Friday, February 4, 2011
I got lost today while roaming the streets of Milano trying to make my way to Corso Magenta. I started from Piazza Duomo, the heat of the sun warmly hitting my face, had me mesmerized. It feels like years since I felt sun. The blue skies opening up before me and the lovely shadows cast by the sun, against the buildings before me, was creating a diverse mixture of beautiful pastel colours. It was breathtaking and for a moment I gloated ever so briefly that I was in Italy. I walked through the piazza marvelling at the people, the energy, the smell of spring in the air and I let the sun warm my soul. I reached the other side of Piazza Duomo where Via Torino starts and I made a right but not before snapping a few pictures of the beauty of the colours on my blackberry. I continued right and walked until I saw the Castello in view. I had to basically make my way to Via Dante and make a left. This is the only way I know how to get to Corso Magenta walking. I dared not take the metro today as it was too lovely a day to spend underground. I found Via Dante, my eyes ever so alert at the noises, the smells, the colours. It's as if they have been dormant all of this time. I focused on the trams, they to me seemed to be the only things of surreal colours breaking the grey and beige hues of the buildings. Sometimes you will stumble across a pink building, or a red one, even a pale yellow, but it is rare you will find colours of a vibrant blue, red, green or mustard. I snapped a few photos of the trams. They seemed to be running in full force today. One after the other, they followed each other like a little toy train track operated by batteries and little boy controlling the speed. I found Via Dante and I made a left. I walked along Via Dante until the Piazza degli Affari. This piazza, I believe of internal and external affairs, is always my landmark. In the middle of the Piazza there is a giant middle finger. A Sculpture scuplted by I'm not quite sure who but laid out there in center, plain view, enormously large as if to say "Fuck you" to the entire internal and external affairs. I'm not sure if this is true as I never stopped to ask but from the name of the Piazza and the size of the finger, I sort of put two and two together. The statue has been erect for months now and it is left untouched by graffiti and vandals. Perhaps it is one of the most powerful statements one can make. Vandals alike would say the same thing if they could, Graffiti artists wouldn't dare mark such a prominent and important gesture representative of a sentiment they also share. The blue collar workers and the "borghese" each have their own opinions of who that finger is for, so honestly I have to say it is the one sculpture that can be enjoyed by everyone, all ages, races, social class....It is the universal symbol of basically "Take this, I don't give a damn!" and I like it and today I decided to snap a picture of it. After spending a few minutes staring at the statue and determining at precisely who or what I would say that to and for, I left to walk down to head towards Corso Magenta. I decided to take a different route and exited Piazza Degli Affari on the opposite side of which I entered. I found a small street, and turned left. It's a street I had been down before but I don't remember how I found it and surely not via the Piazza with the Finger. I had found it via Via Torino when I was looking for a theater. I continued to follow the narrow cobblestone alleyway down to the end. The end intersected with Cinque Vie which means 5 ways and literally means 5 ways. I turned all 5 ways determing which 1 way I would go. I chose the right. For a split second I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. The street on the right was Via Martha and I have to say it is one of my favourite streets in Milano! It is quaint, narrow, quiet and the apartment buildings tower over you and it is simply absolutely lovely. It is a street that is reminiscent of Romantic Italy and it is filled with lovely art galleries that you would not normally see if you are on the main streets. It is a treasure of a street and it must be visited and often. At the end of Via Martha, there is a quiet little cafe/bar that was, at this particular time in the day, filled to the max with Italians having their "pausa". I kept walking, I don't know where I was walking but I suddenly realized I was lost. I got lost. I kept turning down tiny little alleyways and streets all intertwining in between apartment buildings and soon I had no idea which direction I was going in. I was happy. I decided with the sun beaming on me, that today was the day to get lost, to take in the warmth and the beauty of this city as it has long since given me something to marvel about spontaneously. I turned left here, and right here and then before I knew it I was walking towards a group of students/young teens. They were loud, obnoxious and I have to say in all honesty, Italian toddlers are beatiful, children cute, the teenagers are horrible, and the woman worse. Italian teens are mean and it was evident that manners have long since gone out the window for them. I then understood why they become the adults they do. I was nearly run over by a trio of girls who refused to move out of the way to let me pass by them on the right. Then there was a trio of boys who walking along side of me, nearly pushed me into the wall, neither of the boys looking at me, saying excuse me to get by me, or making an effort to move. Instead they waited til I moved and spitting quite often as they passed by me. It wasn't the kind of spitting in disgust that is most prominent in Italian cultures especially by the men. It was the kind of spitting, I am a 12 year old with attitude