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nomad dimitri
Works at Stanford University
Attended Stanford University
Lives in France & California
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nomad dimitri

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Part 10: I knew it was Fabio the moment I saw the freaking car!

He brought a car to the island!
He brought a convertible car to the island!
He brought a red convertible car to the island!
He brought a red convertible ITALIAN car to the island!

Who did he bribe to put it on the ferry?
Why does he need a car on an island the size of a football field?  (OK, I am exaggerating).
HE BROUGHT IT FOR HER!  Of course...

The Fabio car magnet zipped by me as I was waiting for the donkey-man 3 days after I received her note.  Her note that said:

"It's me.  
Please believe me: what you felt was genuine.
I had to go, I cannot explain right now.
He, Fabio, arrives tomorrow on the morning boat.
We will have to see what happens.
Meet us, if you want, at the harbor cafe, where you met me.
You liked the stones?
I still have the bone you put in my hair.
See you?"

Of course I did not go to meet her with freaking red car Fabio at the freaking harbor cafe.  But with the sharky red thing circling around the island, and her and Fabio inside, what am I supposed to do?

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(Background on Fabio & The girl with the crystal-studded sandals here: https://plus.google.com/+NomadDimitri/posts/B8YoBdFxMZ6)

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Yina Lacayo's profile photonomad dimitri's profile photo
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+Yina Lacayo wonderful. What an opponent you paint!!! "extremely muscular, long, auburn haired men with a half unlaced, pirate or poet, white shirt revealing a smooth, tanned, hairless chest next to a swooning, half fainted female in need! ". I am getting cold feet!!!
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The Dragon: Italy is still playful

This Dragon sculpture, his body made of flames of rusted metal, graces the Renaissance fountain of my previous post.

Clearly, this is a modern intervention, and totally successful.  Kind of like a cherry on the cake, it provides a nice contemporary touch in this ensemble of fountain, water lilies, goldfish, mosaic & gardens.  As you can see from the full fountain photo, he is about the size of a cat and he is placed discreetly to the side of the fountain, posing in his very own gravelly island.  The fish don't seem too scared.  They like him.

Good looks aside, I wanted to make the point of the continuity of culture.  Aesthetics is very important in Italy: it has been for centuries and it still is.  And it shows when you visit.  Not all of modern Italy is well-made or beautiful.  But there is a lot that is and there is a constant effort to make things more appealing and harmonious.  The correct Italian word, I think, is finezza ("fineness").

The space we live in, the space we share, matters.  In Italy, more than in many other countries, we understand why.  I appreciate that immensely.

(For the full fountain image where the dragon leaves, look at my post below if you are in my stream or click: https://plus.google.com/+NomadDimitri/posts/eU4aVCFe8LJ).
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Joann Bailey's profile photojd quinitchette (CrazyLikeABOSS)'s profile photoWilliam Meredith's profile photoDon Yesudas's profile photo
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Beautiful sculpture love the way it was captured by the artist that made it
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Illegal in Disneyland

The Magic Kingdom has just prohibited selfie sticks.  "Whoopie!" you might say.  But hold your horses, for a second.

As many of you know, I have been out of commission during the last year, and have not been traveling at all, until this spring.  So I did not have time to witness the selfie stick phenomenon evolve: I saw it directly in full bloom!

I have to confess I was more amused than annoyed.  The stick is a logical evolution of the front-facing camera that allows selfies.  By the way, more terrifyingly, the next logical evolution will be a drone that will follow you around taking your selfies (or, will they be called "dronies" then?)  All you have to do is look into the sky, check out your smile in your phone's app, and click.

It used to be that when we wanted a picture of ourselves taken, we would look for the least dimwitted-looking bystander, and ask them to take our photo.  We all know what that yielded: photos chopped off at the knees.  The front-facing camera changed all that, but introduced the problem of distance: our arms are not long enough to get more than a bust shot.

Enter the selfie stick.  With it, this lovely lady can actually immortalize herself comfortably seated at the edge of the seacliff.  The problem is that, intent of taking the perfect shot, too many people started hurting themselves & others.  Ergo, the Disneyland ban.

What do you think?  Do you use selfie sticks?  Do you think they are a Fundamental Human Right & that Disney is wrong?

(Note: this young lady did NOT fall off the cliff)
(Disclosure: the Nomad takes both selfies & selfie videos - is there a name for those - but does not own a selfie stick.  He is too lazy & hates carrying stuff.)

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+Bob Sewvello very often. Do you think it is because it is far easier to document/do than to experience/be?
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U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide

When the Chinese speak of a loving couple, they say "Two mandarin ducks playing in water."  You see them often in Chinese paintings because they symbolize wedded bliss, conjugal affection and fidelity.  The Chinese could not have picked a prettier bird.  Mandarin ducks are so beautiful they scarcely look real.

