Thursday, April 28, 2011

Going To The Royal Wedding?

Going to the Royal Wedding tomorrow? Tomorrow this time I'll be off to family 'royal wedding' in Austin TX of all places! I'm always on the lookout for wedding dresses - this shop, Le Spose di Gio...
More elegante gowns from Le Spose...
I've always wanted to attend this event in Paris but somehow...
Is this what the Venetian bride wears...during Carnevale?

Certamente she will have white lace umbrellas from Burano no?

Her bouquet should be from Aquarelle in Paris...

Is this not the perfect flower girl/baby dress from Gucci?

And the perfect 'Auntie' dress if you have no hips. I'm wearing a 'sustainable' dress from H&M - either organic or made from recycled rubber bands. Qui sait?

A very 'sustainable' Italian bow tie for the groom made of porcelain...


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Death At La Fenice

BEAR insisted we take a tour of Venice's opera house, Teatro La Feniche...
Since he was on page 1 of Donna Leon's 1st of the Commisario Brunetti series, Death at La Feniche.
(NO spoilers included.)
Conveniently the same opera in the book, Verdi's Traviata sung by Donna Leon's tempermental diva (and possible murder suspect) Donna Flavia, was featured on the walls...
La Feniche is appropriately named after the phoenix (a reference to the mythological creature reborn from its ashes after it's destroyed). The opera house has risen from ashes many times since 1789. As recently as 1996, recorded in detail by John Berendt in The City of Falling Angels.

You and your audio guide enter the grand hallway leading...

Into the very grand theatre... sit in one of those boxes...

Or the gold-encrusted royal box in your diamond-encrusted stillettos...

Nevermind. Just sit in one of these cushy velvet chairs. You can do that on the tour. Then pretend you're hearing Traviata...

Leon's first book in the series was conceived in backstage at a performance whilst chatting with the conductor and published in 1992. She's produced a book every year since. I must say the first book is quite consistent with the others I've read. Very character-driven and always you experience everything through Brunetti's sharp eyes and ears. You climb all the steps with him too in elevator-free Venice...

At least I did get to Gelateria Nico mentioned in the book on the Fondamente Zattare waterfront. Why do I always get pistache + nocciola/hazelnut flavors? I have no imagination when it comes to gelato...

I did not get to the pricey Ristorante Galleggiante in Bacino San Marco, where every course is described in the book and the order in which it was served. For example salad must be eaten after the meal, not with it.

I did get to have a pricy seafood antipasti elsewhere. But who knew it must be served on an oblong plate? If I'd read my Brunetti I'd have known. Plus who knew the vaporetto don't run in the fog? At Caffe Paolin, only the foreigners eat outside in bad weather. The sensible Venetians retreat inside. I love all these little details of everyday life in Leon's books almost more than solving the mystery. My copy is a mess of yellow markings...

There's a terrific interactive map on Leon's British site for browsing excerpts related to various Venice locations... Now I'm on to Blood From A Stone...


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

French Girl's Rouge et Noir Cuisine

I mentioned to Fr Girl.

That there was definitely a rouge et noir/red and black theme in her cuisine/kitchen.
French Girl responded,"Absolutement PAS!"
Never mind. I bought the little red and black Ladybug kitchen timer from PYLONES and added it to the shelf with the other red and black items.

Red and green mug sitting on the black cooker.

A hanging red & black light fixture.

Red curtains hang in the kitchen window.

Plus a red with black striped dish towel. Hmm... What do you think? Am I crazy seeing lots of red and black here? I felt compelled to add a red kitchen mitt from Boutique Maille.

It's no surprise a Fr girl would decorate her kitchen in red and black. Le rouge et le noir training starts early in la pousette.

And evolves to grown-up Parisians daily sitting in red and black cafes.

Probably walking there in RED shoes.

Whilst wearing red and black jewelry.

Their politicians deck themselves out likewise.

Well sophistication must start early don't you think?
And Paris is such a sophisticated town non?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Absolutely Fabulous Venice

When the #1 vaporetto lets you off at the San Marco stop. You are forced to walk down alleyways lined with deluxe shops. "Name, names, names Sweetie-Darling"
Missoni, Pucci, Cavalli.
Bottega Veneto.
You instantly feel the pinch in your purse.
These diamond-encrusted shoes do not have your name on them.
Not mine anyway.
Italianos or touristas?
What's your guess?
This is why I suggest don't bother with the 3 euro cioccolata.
And ante up 9 euros at Caffe Florian.
At least here you can feel like a principessa.
Fortunately gelato is universally democratic for principessas and the rest of us.