Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Sunday, January 1, 2017
First post of 2017 are photos from my Christmas trip to Rome. While abroad, I've barely used my camera as I've been working with factories and suppliers the past month so definitely haven't had time for anything else. I was hesitant to go to Rome at first because I still need ACL surgery, and I heard that Rome required a lot of walking. Let's just say "a lot of walking" is a total understatement. It requires tons of walking. I went anyway because it was Christmas and all the factories were closed anyway so I figured I would just make the best of it. Rome is totally inconvenient as a spoiled, mass transit utilizing person that lives in New York. Although they have a subway and buses, the subway lines aren't really conducive to exploring the more interesting parts of Rome. Getting a bus ticket, one needs to go to a tobacco shop to purchase so speaking Italian is somewhat required for basic transportation purposes. Also private car companies like UBER are pretty much illegal. Taxi's are only available at designated areas throughout the city which is similar to Milan.
I'm glad I went because there's no doubt in my mind that I will go again. Four days wasn't enough time to see nearly as many things as I wanted to see. One important tip when going to Italy is that if you want to see any exhibit or anything that is remotely "touristic", it is smart to consider booking a ticket ahead of time as it's almost impossible to show up to anything and expect to get in without waiting in a massive line. And I mean massive, especially in the summers as I can imagine. If you are a fan of ancient history, Rome is basically as good as you can get. I've been to Istanbul and while Turkey is really beautiful, Rome is just on it's own level. It's historic religious significance between The Vatican and the hundreds of gilded churches throughout the city are a testament to why the city has been dubbed "The Eternal City". I was surprised to find that the Sistine Chapel does not allow for photos for none other than "trademark purposes". I was also fascinated to discover that Rome is truly a melting pot of Asia, Africa, and European immigrants and influences. I didn't get that vibe when I was in Milan, but I think there's definitely aspects of the Ancient Roman Empire that have continued to thrive in the present day. You can literally walk down the street and casually see a pyramid or an ancient Egyptian obelisk. The amount of casual history rooted in the midst of a cosmopolitan city like Rome is truly awe-inspiring. While the magnitude of many of these ruins and structures leaves one completely dumbfounded.
Christmas Tree at The Vatican
Pedestrian bridge crossing over to The Vatican.
An American girl came in and ordered a pizza next to me. While many people in Italy speak really basic English, it was super annoying to have to witness so many Americans not only refuse to learn how to say thank you in Italian - "grazie" ( so easy?) but this girl not only ordered food but would elaborate in English about her food- as if she was in America and we happened to be in a Fake Italian Disneyland restaurant or something. It was embarrassing.
Just ruins on the way to work, NBD.
The infamous Jewish "ghetto" area. I had these bomb fried Jewish styled artichokes at a restaurant here. I'll have to take a photo next time I go back- although it basically looked like burnt leaves. Ha.
Inside an abandoned shop. So many of these mom and pop shops are so old. You can see how old the furniture is.
I've always wanted to go to the Colosseum. Finally got to go.
Just only THEE colosseum in the middle of the road, NBD.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
If the world is going to shit, at least this scene from Clerks 2 exists. Found it in an old email from 2007 of a compiled list of youtubes that I was into at the time. Other youtubes included "Chinese Kung Fu Werewolf Lady" and dozens of other cool links that don't work anymore.
Replace "Television" with "Media" and "Celebrity Culture" for the now.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
A trove of internment camp era photographs from photographer Dorothea Lange has recently surfaced online. https://anchoreditions.com/blog/dorothea-lange-censored-photographs has a thorough and great collection of information lifted from the National Archives. I don't think many, if any, other photo collections of this magnitude exists, so it is truly a gift to be able to experience them now- after it's spent most of it's known existence in censored obscurity. I don't even need to explain why recently there has been a larger presence of older Japanese Americans in the media speaking out against the rhetoric and proposed policies of Trump's incoming nightmare administration.
Dorothea Lange—well-known for her FSA photographs like Migrant Mother—was hired by the U.S. government to make a photographic record of the “evacuation” and “relocation” of Japanese-Americans in 1942. She was eager to take the commission, despite being opposed to the effort, as she believed “a true record of the evacuation would be valuable in the future.”
The military commanders that reviewed her work realized that Lange’s contrary point of view was evident through her photographs, and seized them for the duration of World War II, even writing “Impounded” across some of the prints. The photos were quietly deposited into the National Archives, where they remained largely unseen until 2006.