All Posts for July 2011

A Room in Rome, Wed., May 25th, 2011

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Unloading dockside. Almost everything is imported from the mainland, which jacks up the prices.

There was heavy thunder during the night that may have cooled the air a bit, but not much. Up early to check the docks and canal early to see what it’s like before the rush of people begins.

Alan is taking us to the upscale shopping district near the Rialto Bridge, called the Rialto Markets. Shops are pricey and the food booths rival our famers’ markets. However, we lunch at a tourist trap with so-so food, although my dish of pasta with pesto may have been the best choice.

Venice’s version of a farmer’s market boot, just one of many. (Another picture was posted in previous posting.)

Jewelry display near one of the many bridges


I could not pass up this pasta display in one of the shop windows while walking through the streets of Venice.








In the fancier shopping area there was a very tall building in the middle of all the shops. It towered over us on this bright, sunny day.








After lunch, back to the room to shower, rest and reorganize our gifts for packing. Then again to St. Mark’s Square to listen to music and people watch with the Hanovers, because Kal & Rhoda went to the house of Peggy Guggenheim to see her art collection.

This is part of the area of St. Mark’s Square. The chairs at the bottom of the photo are part of the seating area to listen to the musicians in the evening. Many, many tourists! And several, especially Asians carry  umbrellas to shield them from the sun. I had a difficult time with my red parasol because the streets are very narrow, but the Square is not.

We find a Chinese Restaurant near our hotel that is very good. Italian food is getting a little tiring three meals each day. Funny, though: six Jews in Italy eating Chinese food!

After dinner, Alan & I return to St. Mark’s Square to listen again to the musicians, this time at a third group of musicians closer to our hotel. We dance a little and then start to walk back to our hotel.

Dancing in the Dark at St.Mark’s Square, taken by Jackie

I stopped to hear someone play an instrument that sounds like a steel drum, but is held on the lap and played with the hands. The young man playing it said it is called a hang instrument* and was invented in 2000 and based on steel drums. Will have to investigate more when I return to the US. Beautiful sound!

P.S. The doors of the buildings in Italy are often quite beautiful. Here is just one in the shopping district where we walked around and bought gifts.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Venice. We are going to the Island of Burano, not Murano (glass factory).

*Picture of a hang from The Internet. Looks like a mini-flying saucer.Here is information on this wonderful-sounding instrument from Wikipedia:

A Hang (pronounced [haÅ‹], with vowel sound between those of the words hot and hungry) is a musical instrument in the idiophone class created by PANArt in Switzerland.[1] The Hang is made from two deep drawn nitrided steel sheets that are attached together creating the recognizable ‘UFO shape’. There is nothing inside the Hang but air. The top (“Ding”) side has a center ‘note’ hammered into it with seven or eight ‘tone fields’ hammered around it. The bottom (“Gu”) is a simpler surface that has a rolled hole in the center with a tuned note that can be created when the rim is struck. The Hang uses some of the same physical principles as a steelpan but with a nitrided surface and structural change of having two clamped shells with a small opening so that the instrument is a Helmholtz resonator.[1][2] The creation of the Hang was the result of many years of research on the steelpan as well as the study of a diverse collection of instruments from around the world such as gongs, gamelan, ghatam, drums and bells.[3] Metallurgical and acoustic research by the makers has led to significant changes and refinement in structure, design, and process over the years since the first Hang was offered.

Mid-Summer Blooms

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

This crepe myrtle is blossoming at our public library.

Ah, the crepe myrtles are blooming.
Over my head, they’re gently looming
in lovely colors of fuchsia & white,
to brighten my day, soften my night.

Flowers in bloom give bees their existence;
For us, their brilliance is a pleasant persistence

to view & enjoy & dazzle us with beauty,
as if being lovely is their only duty

Ah, the crepe myrtles, a mid-summer’s delight;
knowing they’re back feels absolutely right!
Flowers blooming have no equal—-
Except, perhaps, Fall’s burnished leaves—a perfect sequel.