n i g h t i n g a l e s h i r a z / blog
Romantic Hotel, indeed.

october 2017
september 2017
august 2017
july 2017
june 2017
march 2017
february 2017
january 2017
november 2016
october 2016
september 2016
august 2016
july 2016
june 2016
may 2016
april 2016
march 2016
february 2016
december 2015
november 2015
october 2015
september 2015
may 2015
march 2015
february 2015
january 2015
december 2014
november 2014
october 2014
september 2014
august 2014
may 2014
april 2014
march 2014
february 2014
*april 2013
*march 2013
*february 2013
*january 2013
*december 2012
*november 2012
*october 2012
*september 2012
*july 2012
*october 2011
*september 2011
*august 2011
*july 2011
*june 2011
*may 2011
april 2011
march 2011
april 2010
march 2010
february 2010
january 2010
december 2009
november 2009
september 2009
june 2009
may 2009
february 2009
january 2009
december 2008
october 2008
september 2008
august 2008
july 2008
june 2008
may 2008
april 2008
january 2008
december 2007
november 2007
october 2007
september 2007
august 2007
july 2007
june 2007
may 2007
april 2007
march 2007
february 2007
january 2007
december 2006
november 2006
october 2006
september 2006
august 2006
july 2006
june 2006
may 2006
april 2006
march 2006
february 2006
january 2006
december 2005
november 2005
october 2005
september 2005
august 2005
july 2005
june 2005
may 2005
april 2005
march 2005
february 2005
january 2005
december 2004
november 2004
october 2004
september 2004
august 2004
july 2004
june 2004
may 2004
april 2004
march 2004
february 2004
january 2004
december 2003
june 2003
april 2003
march 2003
 
a thousand words.

For the last day of Travel Writing class, I asked each of the students to prepare a photo essay presentation based on their time in Rome, and/or on the trips and travels they'd done during the semester.  The idea was to say something with pictures.  The "something" could be a story in the more traditional "sequential" sense, or it could be a list-poem -- a litany.  I used the analogy within so many card games (rummy, etc.), where the goal is to have either a "set" of three aces from different suits (so, several-of-a-kind -- a run-through of fountains, or churchfronts, or even market veggies); or to have a "sequence" of cards from the same suit -- a jack of spades, a queen of spades, a king of spades (like showing the Spanish Steps through all hours and all seasons, or a story in pictures of a bus ride through the centro storico).

To help, I went berry-picking through my Bookmarks folder (oh-so-fittingly also known as Favorites...) to compile a "here's an idea of what i'm looking for" list.  All caveats on teacherly-tone should be considered emptored...

1 - Secret Rome
Click on one of the categories at left (Fountains, Backstreets, etc.) to get an idea of how he's built themes and grouped pictures to form "sets" within them...

2 - Delicious Days Photography
Same approach.  Click on the themes to see grouped sets...

3 - The New Yorker - Audio Slide Show of Dubai "Castles in the Sand"
This is an excellent example of photo essay PLUS / narrative / presentation.  Definitely one to "aspire" to...

4 - New York Times - The Bounty of Rome
As shown in class -- food in Rome...  Note that this is another example of audio + photos, and should give any would-be photo-essay presenter a sense of how to talk through your own pictures in class.

5 - Cameron Moll
The video we tried to see in class.  Definitely fun to watch...

6 - LA Times
Another, more "general" photo essay we saw in class.  Possibly a little too general...

7 - New York Times - Flight Patterns
Excellent, and an extreme example of how far you can take this medium (i.e. how far *away* you can take it from the "hey-come-look-at-my-holiday-pictures" / "family-slideshow-in-the-basement" version...)  Click on "Multimedia - Interactive Feature - Crowded Skies Over Rome" or try going directly to this page

8 - Portuguese Dogs in Lisbon
A very simple example, of simplicity.  sometimes it's all you need...

i love that i get to teach this stuff.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Marco Aurelio, Roma]
[sabato 30 maggio 2009 ore 17:17:23] []

what will you do if you don't get this job.

