I have never been to the Borghese at night until now. I am here , waiting to watch “The Lobster” at a tiny cinema that is called Cinema dei Piccoli ( tiny cinema). It is so small that you have to wait outside until your designated movie starts.
Why go to the movies in the middle of a park at night?? Because sometimes I feel abandoned and thus I go places that I feel I could disappear into. In a few days I will be at a Christmas party and I will be eating and forced to eat endless yummy artistry and drink countless vino….yet tonight, this second….I feel abandoned. Go figure.
I was walking around the park , waiting for my designated time and discovered this staute. I have never been this side of the park before so it was interesting to find her. I have no clue about who or what it means. I know she lost her head and it was a tragedy. I would have to Google or asked a historian friend for details yet I prefer to make up her story.
Let’s begin…this is llaria the mother of Joy. She was always a happy woman even when someone died, or when she stubbed her toes or a major disaster happened she continued to be happy. It was not that she was mocking peoples’ suffering but she could not frown. She was blessed and curse with happiness. Llaria was a beautiful woman for her features were diverse. She had curly dark hair that depending on the time of day went from light brown to black. Her eyes were like water. Her skin like Nutmeg. She smelled of lavender naturally and was a helpful woman.
Like all women she desired to be in love. After a time she encountered a robust man with a moustache that curled and who was charming despite his selflish laugh. Soon they were married and she was pregnant.
Llaria was always happy. Her life seemed happy, however, it was not. Her robust husband became more robust. He treated her bad while she was pregnant. If you didn’t attend the wedding you would think she was a servant of the house and not the lady.
One day she was in the barn feeding the animals when her water broke. She screamed for help yet the noise of the animal drowned her out. She screamed and push and screamed and push until a little head pop out, then shoulders , arms,body and tiny toes,looking all wrinkled and bloody. She felt a tear and it was joyous. She named the baby Joy. Joy was a boy. He was her joy. She had felt pain,anguish, anxiety and tears, sweet tears for the first time thus he was joy. When she had enough strength she ran away into the forest. To whom or where no one knows for she didn’t reach far. She heard her husband shouting her name and turned around in which she ran into a tree that took her head.
Joy never knew his mother, only the tales told. So he made a grand statue in the garden. For she was his tragedy.
I do think that the park is quite calm at night despite the cold. I can see my breathe! I am sitting on a dilapidated bench …….
writing this post on my phone and waiting to see if the Lobster becomes a lobster. Ciao
I have never seen a squirrel in Italia. If they exist they are ninjas because they hide super good. I was in the Big Apple this summer and when I saw this guy posing for the people I was hooked.
He would turn his head so that you captured his essence and grace. A true model. Yes, he/she is a bit plump but it’s not its fault-protein diet :Nuts.
I miss squirrels. I miss these little ninjas that steal your food or make nest in the drain. I am waiting to see one here….no luck. There are pigeons , ravens and green parakeets that love shitting at metro stations on waiting passengers. Yet, no squirrel in Roma or any part I have visited so far.
Oh Squirrel, where art though????
This has been rambling from a late sleeper that hasn’t had brunch yet on a cool, sunny day in Roma. She will now stop and make a caffè . ciao!
It’s hot in Roma. It is so hot the choices are 1) stay at home in your underwear and drink everything cold in the house, never use the stove because that will make heat 2) go away –far away from Roma 3) go to the beach daily if you cannot afford to travel or you have time to use before your vacation 4) Stand still. I chose option 3- the beach is what i did for a week or so , more or less. I spend my days burning my already brown skin ( with SPF 30) until was completely even.
Ostia is easily accessible by train. The station is Piramide in Ostiense. It’s about 40 minutes from beginning to end . Then a 10-15 minute bus ride, depending on what type of beach you fancy. My fancy is the free beaches that are closer to the end. Ostia doesn’t have picturesque beaches. Its a usable beach that works.
I went for a few days to pass the time sometimes solo or with friends. I am so tan right now my mother is going to have many words for me when I see her in a few days. Anyway, I was at the beach, trying to practice my weak swimming in peace when a man decided he should invade my space. Like a true shark he swam around me for about 2 minutes getting closer and closer and then creating dialogue. He ask formalities and I answered with short answers. Then he decided to talk about the beach. “This beach is used also by nudist:”
Me: I know I see them.
Man: I usually am too
Me: Good for you
Man: Would you like to try to?
Me: Why are you so uninviting?
