Monday, January 31, 2011

Food! / First Day of Classes

Hey lovers.

I really haven't been spending much more than 8 Euro a day on food but I've been eating out almost every day. So here goes groceries.

Risotto rice (poorly made haha) with some weird sauce. I have no idea what the sauce was- I just picked it up on the market and it looked good, so I mixed it with hot water and made a sauce. Great way to learn. It was all in Italian so I had no idea how to read it.

And it would have taken too much effort to translate at :)

Balconi brand Sweet Roll; con farcitura alla frutta. Something something with fruit? It is DELICIOUS. It's cheap and holy shit I love it. I'm gonna miss it a lot going back to the US because you can always get tiramisu in the States but this is like one of those cheap-o treats you can only get at grocery stores.

I'll always remember Nutella on that shelf in my kitchen back in elementary school, before it got famous in the States haha. And when Madame Ercolano (pure Italian teacher who taught me French in middle school!) was eating it in front of the projector and how much she loved it.

I made dinner tonight for my roommates; tortellini with red sauce and some ricotta cheese. Delish!

Milk! They don't sell milk by the gallons because it expires so fast, so families here will make it a daily job for someone to go get milk every morning because a family will usually blow through one carton a day. Their milk is also a lot thicker tasting- I thought it was half and half for awhile until I free-translated that shit and found out that it was whole and partially skimmed (2%?).

Nutella and jam on bread snack? While doing my Italian homework? In my Italian kitchen?

The first day of classes was today. I was an hour and a half late to class because I couldn't find the damn building.

If you look at a map (see a few entries previous), Florence/Firenze looks a lot bigger than it really is. Everything is just crammed- the streets are very short and packed. The buildings are ridiculously tall so you can't really orient yourself with the huge landmarks unless you're right next to them. Also, each street name has the old name on a plaque and the new current name on a plaque, so you have to figure out which one is the modern one that everyone is using. The deal is also the same with the building numbers- there are two. Streets will change while you're on them- it can be one long straight street but it will suddenly change when you cross a road at an intersection.

I went to the main Florence University of the Arts (FUA) building today for my class and I was wrong; I was directed to Via San Gallo, building 45. I went to Via San Gallo, and couldn't find it. I kept finding every number except 45. I was getting really frustrated but calmed down when I told myself I was expecting this, and the professor would most likely be expecting people to get lost also. I walked around forever (2 hours total, 1.5 hours late). I walked from FUA to Via San Gallo back to the Duomo to TRY to find the Squola building but gave up and walked back to my apartment. I wanted to give up but I pushed on and went back out. Finally, I asked a woman on the street of San Gallo and in broken English, she directed me further down. Thank you so much.

I came into the middle of some video presentation. My professor is a legit artist which is why he was only there for part of the class because he had real things to do haha. It's really great to be taught by someone who is actually famous (apparently?) I met some great girls too- Hope, Mallory, and Anna. We caught lunch together and did some window shopping, and I exchanged numbers. Sweet deal.

And, apparently Hope lives in Elise's building! She's such a sweetheart.

So for my first day, I made an Etruscan house/temple? Hahah quick to start. I forgot my camera :( so I don't have pictures but I will next week. It's required, anyways. :)

I started Italian 101. I wasn't into it. Sorry, I don't like the Italian language. It's not as musical as the French language. I LOVE French.

Tomorrow is Darkroom Photography! Elise said she did some research and that the photo program at FUA is apparently extremely well-known and very good so it's a great thing to have on your resume. Even though I'm not a photo major, I'm completely psyched about this. Photo was my first love, after all.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Farewell! (Before Italy)

Hey lovers.

Farewell dinner at Sushi Hana!

The gang :)

Home Connections.

Hey lovers.

Skype is a godsend.

Skyping with Sam!!

Watching Skins with Sam via Skype? Are we idiots?..

Sam reading me a book... LMS!

Hot lesbian chick!

My savior.

Apparently loaves of bread in Italy are for tiny people.

And their washers, too. And their showers. Awkward placement of the washer?


Hey lovers.

As I had hoped, I am able to get back on here with ample time to update.

It's beginning to settle in that yes, I am here for the next few months. I can't wait to start school though; it'll be amazing to get back into some kind of studio to work on art. I miss talking to art people; it's strange to realize that that's what's been missing. Like Kelsey and I talked about one day, we question if we could even communicate with people outside of the CFA hahah.

First pizza dinner!