As with many bird species (notably: peacock & pheasant), male & female mandarin ducks look completely different.  So we have two ducks of the same sex in the photo below, which explains why I picked it to celebrate the Supreme Court's historic decision.  Ah, yes: they are also kinda rainbow-colored.

May the ducks bring wedded bliss to all those that choose to marry, whoever they may be.  And wherever they may be...

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OK find
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What exactly is the Italian coffee magic?

How do they do it?
Elsewhere, we have the same machines, the same coffee, the same grind, the same torrefazione.
But it never quite tastes the same as in Italy!

Why?

I have no idea.  I bring coffee back home every time I go to Italy.  Not the same.  A friend from Napoli says it's the water.  I used Italian bottled water.  Not the same
I became desperate.
While making coffee, I dressed myself in Italian clothes & wore brick-red pants  & white-soled shoes like italian men do.  Not the same
Maybe it was the soundtrack?  I played Italian music while making coffee (Adriano Celentano & Mina, singing impossible love songs).   Not the same.
I put a copy of the Corriere della Sera newspaper next to the coffee machine (while using Italian bottle water, in my red-brick pants, with Mina singing "Amore Amore").  The coffee still did not taste like it does in Italy!

What am I supposed to do?
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NEW: Follow my collection Travels in Italy here: https://plus.google.com/collection/kr7lX
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John Nelson (Jónico)'s profile photoLisa Watson's profile photonomad dimitri's profile photo
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+Lisa Watson pods?  this means something prepackaged, like nespresso?
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The (aborted) sacrifice of Iphigenia

Helen (of Troy) may have had the face that launched a 1000 ships but it was Iphigenia's blood, in sacrifice, that would buy the wind to carry the ships to Troy.
Thus decreed the angry god to her father, the leader of the Greeks, Agamemnon: give me your daughter & I will give you the sailing conditions.

So here we are on the day of the sacrifice: the young girl's breast is exposed, the raised blade is shining in the sunlight, everyone is holding their breaths.  For blood is to be spilled.
To test humans' faith.  
To make them pay for their transgressions.  
To keep their pride & hubris in check.  
To remind them who's boss.

But just at the right moment, deus ex machina arrives, the blade is pushed away, Iphigenia is saved by divine intervention ( and the father gets his war winds).
Notice the 3 faces in the painting: the absolute authority of the god/angel, the chastened face of the father and, so beautifully rendered, the awestruck eyes of the sacrificial victim.

(It is not, of course, the sacrifice of Iphigenia that is depicted in the painting.  But it is exactly the same story, just a bit later. And that is my point.  Painting by Giuseppe Vermiglio "The Sacrifice of Isaac" ca 1600, photographed in Genoa, Italy).

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+nomad dimitri​ I got a bit bored with his films when he tried to be Ingmar Bergman. But the early stuff is great. 
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Europe is burning!

Most of Europe has been intolerably hot for a week now & this hell is meant to last for at least another week.  I can barely stand it: I take 6 showers per day & keep sprinkling my hair & clothes with water all the time.  No question of going out under the sun before 8pm.

You all know that this is supposed to be the planet's hottest year on record.  In Europe heat waves are scarier than in the US because air-conditioning is not as prevalent.  In the catastrophic heatwave of 2003, more than 30,000 people died, most of them in France.

The reason for this is that summers in southern Europe are milder than the southern US where you can barely survive without air conditioning.  People in Florida, say, or in Texas, expect the summer to be a furnace and they have structured their houses & lives for it.

Except in Andalucia & certain other hot spots, it is not like that in Europe.  There is heat in the summer but it does not get too extreme & it does not last for more than a few days.  There is also less humidity than in the US, which keeps things feeling cooler.  In addition, European houses are often made of stone, which, because of the inertia, keep interior temperatures more stable.

All that works fine until there is a heatwave.  When it lasts for more than a few days, the stone houses turn into pizza ovens, retaining the heat even when the night cools down.  The elderly, especially, get increasingly exhausted & dehydrated.

With no air conditioning, the only recourse is getting wet, as I do, or fleeing to the beach.  For dear life...

Are you somewhere suffering from a heatwave?

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+Amanda Klein way to go! You know, of you have a fireplace, you can leave it open and it helps
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The playful beauty of the Italian Renaissance garden

We are all familiar with the sculpture, the paintings & the architecture of the Italian Renaissance.  We are less familiar with the gardens of that period.

Not only are they gorgeous but, because they are private (so much of the art of that time we are familiar with is religious & public), they are more personal, eccentric, whimsical.

Take this fountain, for example.  The mosaic around it, meant to be admired from the terrace of the palazzo looming above it, is both playful & extremely fine.  It hardly looks like it is made of stone; it reminds us, rather, of embroidery.  

