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Coda

September 2007

9 years
ago

 

Boobs and Bibi, Why I Heart Paris

Burlesque! Among the five things I heart most about my sejour in Paris.

1. Le Cheri Bibi (15 Rue Andrew Del Sarte), a stylish new restaurant in Montmartre, a find that was completely accidental. To explain: I came to Paris fully equipped—with three lists of restaurants from reputable sources. (I don’t enjoy playing restaurant lottery; I plan where to go.) Still, it was late the other night, and we were in Montmartre, the one neighborhood here for which I had no list…

9 years
ago

 

Daley, Velib, and Me

Apparently, we arrived in Paris on the heels of one Mayor Daley, who was in the City of Lights checking out Velib a couple of weeks ago.

What is Velib? One of the coolest and most frustrating things that I have come across in some time…

9 years
ago

 

How Do You Say ‘Cold’ in French?

I’m finally in Paris! We’ve rented an apartment in the Marais, which is home to lots of boutiques, nightlife spots, and restaurants. Things are great, except that I’ve contracted a cold. In French, it’s called a “rhume.” In my world, it’s a big bummer. Oh well. A tip I’ve picked up this trip: To get your bearings in Paris, everyone tells you to rent one of the bateaux mouches (fly boats) and see the city by water. I say, rent a bike instead. We rented bikes at a shop in Belleville for 2 Euros an hour and cruised across the city in an afternoon. The best part is…

9 years
ago

 

A Nice Lesson Learned

We’re traveling with a pair of vegetarians. I love them, I do. But sometimes it gets a little frustrating to do a complete menu analysis before going into a bistro. (We’ve gotten more than a few blank stares in both Italy and France while asking servers to point out vegetarian dishes.) A day or so ago, in Nice, we were hanging around the harbor and looking for a place to lunch. They stumbled upon a falafel place and got very excited…

9 years
ago

 

Naked Swimming … and Cake!

Today’s my 30th birthday. That’s a milestone, right? Right! And milestones mean you get to indulge. Since I’m traveling in Europe, the word “indulge” is taking on a whole new meaning. Last night, when the clock in the central part of Nice, France, struck midnight, I announced that we were going to do something to fête the arrival of a new decade. But what would we do?

Night swimming, of course! Everybody thought it the grandest idea, until we were standing at the Mediterranean, shivering and staring at some rather ominous waves crashing in the dark. After some fussing, the boys accompanied me into the surf—for all of two minutes…

9 years
ago

 

The Perfect Storm, Italy-style

A big storm is approaching Cinque Terre, the cluster of coastal Italian towns where I am, at the moment, on vacation. We gave up on kayaking pretty early in the day; the seas were too choppy. There’s not much else to do here but eat, sun, and swim, so most of the afternoon was spent sitting on big rocks, watching the storm approach, and chuckling at a group of nutty Italian fishermen who were sabotaging each other’s lines…

9 years
ago

 

Finally, A Good Meal in Venice

Finally, we’ve found a decent place to eat in Venice. If you ever visit here, check out the Bar Ai Nomboli on rio terra dei nomboli.

A few other random observations:

1. The Italians really like that atrocious song “Umbrella” by, who is that, Rihanna? I’ve heard it everywhere. We were in the grocery store buying wine yesterday and some little kid pushed past me with that song playing on his cell phone! Now it’s playing in the Internet cafe. I just can’t seem to get away from it…

9 years
ago

 

Buon Giorno from the Biennale

I’m in Italy. The weather is perfect. The wine is flowing. The food is, well, so-so. But that may be because we’re in Venice. As far as I can tell, this isn’t a city known for its culinary delights. It’s known for its art.

That is, after all, why we’re here.

To catch you up, I’m traveling in Europe for the next few weeks with the man friend and two artists, and the latter couple is dead set on seeing the Venice Biennale. I agreed to devote…

9 years
ago

 

Coda in Europe

It was a weekend of high culture: a lovely wedding in Grant Park (not mine) and a fabulous CSO performance in Millennium Park that featured Savion Glover tapping the Duke Ellington suite, River. It was also a weekend of rock culture: the ever-so-awesome Hideout Block Party. My only gripe: The sound for Brit band Bloc Party (who played the Block Party) was pretty weak; having seen them a few months ago at the Congress, I can attest what a strong live band they are. That didn’t so much come across, but, heck, it was still great.

Now I’m off to Europe for a three-week sejour in Italy and France. Check back for…

9 years
ago

 

Chat with New Hubbard Street Director

Lunched yesterday with Jason Palmquist, the new executive director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. He joked about having successfully survived his first 100 days at the helm of the contemporary dance company, a Chicago institution that has, of late, been rocked with major changes (the departures of its longtime executive director and second company directors, retiring dancers, etc).

Arts administrators are an interesting bunch (and, no, that’s not a joke). The successful ones are fluent in the language of balance sheets and budgets; but they have to speak a creative language too. It looks like Palmquist has the background required to do both:…

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