Man: it is perfectly normal,….in fact i will do it now…( HE took off his shorts in the water) ………He was standing there feeling proud in his unclothing .
I turned and swam away. On the sand my friend asked me if she just saw what I witnessed..I shook my head yes. We sat in silence. The man comes out the water , puts on his pants and disappears for some time. When we are settled and relaxed , like a shadow, the man appeared. I was getting ready to responded when the couple beside us jumped in and told him to go away. He left for good. This is Roma.
I am a woman of color. I have many experiences of highs and lows of living here. This is just one encounter that was UBER extreme. Overall, my experiences have been graceful and respectful. This guy was the first to just disgust me and I am sharing it. When men ask if I am Brazilian , it’s more due to what they know of black culture. Despite watching all modern programs , music artists and pop culture…a large group of Italians are still un-evolved on foreign women. It is not only dark skin women in this boat. I am only mentioning my experience.
I have met normal guys here , yet as in all things the asinine encounters really stick with me.I don’t let them become my personality I just don’t forget. I have on many occasions confront them , which makes them run. Having a strong character is a must here. I have a great love for Italy in a whole . I love the feel of living in this ancient slightly modern world. I just have no desire for romance, which many women find here , as the Italians call it EAT PRAY LOVE moment. I would love to have such a moment even a temporary one. This would require a brave guy to rise from the non-commitment, mammoni , bubbled culture. It sounds impossible …however I still believe in unicorns.
Rome is an active city. In fact, compared to the rest of Italy it’s the best place to be for an active social life, in my opinion. This week began with a four-day weekend, thus the masses heading to the sea for sea air, burning sun of 30 grad Celsius and just chilling. One of the perks of living in Rome is the lifestyle.
On this lovely day I woke with a lovely headache, probably from the Moscow mules I drank at an aperativo; as well, I had forgotten to close the blinds thus the day woke me too soon ( 5am). With this lovely feeling pounding in my head I cancelled my plans for another beach day to remain in the city.
I tried to fall back into my sleep-like state yet no luck. My mind began to wonder: lessons plans for the week, man problems, how to get my hair to stay straight for more than a day and what to do later? I slept maybe another 40 minutes after my racing mind calmed down again.
When I woke again, my headache was still present so I got up and embraced the day. A friend recommended I get a coffee and aspirin to get rid of the headache. I got a cappuccino and cornetto (intergrale) and set off. My first mission, actually my only mission, was to reload my metro pass. I kept pushing it off and so I had to find a place still open to recharge on a national holiday. I had money for the metro yet I hate paying for a single ticket and the local buses were not running. I walked through the neighborhood and ask any newspaper stand and tabacchi shops open if they could do it. After an hour successes!
Since I was out and my head started to feel better I decided to check out the parade in the center. I had seen some of the prep work in days prior, so I had an idea of what the parade would look like yet I knew little about the holiday. So what is Republic Day? Italy was a monarch society governed by Mussolini and a fascist regime. Festa della Repubblica is the celebration of the people of Italy voting the monarchy out and creating the republic. It was told to me the holiday was originally celebrated the first of June and in 2000 was changed to the second. In Rome, the parade is conducted near Piazza Venezia with an air show and military march. Near Termini, the train hub, there was a free concert which was really beautiful to hear as you make your way through people. It gave the day an uplifting feel. Plus I am happy because this is a three-day work week!
I recently have had the privilege of going to a few end-of-the year dance recitals in Rome. I teach English and some of my students are children. The contrast between American kids and Italian kids is very visible and interesting. Kids in the states are made independent , people say “stop babying him” even though the kid is three years old. Here, children stay children for a very long time, in many cases into adulthood. Overall, Italian children are truly dependent on their teacher. In fact, Italian children will have the same teacher for the first five years of school, if they don’t move or change school. The teacher becomes family, the second mother not only to the kids but to the adults. Everyone is dependent. Another contrast, parents invite the teacher out for drinks and Facebook it and the teacher still has her job the next day!! I am talking to you USA; the land that doesn’t believe teachers are people too.
So, I have been to a few recitals and they are sweet and adorable as they always are. A friend that is an adult; has been taking dance lessons. He has been practicing for a few years now. In true Italian fashion he invited me a couple of hours before it started to the spettacolo. I do like the word spettacolo, it means show but it makes me think of some death-defying feat that I would see at the circus. I love this word!
