Archive for June, 2010

Sud and Nord

Posted in European Summer Adventure 2009, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

Bambi I Need You!

Hard to believe there is (was) just a week left in my European Summer Adventure (2009).  (Yes, yes I am 10 months behind in blogging about my travels.)  Anyway, I passed a week on a boat in the mediterranean with my parents and then they headed back to the States and I decided to kick around Italy on my own for a few days.  I first went south to Naples (Napoli) to visit the land of my grandparents (more or less) and then endured the world’s worst night train to Milano.


Though I have traveled to many cities in Italy for work and during my semester abroad, I had yet to visit Napoli.  I arrived fairly early in the morning and had an espresso and brioche at a tiny local bar.  I am struck by two things that seem to dominate the city: insane traffic and political graffiti.  I spend the day wandering around town, looking at the architecture, public art, and of course, the myriad of street art.

One funny thing: Equal amounts of cops patrolling and anti-police graffiti

Even sports are political here in Napoli

I don’t understand the inner workings of this philosophy, but apparently soccer teams represent different political ideas, communism, fascism, classism, separation of North and South.  A google search only left me more bewildered than before.

Let's not forget religion

I found a blog post (sorry, it’s Italian) that tries to explain this particular series of graffiti in Napoli.

Here is the text translated into English (courtesy of Google Translate):

“Frankly I think all the … satanic sects, political movements, protests …

It had become almost an obsession, nobody knew what to say represent those drawings and especially to those who had work, nobody knew anything. Then thanks to facebook I arrived at the source and I contacted the authors of these “underground works”, who kindly wrote me an email which I reproduce below.

These designs represent a modern St. Sebastian. Dimentichamo not this saint, martyred under Diocletian, is depicted usually pierced by arrows.
Cmq, all this raises always very mixed reactions, it often tends to confuse this picture with a mockery of the priests, with the will (by the authors) to symbolically kill the priests. But is not the church in its millennial history, we have become accustomed to images of bloody floggings, beheadings, crucifixions?
Those arrows embedded in the body of the martyr have stuck us certainly, but this is our collective, plural, not only the material authors of the work. A little innocent denial tends to believe that there are no martyrs. From here a nuisance and therefore a forced removal. Often psychological, sometimes even many physics: we have removed more than once in 24 hours after it is made. Once I made the word “God was.” That writing has not disappeared, but destroyed, scratched with some tool so vehemently as to leave a gap of three centimeters into the wall.

Often these designs have some written down, such as “hands on piety,” which echoes the title of a famous and sadly still current films by Francesco Rosi but winks at us more contemporary themes such as the security package, for example, provides that doctors should treat non-irregular then denounced to the police.

In conclusion, given a way to work is a violence that we always try to avoid. Insinuate doubt, leave wide margins on interpretations of passers-citizen-users of our work is the basis of those of us decided to work in public space.”

Lupini at the fair

Towards the end of my day, I went to a park where there was an outdoor fair.  There was a band, lots of food and children riding miniature cars (including little mini cop cars).

See more photos of Napoli here.


After enduring the world’s hottest, stinkiest, crowdedest train ride, I arrived to a wet and rainy Milano.  It was pretty much just as I remembered it from my University days.  The same restaurants and the same stores in my old neighborhood.  The same business ladies riding scooters in fishnets.  And the same crappy weather.

Same unfortunate name for pills that helps your hair- Retard? Now that's "special!"

My friends and I used to make fun of this product all the time.  “Did you take your Retard Pill today?”  Terribly inappropriate, but terribly funny.  The pill supposedly slows down the process of growing, losing and regrowing hair.  Losing you hair? Take a Retard Pill!

The Gothic Duomo

I came to Milano to re-visit my old haunts, the sites, to do some much-needed shopping and to visit my old friends Christina and Lorenzo.  Sightseeing and shopping were wet and a little cold for September.  I bought some books and some clothes, because Milano always makes me want to buy clothes.  Somehow I managed to not buy any shoes.  Frankly, it was a miracle because Milano makes me want to buy shoes even more than clothes.