and I wanted to smack them all over the head with that giant finger. That is where the problem lies, with raising their teens to be the men and woman they are. I stepped out of the way to let them pass and I waited for a second, I then shook my head at them and crossed the street. Not even once did one of the boys look towards me to even realize or notice what they had done. Not that they had done anything in particularly wrong but their lack of manners and courtesy is just wrong. They just don't care and that to me is wrong. I kept walking straight and before I knew it I was at Via Torino but this time staring at the Piazza Duomo from the bottom up. I didn't want to be here and since I was gettting lost today I turned around and re-traced my steps the exact same way I came. It isn't hard to do, retracing your steps. I walked along the tiny cobblestone road until Via Martha, I turned left and straight towards Piazza Degli Affari and this time I kept walking straight until I hit Via Orsole. From Via Orsole I turned right on Via Gorani. I walked down Via Gorani until I reached the end, turning with it's tight curves. At the end of the street where Via Gorani intersects with Via Morigi there was the most quaint trattoria. I believe it is called Trattoria Morigi. I took a mental note of it as I plan on taking my beautiful half there when I prosper! I continued along Via Morigi and I turned left. I don't know where I was. I continued walking until finally seeing a young man duck through a tiny hole of a door of this apartment building (you will see that often, doorways the size of a elf and people must duck to either exit or enter.) and I asked him where Corso Magenta was. He told me right away, "You are making a mistake, it's that way, straight ahead, keep going straight until you see the trams. The big street with the trams is Corso Magenta" and off he rode looking more french then Italian with his beret, round black glasses and petticoat. I couldn't detect where he was from as he spoke Italian well but pronounced his g's silently almost like in Spanish but he did not have a Spanish accent. I figured perhaps it was part of old dialect Milanese because it's rare born and raised Milanese ever leave Milano. This is true of everywhere in this country, where one is born, they most likely will work until they die and then they will die. I followed the cyclists instructions and after a few metres I knew exactly where I was. I followed the street around. If I turned to the left I would make my way to Sant'Ambrogio church but I kept right and there I found in front of me Corso Magents. I turned to my left and headed to Teatro Litto. I entered the cafe of the theater and there I sat to collect my thoughts and write my blog. I have yet to figure out how to put pictures up so that all may see, but when I figure it out, I promise you will be the first to see them! Anita
Posted by Anita Menotti at 6:20 AM
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Okay so I'm guilty of being a bad blogger. It's been several weeks and although I've been dedicating my thoughts and energies to blogging, my fingers have found themselves doing other things than typing. I've been creating, drawing, strumming, job searching and simply just giving the digits a break from the keyboard. This makes me a bad blogger. So much has happened in the last several weeks that I would not even know where to begin. I have traveled to New York and back where I visited with friends and where I endulged in roaming in my old stomping grounds, namely Greenpoint, Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, the East Village and Fort Green. I spent hours at the Internet Garage refamiliarizing myself with their famous call board displaying advertisements for every possible type of service. I drank wine in the Scratcher which is always a pleasure. A quaint, quiet Irish bar, whose wooden decor and brick walls make you feel like you can be lost in a wine cellar or secret hiding spot in an old castle. I always feel like I'm hiding when I'm in there and that's the beauty of it as it is a bar that is off the beaten path so most of the times, when you are in there, it's because you don't want to be seen. I spent time on Bedford Avenue drinking coffee at New York Muffin seeing old familiar faces, the ones that made me coffee's every morning. Most of the staff has left but the Puerto Rican belle with the tattooed paws on her breasts and beautiful face still made me smile. She still knew exactly how I drank my coffee. I hung out with my friends and their babies and I caught live music at Rose Bar in Williamsburg. In essence I avoided doing all things touristy and instead I opted to relive my life for a few days, the life I had before I left New York for Milano. And this is the reason for my bad blogging. I have been lazy and I am sorry. My time was spent getting back to me, getting to know the woman who lived in New York with dreams, opportunities and strength. It was important to find her again as I don't think I could have survived a return to Milano had I not been able to get in touch with who I was, who I am, what I do, what I did, and what I desire to have in my life. It's quite easy to lose track of it here as one is swept up with the glares and the superficiality of life and the hostile energy. I apologize for the bad blogging. I am now back and as the thoughts surface, I promise to write more. I guess every one needs a mental break in a while, a time to process, absorb everything around them, make sense of the world. Sometimes a word said in less is a thought meant in more, an action to be appreciated even more. On that note, I leave you on this beautiful Saturday morning and I continue to put my thoughts together for my next blog!
