Saturday, May 23, 2009

oh wow -

- have i been blowing off the blog. but, in fairness to me, i've barely been in milan lately.

about a week after my last posting i went to napoli and spent four days messing about in the south which was really great actually. it's really a beautiful city that oddly enough reminds me a whole lot of san francisco. a friend of a friend lives down there and he was kind enough to organize some nightlife for me so basically i wandered around during the day senza programma and at night got together with people and experienced a bit of that. i stayed at a really cute hostel right in the center of town on the border of the centro storico. i was really impressed that the hostel was actually pretty true to the photos on the website, which seems to be something of a rarity. so, if you ever go to napoli i highly recommend. the historical center of the city is quite gorgeous actually and you wouldn't believe how many little pizza man magnets can be for sale in one place. it's actually a bit terrible really. i can't imagine how the napolitani must feel about selling this absurd italian stereotypes to the absurd american tourists...oh well, a euro's a euro. here are some photos:

i also had the chance to go to capri, which is ohmygod beautiful, although it's impossible not to get the distince sense of not belonging to the club there (and by club i mean the ultra rich residents/tourists of capri club). i promise i'll add photos soon, but at the moment i have to stop doing this and start doing work, actual work that is. xo

Friday, May 1, 2009

fuori salone, armani, manifestazioni

i just finished uploading the rest of my photos from design week onto my computer. this batch is actually from fuori salone from the zona tortona area, which is pretty close to my house. i saw some pretty great things, but the actual fair itself was pretty hard to beat.

while on my way over there i met a couple of kids from the netherlands, eindhoven actually. apparently this city is not only the location of a very famous design school but apparently is the center of the design universe in the netherlands. i hear they'd like to give milan a run for the title vis a vis organizations like brainport they were here with a group of students and alumni exhibiting at fuorisalone. their space was called jewels and joules . it was one of the best things i saw over the entire week. the two people that i met were the "food designers" which is a totally new concept to me. basically they experiment with different flavors of food and design dishes. as chefs have been doing this since the dawn of time, it's not a particularly revolutionary concept. the twist in this case is that the people doing it are not chefs so they come to it with a different perspective on how food mixes and functions socially - interesting indeed. in this particular project they were using foods that are typical of south-eastern holland such as white asparagus, purple potatoes and smoked eel (totally delicious i swear to god). the eel is hanging above the table in this photo, along with bundles of asparagus.

the following photo is of a lamp that is currently in production that is made up of small foam oil drums. the number of oil drums that make up the lamp when the customer receives it depends on the price of oil at the time of purchase: the higher the price the fewer drums and thus the smaller the lamp, the lower the price the more drums and the bigger it is.

much of the show was about sustainability, gardening and food. here is my absolute favorite thing that i saw at the salone del mobile. it's a cultivation cabinet in which one can germinate seeds and grow small plants. it could comfortably live inside of the house and is a really beautiful structure. i'm going to ask bill to build me one.

here are some other assorted photographic highlights from zona tortona:

all of the preceding fuorisalone business happened last saturday. i had had all kinds of grandiose plans for sunday, but ended up doing basically nothing because i was exhausted and the weather was rainy and shitty. the weather remained rainy and shitty through wednesday. ugh. milan. wednesday night some girls from my program invited me out to an aperitivo and then we went to armani prive. i know it sounds super exclusive, but it's basically just like an other club, except it really is guest list/table only and the drinks are 20 euro! wtf man?! i did really have a good time, drunkenly dancing all over the place and being appalled by all of the incredibly scantily clad women bouncing about. i definitely can't see going there regularly, but every once in a while it's fun as evidenced below.

i know that this is the longest post in history, but it's mostly images! i'm trying not to tax all of your brains too intensely with lots of reading, just visual stimulation - yeah!

today, may 1st, is a holiday in italy. i honestly have no idea why and i don't really feel like researching it (but conveniently you're already on the internet and can if you feel so inclined). i went to my friend yael's house to interview her for a project and ended up staying and having lunch. we went out to meet up with a friend of hers and decided to go to the center, since it's the only part of the city that's open on holidays - if you're lucky. our tram driver made an announcement that it couldn't reach the center due to a manifestazione. we decided to walk since it wasn't really that far. about two blocks closer to the duomo, we found ourselves in the middle of this:

in case you were wondering, yes, that huge black thing is a wall of speakers that was blasting out fantastic reggae music and all of those people around us were dancing up the street behind it as it drove towards the center of the city. it was truly fantastic, particularly in a country with no open bottle laws. we were drinking beers and dancing up the street and the weather was amazing!