Match Frame

Thoughts from an American editor and filmmaker in New Zealand about film and video production and post-production. Plus whatever else I feel like talking about.

Location: Balmoral, Auckland, New Zealand

A work in progress.

Monday, June 18, 2007

a little more (just because)

the because meaning I'm tipsy and in a sweaty internet cafe. Did you know that in Italy they need to get an ID off of you, either driver's license or passport? It's true. Listening to the Birthday Party ('strophe and antistrophe! strophe and antistrophe!' - I wish I knew what that meant) and so I summarize the recent history -

- today I went to the Boboli Gardens, which are on the far side of the river but not a very big walk. (Nothing tourists want to go to in Firenze, as they call Florence here, is a very big walk, in terms of distance at least.) I was hoping to just chill out and relax under a tree, and was a wee bit disheartened to realize that a. I got there at pretty close to noon, when sun was directly overhead and shade was minimal, and b. there's lots of uphill there. Anyway, apart from the bit where I trudged up the hill and sat under a tree and listened to lots of Unwound and The Mountain Goats, they also have some museums there that are part of the purchase price, most of which didn't interest me. But, surprisingly enough, the Museum of Porcelain (look! 20 different china patterns! this is jack's excitement personified!) also had a completely unlabelled and completely amazing exhibition of glassworks by Roberto Fallani, who is very modern and very spectacular. This interested me way more than decorated pitchers, which was the focus of another museum, or the history of Roman gardens. That's just me.

I effectively bailed on the big guns of Firenze, the Accademia (where David is, although I saw a copy, so close enough) and the Uffizi, which I should have made reservations for, like, for ever ago. Waiting for hours in line held no appeal. Still holds no appeal, come to think. Plus I think I'll come back, given so much left undone. No counterfeit leather purses purchased - what was I THINKING?

Other than that, been mostly chilling out today, having more gelato (peanut butter is the highlight thus far, although the last two times I've had gelato I've had to find a W.C. pretty quickly, so a wee bit nervous about that, but still may have some when I'm done here). I've been using a Rick Steves guidebook to get around Florence that I picked up at the hostel, which is quite good, but as I discovered at dinner, you often wind up eating with a bunch of people using the guidebook as well. Which is fine, I met some friendly Americans from Idaho, and the dinner was good. (Gnocchi with pistachios and blue cheese for a primi, and shrimp and avocado with some awesome sauce for a secondi.)

Yesterday? There was the travel from Cinque Terre to Firenze, which passed through Pisa. I hadn't planned on going to Pisa, but as I said to Josh and Becky, if we're going to Pisa, it's just rude not to see the Leaning Tower. (Who are Josh and Becky? Keep reading, and I might get to it! The joys of reverse story telling!) The Leaning Tower is about a mile or so walk from the train station, mostly in a straight line, and just when you think you might have missed it, there it is, looking for all the world like it's been Photoshopped into reality at an oblique angle. (Which, I guess, maybe it has.) I do wish I'd had a bit of time to see the various cathedrals and stuff in the same piazza as the Tower - it's a very beautiful plaza, and I assume everything there has something of value, but I just thought the lines were big and I didn't want to deal with it.

(I did, however, go into a CD/DVD store, and found a DVD of the latter-day masterpiece THE CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE, only it's Italian so its title is different, but I can't remember it. But it had English subtitles so I bought it. Sadly, Paolo Sorrentino's follow-up, L'AMICO DI FAMIGLIA, is only in Italian.)

So then I arrived in Florence, as I might have mentioned, and after arriving at my lovely hotel (Il Bargellino - thanks, Brenda!), dropped my stuff off and did my kamikaze attack, which consisted of seeing the Medici Chapels, Baptismery, and Duomo Museum. None of these are really as amazing as the exterior of the Duomo, which I could stare at for hours.

(And maybe will after this.)

And then I wandered down to the water, and watched a Florence sunset over the various bridges down there, and it was really something, and I think I took my best picture there. Though when I get them into the computer, they will probably all look the same. But, hey!

And then I ate dinner at Trattoria Marone, my first proper dinner in two days, which is mostly why I couldn't finish it. It was okay and reasonably priced by Florence standards, some kind of veal bits and some bean soup.

And then I went back to go to sleep on the off chance I'd get up early enough to do a morning rush on the Uffizi. (No suspense here; obviously, you have figured out it didn't happen.)

That's all I can type for the moment, my brain is empty. Or something like that.


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