Santa Maria delle Grazie Monastery, home of "The Last Supper"

It's a tourist tradition to put your heel on the bull's balls and spin

I had a great dinner at a cute vegetarian restaurant with Christina, Lorenzo and their three daughters.  I met Chris when I was studying at IULM and the university paired locals with exchange students to practice English/Italian and socialize.  I attended their wedding and crocheted a blanket for their first baby.  We lost touch over the years, but magically reconnected through the world-shrinking wonders of the ever-expanding internet.  It was great to see them again and practice animal names with the children.

Here is a little hedgehog I spotted outside of Castello Sforzesco- the Italian word is "Riccio"

Pretty soon it was time for me to say "Ciao Italia" and head off to Alsace

See more photos of Milano here.


A Week on a Boat

Posted in European Summer Adventure 2009, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

Our home for the week

My European Summer Adventure Takes to the Seas

For the last several years, my Mom has been trying to organize a family cruise.  Due to either my jobs or my brother’s school or jobs, we never all managed to come up with a week off in common.  Therefore, she went ahead and organized an Eastern Mediterranean cruise through Royal Caribbean for just herself, my Dad and me.   Stops included: Messina (Sicily), Athens (Greece), Ephesus (Turkey), and Crete (Greece).  We also had two days at sea to enjoy the various activities provided onboard.

We set sail from the Roman port town of Civitavecchia

Our first sunset onboard

First Stop- Messina and Mt. Etna, Sicily

We set off bright and early with a two hour bus trip from Messina to (almost) the top of Mt. Etna.  We visited several of the craters and a cafe that narrowly escaped destruction during an eruption.

The lava stopped here in 2001

Mom and Dad at the top of a crater

After our lunch at Mt. Etna, we went back down the mountain and had a little bit of extra time to explore Messina.

Mary: Who Protects the City

See more Sicily photos here.

Second Stop- Athens, Greece

We started the day by climbing the Acropolis

The still-active Theater of Dionysus

Then we walked down the other side and into town for lunch.

A church in Parko Thiseio

Dad bought a baglama

After our walk, lunch and shopping, we headed back to the ship for dinner and the evening’s entertainment.

See more Athens photos here.

Third Stop- Ephesus, Turkey

Our most intense day was our day in Turkey.  We had a long day visiting several ancient sites and ruins.  We had a great tour guide who provided lots of facts about the history of Turkey and the ancient Greek theaters and temples.

The three of us at Ephesus

A performance for the tourists

Apollo's Temple

A kitten eating a fish head a lunch

After visiting the ruins, we went back into the town of Kusadasai to see a rug-making demonstration.

Lots of Turkish Rugs for Sale

Pigeons at the Pigeon Fountain

See more Turkey photos here.

Last Stop- Crete, Greece

So the Mediterranean is famous for its sunny, hot summer days.  Rain is rare and sunblock is a necessity.  Amazingly enough, the one day of our cruise, that we had planned to relax by the sea and soak up the rays, was the one day that it rained cats and dogs.

Me and a Mosaic at the Cretian Hotel

Pool and Beach in the Rain

Our stay in Crete was short-lived.  We went back to the boat and played Scrabble instead.

Our last sunset onboard

More photos of Crete here.

The sites were amazing, the onboard shows were cheesy, the food was decadent.  Truth be told, cruises are not exactly my thing, but I was grateful to spend a week with my family.

View photos of the whole week here.

How to Make a Hat

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Crochet and Knit, funny with tags , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

Fun instructional videos from my new favorite crafty lady.  Not only is she a crafter and naked, but she’s a Burner!  See and buy her hats at  Watch her videos below.

Years ago, I made hats similar to this, but crocheted.

On the phone in CA with my Ears Hat

I also made these two other versions for my coworkers on tour.

Ears hat with streamers for Hou Ying

Blue for Shen Wei