i will write a book.  or three.
i will learn to play the piano, i will (at last) apprentice myself to a car mechanic, and i will do that book collection for Bambino Gesù, the one i have been planning all these months.
i will do my Master's, and i will teach till my heart is full of it, and i will proofread The American to perfection.
i will learn to make butter chicken; i will learn to tango, and i will teach my cat to jump through a coathanger.
i will be inspired.
i will be where i am wanted.  thanks very much.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Marco Aurelio, Roma]
[lunedì 25 maggio 2009 ore 22:44:47] []

x-ness.

ten past ten, and a most excellent peach.  it sets me off.

i remember that your daughter insists on eating underripe fruit.  you try to explain to her, that the peach with the give; it will be sweeter.  but she will not listen, and you shake your head.
we end up having to keep the good stuff for ourselves.

i remember that picture.  you are standing over your mother, all six-foot-something of you, above this tininess -- long-haired and strong-hearted, over-towered and so completely not over-powered.  from the way you describe it, in my mind, her face is upturned and indignant (and all the more indignant, at having to be upturned)  -- a shaken fist in the glint of fire-mother eyes.
and you love this picture.

i remember your grandmother's grave in Lucignano.  i remember the yellow flowers.

i remember that your sister's name is Renée.

so many charms in the jewelbox of memories.
some trinkets.  some gems.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Marco Aurelio, Roma]
[lunedì 25 maggio 2009 ore 22:10:35] []

text-to-self.

at the Anglo-American bookstore, i let my fingers dance along the spines of strange and wonderful books -- Eat, Memory: Great Writers at the Table: A Collection of Essays from the New York Times; How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read; and a book whose name i cannot remember, that had a paragraph on Henry James:

On occasions, however, he would be not only accurate but concise.  I met him at a dinner-party once, shortly before the production of a play of his, and his hostess asked him if he did not find rehearsals a great strain.  To which he replied: 'I have been sipping the -- er -- cup of Detachment.'

No phrase could be a more perfect description of the state of mind to which most dramatists find themselves reduced at a certain stage of rehearsals.
*

*there was more later, when i Googled:
In conversation he was meticulously (no other adverb is so appropriate) careful to convey his precise meaning, so that his remarks became a sort of Chinese nest of parentheses; it took him some time to arrive at his point but he always reached it, and it was always well worth waiting for.

i allow myself Eliot, and i allow myself Frank O'Hara's slim and square Lunch Poems.  how simple are the things you want from the day: a perfect porchetta sandwich, and two small books of poetry.

***

afterwards, there is the coven of streets between del Corso and the Pantheon.

on via dei Prefetti a sign proclaims (in upper case), the entrance to the Provincia di Roma's "PALAZZO INCONTRO."  also known (according to at least one of the eight translations underneath), as the "ENCOUNTER PALACE."

the smell of Marsiglia soap, despite my stuffy nose.  i think of the word 'despite,' and of Humpty Dumpty, making his words work extra hard for him.

the pictures within pictures, of an old woman who leans a little as she sketches something on a swatch of tracing paper, among so many wooden slats, so many waterclors in and out of their dusty painting-frames.  there is something about all this carved-and-gilded goldenwood, all these unframed frames and pictureless paintings.  they lean here and there against each other, you see through the empty space they bracket, you see more rectangles, more empty space that's been framed and rendered suddenly baroque.  and there is the old woman who leans a little as she sketches something on a swatch of tracing paper; the other end of the sheet curls at her feet among so many wooden slats.  the door of the bottega is closed, but the window onto the street is floor-to-ceiling and side-to-side.  and it is framed in golden light.

at the end of Via d'Ascanio, the young macellaio stands under the Banca di Roma letters.  a nicotine break, a telephone break.  "A che altezza sei?"

suddenly the coven unwinds into the unadulterated sunlight of Via della Scrofa.  at Volpetti, a brick of black bread at three euro ninety, and the smell of something baking.  something that has almonds in it.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Marco Aurelio, Roma]
[domenica 10 maggio 2009 ore 15:02:54] []