Monday, June 30, 2008

Pride 2008...

Sunday’s Pride Parade through the heart of San Francisco had its usual mash-up of bright color, pulsing music, and determined politics, but this year the undeniable feeling was joy. There was a noticeable air of celebration and love and inclusion. It is a wonderful time to live in San Francisco.

Every year, the parade attracts a few celebrities...or at least gay celebrities. This year's notables pictured below: Cindy Lauper, Leslie Jordan (the diminutive persnickety actor from Boston Legal and Will and a less than flattering pose), and "Fernando and Greg" (a local D.J. pair).

But the majority of the parade is full of real folks...many decked out in the most outrageous outfits. The costumes seemed even more over the top this was my favorite parade in years.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Photos from 4...

In striking contrast with previous days in Venice, Day 4 was full of sunshine. Lots of churches dotted our route, although many of them did not allow photos inside. (Some of these are "forbidden" shots :) The text, again, is from the original journal post.

A convenient way to chart a day in Venice is to pick a church in the distance and wind your way towards it. today, we visited eight. A historical game of connect the dots.

Set off after breakfast under a blue sky. First stop was the nearby Santa Maria del Rosario..."a Renaissance masterpiece"...on the Giudecca Canal. We had passed this columned facade many times in previous visits, but never ventured inside. A pleasant stroll down the canal fondamente and a quick jog to the right brought us to the church of San Sebastian.

Two off-the-map churches on the way to our next stop: Chiesa di Santa Maria della Visitazione (from the 15th century) and Chiesa di San Raffele Arcangelo (from the 12th century). One of the nice things of these hidden spots is that they allow photographs.

Lunch of hearty pastas at the Impronto Cafe. My tagliatele with mushrooms was wonderful.

Window-shopped to our next destination: San Polo, an ancient church from the 9th century. Another 9th century church followed...the beautiful San Giacomo dall'Orio. The non-descript San Stae was next...our least favorite of the trip.

Our last stop was the hidden gem, San Giovanni Elemosinario. Tucked away in the market approaching the Rialto Bridge. The church was built to blend in with the neighboring merchant buildings, and yet the interior was elaborate and peaceful. A highlight of the church was the faded frescos in a tomb beneath the floor.

Finished the day looking at paper mache masks, handmade marionettes, and Murano glass. Jeff found a magnificent oil painting from a favorite shop...Scriba, along the walls of the Friari. We have stopped into this shop on every visit.

Relaxed with a beer before dinner. Watched dozens of swallows flitting back and forth above the courtyard gathering THEIR evening meal.

Took a recommendation from a local shopkeeper and ate at the tucked-away, bustling Ristorante San Trovasco, owned by four brothers. My penne alla putanesca was divine. After-dinner drinks (mojitos and bellinis) and tirimisu at Impronto Cafe.

Serene, late night photos of the desolate Monday night city. The Grand Canal was silent except the occasional vaporetto.