As well, I really wanted to go home. It was über hot day for June and I had been out all morning doing a photo shoot for a friend that is leaving Rome for good after three years here. I was spent but decided to support his show. So I went home,changed and again went out into the heat waiting on the bus , on a Saturday, which is so annoying, I have a better chance winning the lottery than one of the three buses by my house arriving on the weekend. I have a great dislike for the buses on the weekend. They are suppose to run…… key word SUPPOSE to yet somehow they become ghost on the weekends.
The show was at Teatro Brancaccio on via Merulana. This area is really trendy and nice. It has some great bars and is really close to Vittorio Emmanule metro stop and somewhat close to Termini (main metro /train stop in Rome). The teatro is really nice and beautiful. You can get chips, soda, popcorn and espresso at the concession stand. There are a lot of stage performances here, Louis Armstrong and the Beatles have played in this fairly intimate theater.
The show was misleading with time. It stared at 4 pm and finished at 8:30 and claimed to be two hours and a half. The dance studio where my friend practices puts on a show displaying all ages. Beginning with the children’s performances that took two and a half hours plus an intermission. I want to say that children are very cute when they are learning choreographic dance moves. They are always looking to the right side curtain where there dance teacher is telling them the dance moves. Second , I was a bit lost on watching young girls from 5 to 16 perform at least 15 dance numbers doing the same two-step continuously. I saw people walk out. I began to wonder how much the parents pay for their child to be at this dance school.
To make this show more eyebrow raising-picture it: pre-teen girls in the typical unitard bodysuit dancing the two-step to Don’t cry for me Argentina performed by Madonna, Miracles by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey and wait for it Talk Dirty to Me with Jason Derulo and 2Chainz explicit version. They played 2Chainz part three times!! If you don’t know it, which I didn’t, you will now:
Dos Cadenas, close to genius
Sold out arenas, you can suck my penis
Gilbert Arenas, guns on deck
Chest to chest, tongue on neck
International oral sex
Every picture I take, I pose a threat
Bought a jet, what do you expect?
Her pussy’s so good I bought her a pet
Anyway, every day I’m trying to get to it
Got her saved in my phone under “Big Booty”
Anyway, every day I’m trying to get to it
Got her saved in my phone under “Big Booty”
Yep! this happened.
I was falling asleep when I heard “you can suck my penis”. I thought I was having a weird delusion but nope this was happening. To make in even more inappropriate. The instructor, who is a really beautiful, petite, blond lady with a six-pack abs; came on stage did a belly dance routine with a mature appeal while the girls tied the belly dancing hip wrap on and then proceeded to have the girls do a sexy dance , booty shake , sexy spin , with the pointed toe body dip. Not once but several times and then they turned their backs to the audience and did a booty dance , with a stripper pop-lock-drop. I was looking around to see if I was the only one seeing this. I saw some people looking lost and uncertain on how they should responded and other on their phone checking Facebook.
When they finally finished this number a few people applauded. I want to believe they had no idea what the lyrics were to this song that their little angels just stripper danced to it. I want to believe the dance instructor thought the rhythm was great and bypass knowing what the song was saying. I want to believe I was the only one who saw and heard it. Yet, during intermission I heard a few people at the concession stand questioning what they just saw.
After this big number the rest of the children’s show was quite mellow , they did another inappropriate dance for I’m a Good Girl from Burlesque, otherwise they stuck to normal kid stuff with a two-step. It was something I never expected. Compared to the other kids shows I have seen in Rome and in the States, I expected cute and adorable without awkward dance numbers.
I was extremely happy the kids portion was over. I don’t think I could have stayed for another Burlesque-kid performance. Finally the adult show happened. When my friend finally performanced; I was on my second macchiato to stay awake in four hours. They did the tango, a lot. It was nice. I realized I dislike choreographic dance. I will stick to nonsense dance moves. I have no patience to learn. My friend has been driving everyone crazy about his dance practice. He has been going twice a week for countless months. I am not sure what he did but we watched, we cheered and we congratulated after the show.
I grew up watching Cheers. I have always like the idea of having a bar that was similiar to home. Although, if home is like a bar that is still very questionable, possible troubling yet …it could be nice….. maybe. Back to the bar. I want a bar to call my own, the people know me, telepathically know my drink order and is a chill place. I am not a big drinker just have my own bar, where everybody knows my name and their always glad I came…most of the time at least. When I think like this I always rememeber when Norm steps into the bar and they all say “NORM”!! , that to me is kudos yet again troubling yet it rocks. In the States I frequent some bars and I was getting the Cheers feel. It was nice , just not frequent enough.