First bottle of wine!

Colosseum tour!

Colosseum with Elise

Roommates at the Forum

New friends?

Some church candles

Normal Roman traffic

My most favorite statue. Ever. It was like seeing a celebrity. I am completely in love with this statue.

St. Peter's square.

Best friend picture?

Drunk food of Italy (I WASN'T DRUNK)

Trevi Fountain; soooo beautiful at night.

Gelatos! (Elise in the background) Baby cone. I think it was 3 Euro.

Just my walk to class. nbd.

"The Gates of Paradise" by Ghiberti! The flood from about 50 years ago damaged the original so they restored it and put it in the church.

The top of Piazzle Michelangelo, overlooking the entirety of Florence.

Parking in Italy; nbd.

Johnna and me; some club called 21. Dumb name but fun as shit.

I've met a lot of people so far; I'm excited to get to meet people who have more similar interests to me. Everyone's been really nice and open to being friends. This is the great thing about studying abroad; everyone is open to forging long-term relationships.

It's also been fabulous having Elise on this trip with me :)

In terms of the social culture, the men are the interesting part. I don't really find many (if at all) Italian men to be attractive to me, but they are relentless. At the club, they groped the shit out of me and I had my ass grabbed several times in minutes. And then walking back tonight, I had a guy say "excuse me, you dropped something. My heart." What the hell does that even mean? hahah it'd be flattering if I didn't know that they've probably said that to 6 other women before me. Hahah that's the culture.

Italian women are beautiful. That is all. Hahaha. All the women on the ISA staff are beautiful. I feel like I can match their personalities to those of people I know from home, which is funny. The men on the ISA staff are very nice. The whole staff is extremely helpful and make it abundantly clear that they're here to help at any hour. I love that. This is why I paid so much.

My tuition was more than most programs but it comes with so many tours, providing tour guides and hotels and dinners/breakfasts. It was completely worth it.

Italy is covered in lattice and filigree motifs that I would LOVE to incorporate into my work in metals. I love that detail. Check out this post for my pictures!

It's only been a week and I've done so much.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Night of Lights

Hey lovers.

Currently, I am lying on the couch on the second floor of my apartment in Florence, Italy.

It's not what I expected at all. It's old school mixed with new money, if that makes any sense.

I just got back from a club after dancing with 5 beautiful girls and I danced just the way I wanted to for the first time in over a year and a half. The freedom of alcohol is beautiful. I do know how to control myself when the time comes, so I have no issue with myself drinking here. I was with Johnna Quinones (my lovely dance partner through the night), Elise Robbins, Devyn Dunny, Lauren Rosso, and Kat Milberger. And passing Kevin O'Conor(?) at the end.

That's it; I'm going to bed. More legit updates on actual explorations tomorrow (or the day after, if I decide to go out?)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

10 Days.

Hey lovers.

I'm so behind.

The rest of last semester kicked my ass, so I failed to keep up here.

Preparation for Italy had fallen very much on the back burner. But now it's all coming together again. I'm figuring out what to bring in my ONE suitcase. And the most absolute important new addition would be:

Once I get back, I'm gonna get a lens with a much wider depth of field. I cannot waitttttttt.

Elise and I have been going back and forth with questions- plane tickets/seats, what to pack, HOW to pack, where our apartments are...

Correction; Elise has been moved 3 times. So who knows how far she is from me.

I've been putting off doing this and I've been putting off seeing people because I know it means goodbye. It's so amazing to see how many people actually care about us as we depart because our friends are coming down specifically to see us off, but it's bittersweet.

I know everyone's going to be here when we come back but there are so many things I'm going to miss. My best friends' prom that I got invited to is the same night that I arrive back in Baltimore, so I have to miss that. I'm missing some sweet studio classes that won't be offered again. I'm missing out on the last semester of people who are graduating this spring that I've actually started to be friendly with. That's the worst.

So much has happened this year- fuck, so much has happened in the last few weeks. (Referencing the bombardment of 3 situations at once the last week of the semester.) So I can't even fathom what's going to happen while I'm in a completely new setting with completely new people. I'm going to learn so much more about myself than I will ever learn, I think.

It's hard leaving right now because I've found myself in an ecstatically happy place. But it will be even harder leaving Italy, I'm sure. Because leaving Baltimore, I know most of the people will still be here when I come back. But once I leave Italy, that's it. There's no going back to a similar setting.

I need to let it hit me and actually start to prepare.