There is a tension in the design between the strict geometry of the borders and the mosaic's curvilinear elements.  And the subject matter is meant to delight: wild animals, scenes from daily life, mythology, nature, and, even, in a meta-level reference, another fountain (to decorate this fountain).

(I want one!)

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+nomad dimitri thank you! :)
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The summer parade is on!

Ah, the summer, the summer!
Regardless of where we live or how old we are, summer will always be the time of the school vacation, the time when we no longer need to be responsible, the time when we can resume our childhood.

Just like Sunday late-afternoons feel shitty even when you are retired (because "Monday is a School Day"), summer feels great even when you are stuck in the office, even if, like me, you don't like heat & crowds.  Partly it is because it is supposed to be fun: this is the time of the year that everyone wants/needs/must have a good time.

But also: we are, in many ways, both animals & machines, in addition to our treasured, complicated, subtle, enlightened human nature.  
- As machines, we respond to the added sunlight by being more cheerful & producing all sorts of needed chemicals during summer (notably: Vitamin D).
- As animals, we respond to the warmer weather by feeling a bit sexier.  Look at what's going on with the bird in your backyard: non-stop flirting.
- As humans, we just become a bit more primitive.  We are less dressed, feeling freer by sporting sandals, by tossing away scarves & gloves for linen shirts & shorter skirts.  Or swimsuits.  Or without swimsuits.  Suddenly we want to eat things cooked outdoors, in bbqs, on fire pits.  And we enjoy the sensuality of summer fruits: apricots, peaches (mmm!), water melons.

So, Viva the summer vacation!, for it brings out the animal, the adolescent, the sensualist in us.

(but, please, don't let it last all year).

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Santienviec
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Romeo and Juliet: eternal love... nipped at the bud

(A visit at Juliet's House, in Verona)

“My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.”

In "Romeo and Juliet" Shakespeare tells us that love exists, that it is boundless, infinite, eternal.  (This means that it outlives the lovers, especially those two, Romeo and Juliet, who didn't get to blow more than 16 candles on their birthday cakes).

We all hope that this is true (even if we know better), which is why Shakespeare's play remains a classic & a favorite, with numerous productions, remakes, interpretations (notably: "West Side Story".  "Romeo and Juliet", itself, is a version of the older "Pyramus and Thisbe").

Which is why so many people visit Juliet's House (Casa di Giulietta) in Verona.  Yes, you can see the balcony where she stood, you can touch the walls that Romeo furtively touched as he pined for his loved one.  *And you can scribble your love message on them*.

Nomad is in Verona for (what else?) a wedding and just before a well-earned aperitivo, he stops at the Casa di Giulietta, bustling with lovers, to see what it's all about...

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Hi
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Summer is here: may you find some shade in your travels

Summer is when most people travel.  Children are out of school and the weather is warmer.

But some of us do not like the heat.  At all.  We find it draining and prefer it when the weather is fresher, with cool breezes.
To some of us the image of people baking on the beach at 40 °C/100 °F is infernal.  Some of us prefer Antarctica to hot, humid Florida in August.

Some of us do not mind at all reaching for a little linen jacket after sunset, or sleeping with a light blanket in the heart of summer.  Some of us like to sweat between the sheets only for reasons other than a heat wave.

For such individuals, July & August mean mountain and a garden with plenty of shade.

Whatever you like, my best wishes for a lovely summer!
     nomadimitri


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+nomad dimitri Thank you. Added to my reading list and looking forward to some reading in the shade. -`ღ´-
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Fun & beauty in the "Mirror of Water"

Every city should have one!

I have rarely been as unequivocally enthusiastic about a new public space as I am about the "Mirror of Water" fountain in Nice (OK, not much beats the High Line in NYC in terms of scale & scope).

Think of it as a fountain, a sculpture, a riverside, a playground, a place to get refreshed and, best of all, an excuse to get silly.

The "Mirror of Water" is huge (you can take a leisurely stroll through it) but the fun element comes in because it is completely unpredictable in its behavior.  You take off your shoes (give me any excuse!) & start strolling through the water jets peacefully (as in the photo) when, all of a sudden, they start undulating, or they get really tall & splashy.  

At times, they stop altogether, as if preparing for the next attack.  At time, they just spew out a water cannon balls, and then stop as the water crashes back down next to you.  And, for the romantics, at times they just start making mist, and the whole fountain turns into a delightful fogbank.

NEW: Follow my collection Travels in Italy here: https://plus.google.com/collection/kr7lX
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Terrific, thanks!  Good evening:)
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Nomi
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at home in the world
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independent, curious, free-ranging, weary of getting stuck... at home in the world
(i am also a photographer, a cook & a gardener; i especially enjoy when i can cook what i grow)
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  • Stanford University
    present
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France & California
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palo alto - tokyo - bangalore - athens - bangkok - carson city - paris
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