Now, I live in Roma, Garbatella to be exact. I have a bar! Bars here are not just for night life, but all times of the day life. In the morning, they have fresh cornettos , slightly warm and delicious. Here a cornetto is more than just a croissant looking pastry, but a variety of pastries filled with all kinds of surprise yummy goodness or without; sprinkled with cocoa, glazed or not. They have variety, I have big eyes so I have tried just about everything. Note: there is also Cornetto the ice cream, very popular on-the-go treat about a one euro and fifty. My bar is lovely. I walk in they know my morning drink ; caffè macchiato. It is ready by the time I reach the counter. I am then greeted with a smile and chocolates by my lovely bald headed bartender ,who wants to date me. By midday the cornettos disappear and are replaced with cold and colorful gelati and little pastries. They also serve simple and tasty lunchtime choices. Then to end the day its a free for all of choices including aperitivo. I like my bar they know my name, they know my drinks, they are always happy to see me despite my horrible Italian.
When people ask me about appetizers in the states , I say peanuts and hot wings on a good day, but a full on meal is reserved for all you can eat buffets. They find interesting that a bar in the States is not like here. The bar is the foundation of every neighborhood here. practically every corner has a bar. The bar is natural. It took my family a bit to understand when I said I was at the bar , I wasn’t just drinking myself into a stupor. My mom was getting nerve, now she has eased up on the idea of me always being in a bar. ( Love you MOM) !!
I must say America is slacking when it comes to aperitivo; appertizers. In many different bars, you pay maybe 9-12 euros ( 12-15 USA) depending on the zone( area) and it’s an amazing feast of food from 7-9pm, all you have to do is buy a drink. The food choices also depend on the type of bar. For instance, some bars only serve bruschetta ( bru-sKe- ta), Americans we say it wrong ( bru-She-ta) with tomatoes, olives, and chips. While others give you mini sandwiches, olives, brushcetta with different topping, fresh meats, cheese and fruit. And the ultiimate places to do aperitivo serve you dinner. At Caffe Letteriario they cook you a full on meal, you name it , it is there and it’s all you can eat plus desert and all the others foods I listed. It ‘s a great way to eat on a budget or when you want to eat a massive mix of foods without going home to cook after a long day. They place nice music and the place has a mellow atmosphere to it. Caffe Letterario is located in Ostiense, which a trendy area with out-the-box street art, contemporary style and lively night life.
Naurally, you will be in the center where all the sites are. There are a places that are good to have a meal on a budget without forgoing the European feeling. Now people say that places in the center are expensive. They are. When you walk in at random times that are not lunch or dinner , they charge you big. The key to eating is to go in during the lunch time or dinner time so that you can get the affordable rate. Tourist forget that by being in the center everything cost more and is outrageous. Restaurants and bars charge crazy prices because they know tourist don’t know about the lunch , dinner buffet. So, if you go in before 1pm and order a cappuccino it will cost you close to 5 euros, it’s business not personal. However, if you went during the lunch time special the same cappuccino comes with an endless meal.
Bulldog Inn, it’s English friendly and pub style. A hot spot to watch sports. They have an amazing variety of choices for lunch and dinner. At lunch you pay 9 euros all you can eat and the drink is extra , evening time the drink is included in the price.
Another place that is worth visiting is La. Vi Latteria & Vino off via del Corso , it have a hip, posh atmosphere yet it is very laid back place in the heart of the city. They serve a very nice buffet style lunch that is affordable, otherwise it can be expensive. Another place to eat in the center is near the Spanish Steps, is Il Pastificio on via del Croce. this place is far from fancy -it’s simple and clean. No chairs no fancy anything, in fact it’s plastic plates and cups , eat on a shelf enjoying amazing pasta for 4 euros including house vino (upon request ) and water. This place gives you a hearty helping of pasta that at a fancy restaurant would cost maybe 10-16 euros. Pastifico usually has a long line between 1-3 pm because this where many Romans go on their lunch break. I have been told they do this also around 5-7 but I haven’t tried in the evening, so I cannot verify. To make life easier at Pastifico bring exact change.
There you have it. Some tips on place to go when in Rome and you are hungry. If you want to do the Bella Notte moment from Lady and the Tramp, don’t act a fool when the conto(bill) arrives and you feel that’s it’s too much, pay it and take a stroll, look into your lovers eyes and if no lover eat a gelato.