Posted by Anita Menotti at 5:48 AM
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Christmas eve I woke up and headed over to the Udine stop. I had to pick up photos from a photoshoot and although I would have opted for another day, the photographer chose today as pick up day. I was fortunate that I was on the train for as soon I stepped out of the train station at Udine, the traffic was unbearable. I got into his truck and we drove over to the studio. The process lasted less then an hour and after a quick strong coffee and downloading my pictures onto a usb key, I left. I was excited to get back to my apartment and begin my holidays with my boyfriend. I waited patiently in the subway platform for the Green line. This train would then take me to Stazione Centrale where I would hop on the yellow to Porta Romana and I would walk the few blocks home. I sat contemplating this years Christmas. For starters it would be a poor one. With little work and very little money, the Christmas that my boyfriend and I would be exchanging would be a far lot less then the one last year. Last year I was in Canada with my family and he arrived on the 25th of Dec. One of the greatest presents I could ask for. We then spent almost two weeks together with my sisters and my niece and nephews. This year we were not going to Canada but we were going instead to Cerea, near Verona to spend Christmas with his family. I thought this only fair but we weren't leaving until Christmas day so Christmas Eve was still up for discussion. I saw the train arriving and I got up off the bench in the station. I didn't have much energy this morning but the air was filled with loveliness. I found a seat just beyond the door to my right. Not soon after I entered the subway car I noticed the violin player. I had seen him many times before. He was Romanian or so I believe. While the train was filling with passengers he started to play Christmas classics. I have a weakness for the violin and Quickly before the train doors closed, as I was getting lost in the music of the violin, an asian girl entered the subway car. I had seen her moments earlier walking by me in the subway station and I had noticed her because she was wearing large red, velvet reindeer antlers on her head. She was the only one dressed in rather festive spirit and it brought a smile to my face. She had a backpack and a plastic bag with udac written on it. I had no idea what that was. She took a seat cattie corner to me on the opposite side of the violin player. As I watched her for a few moments I noticed a man sit down next to me in his mid 40's 50's. An interesting and handsome man with charismatic eyes. I turned my gaze back over to the Asian girl. She had now taken off her knapsack and placed it down on the seat in front of her. She opened it up and whipped out a tripod with a camera attached. One of those portable folding kinds. At first I thought she was taking the tripod and camera out to photograph the violin player. I believe he thought the same thing. Thinking that perhaps he had reached his point of 15 minute fame he turned to stare at her and play ham for the camera, only she dilluded him, by aggressively opening and closing the tripod legs until she finally leaned the camera against the seat beside her, tripod legs sticking out far into the aisle. The Asian girl with the red velvet reindeer antlers on her head, took the violin player for a short Christmas ride, of hope, joy and disappointment. She then picked up the camera again and frantically played with her camera, her gestrures seeming rather urgent, measuring distance, looking through the lens, the violinist turned to face her, and she placed the tripod and camera down leaning them against the seat. She then reached in her plastic bag and pulled out a chocolate chip muffin with a paper. The muffin was not wrapped in the paper, they were separate. She looked at the paper and she continued to hold the muffin without eating it or so much putting her lips to it. The violin player continued to play excerpts from the Nutcracker Suite and many more and the man behind me opened up a newspaper to read his horoscope. I turned to my right and stared at his newspaper and he asked me in English if I read my sign. I replied in Italian with a "pardon me" He repeated the question again in Italian. I answered him saying that no indeed I did not read my horoscope. He asked me what I was and I told him I was a Virgo. He decided at that moment to read my horoscope aloud. My horoscope was lovely talking about someone who really loved me showing me in small ways all the love he has for me, in sweet little texts and tiny gifts of love. He turned to me and said "Is this true?" I started laughing and I said "yes, yes it's true, I am very lucky and I have a really special boyfriend." I then asked him what he was and he replied "leo." "Like my mother," I said. I then proceeded to read his horoscope silently as did he. I finished reading what was written for Leo. His horoscope claimed that he also had someone who loved him very much, who adored him and that he would be very happy. I turned to him and said "See even you have someone that loves you very much." And he started laughing and shaking his head no. I responded "you don't have someone who loves you very much." He shook his head yes, he said "yes I have someone who loves me very much but it's not a good thing, she drives me crazy and I don't want to be with her." I stopped silent not quite knowing what to do with all this personal information. Then he turned to me and said, "she's pregnant but is going in for an abortion in 4 days." I looked at him, half in shock and half in shock. Mostly totally in shock because the night before I had had a dream that friends of ours were pregnant but that the girlfriend, wishing to continue her wildish ways, decided to have an abortion. I woke up from that dream and immediately told my boyfriend. At hearing this man on the train say this to me, I was rather taken. I hadn't imagined hearing that word aloud nor on Christmas Eve. Nonetheless he continued to tell me that she was 27, much younger then she was, that his mother knew as did hers, that it was a relationship doomed to end and blah blah blah. I started laughing. From the corner of my eye I could see red velvet reindeer antlers, before me, a hand was frantically playing the Violin and next to me was a man, who was reading horoscopes contemplating the abortion of his 27 year old girlfriend. He didn't want kids he had told me and then he said what was the point, what would he do with them and with her. I stopped to think for a minute before I realized the train was approaching my stop, I picked up my things and I stood waiting for the doors to open. I gave the violinist a EU 1.00 and I smiled at the Asian girl and as I left the train I looked at the man beside me and I wished him a very Merry Christmas.