Thursday, June 03, 2004

Zell; we are in France now and with a new computer keyboqrd: They have reversed the A with the Q and the Z with the W, and moved the M way over to the right, changing some other letters as well. So, please overlook q few typos as I get used to this...

We safely arrived in Paris after an 17 hour bus ride from Venice, talk about tired bones. But, we now have an apartment. For those of you who have not been sensory-deprived, our apartment is BIG -- four rooms -- a dining room, a tiny kitchen just big enough for one person, and a living room with TV (only channels in French) and stereo (classical music, jazz, blues, with French commentary), and a bedroom of our very own. We can be in different rooms at the same time. And I'll be cooking for the first time since January;

Whew, getting used to this new keyboard will take some time. It,s touch typing all over again:

Our first day in Paris felt like we were still in Venice -- what an unforgettable experience Venice was. Imagine picturesque old mansions from the turn of the century right next to the canals, and I can report, the canals in Venice are not smelly, though I learned that Lord Byron took a daily swim in the Grand Canal; something I wouldn't recommend. Everywhere we walked was beautiful, sunny skies, lots and lots of tourists; friendly people, and an old culture built on hundreds and hundreds of years of trading in the Mediterranean; Venice was the center of the world for nearly 800 years, even sidetracking the 4th Crusade to attack Constantinople. What a place for intrigue. St Mark's Cathedral was breathtaking for its gold edged mosaics everywhere, some (incredibly expressive) from the 12th Century. There's also a wild story about how 2 Venetian traders swiped St. Mark's body from Constantinople during a violent thunderstorm, to bring it home to Venice. I also have a renewed appreciation for Tintoretto. If you can, go to Mark Hardin's Artchives online to see some of the paintings he painted for the School of San Rocco. He won the competition at first simply by bringing a painting to the school and giving it to them, saying pay me whatever you wish. They loved his work and decided to give him 100 ducats a year for the rest of his life, in exchange for so many paintings. The result is a school filled with monumental paintings that, since they were all painted by the same person; have a certain harmony qnd consistency. His piety, innovation, and simply great art are apparent with every line.

And, now we're in Paris. Today we begin the Louvre -- 432 rooms full of art. I think we will need more than one visit.


PS Check out the link at the right hand corner for more on Tintoretto; I couldn't resist posting one link on this great artist.

No comments: