining area. Everything was slowly cobbled together from distant stores by way of packed city buses, amid the most hectic September of front-loading for the year I've ever experienced, and so I feel a mixture of pride and relief at having this much up and running.

September 25, 2015

Stones of Florence

I know when you come to Florence you're supposed to talk about the food and architecture, chianti and Michelangelo, but being the weirdo that I am I'm more interested in the goings-on behind the stage than the performance itself.

I read a classic travelogue on Florence recently, Mary McCarthy's The Stones of Florence, written in 1959. She writes, Florence "is not a shrine of the past, and it rebuffs all attempts to make it into one, just as it rebuffs tourists. Tourism, in a certain sense, is an accidental by-product of the city - at once profitable and a nuisance, adding to the noise and congestion, raising prices for the population. Florence is a working city, a market centre, and railway junction...There is no city in Italy that treats its tourists so summarily, that caters so little to their comfort."

So in that vein, here are a few shots I snapped of a public underground gallery I stumbled upon in a kinda far-flung neighbourhood called Le Cure, no tourists in sight. Legend has it a man lives permanently in this maze of pedestrian tunnels that cut beneath a junction of highway and railway lines, but I couldn't seem to find him.

Apparently here's where you find the best graffiti in town. That's what brought me out here.

Locals taking in the free show, drooling just a bit. My reaction was the same.

Can you spot the accordionist? A feast for the eyes and ears!

Sure, why not talk about the next game of euchre and who's responsible for the biscuits down here.