Last Day in Milan

Last Day in Milan

Final Day in Milan

July 31, 2017

The last full day in Milan was casual, so this will be a casual and short post to get us to the transition, and maybe get caught up in real time!

Rita did some shopping while I stayed home and luxuriously basked in the glow of Netflix for two episodes of the latest season of Orange is the New Black. I was happy to see that at least one creature comfort still works on this side of the world. I still can’t figure out if people here get to watch Game of Thrones or not… I must do some research. Any help is appreciated (PM Me!)

Then, when she returned, it was my turn to go on a mission to print our bus ticket for the airport. I found the print shop easily, and even without any language skills, I was able to make the transaction. Then I tried buying some shirts at a few fashion shops, but a fat American is not built for Italian style. Even the XXL sized shirts were pretty tight. My goal is to fit into an Italian shirt next time I visit. I am guessing Latvian clothing won’t be much more forgiving.

The door is three inches too short.

I just wanted to show you the door that I had to enter each time we walked into our courtyard. For some reason, the top is shorter than I am, so on many occasions I would scrape my head. I don’t know why my body has such trouble adjusting to overcoming these obstacles. In Riga, at Bruno’s house, his gate had a bar at foot level that you had to step over or risk tripping (Vitauts tripped and fell once). It seems impractical and inhumane to make entrances painful. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I think a door should be a pretty simple thing to walk through, right? Who’s with me?

If you have never shaved your head, you just don’t know that feeling of scraping bare flesh on wood. Ouch!

 

 

We were still negotiating our plans for Riga. How would we coordinate with Ansis? What to do what to do? So many pieces and parts, all turning in different directions. The cogs must click and clack.

Nebraska Steak

After some time, we decided to go out for a walk in the Italian night. Even on a Monday, people were still out and about at 22:00. We stopped at a cafe for some pizza and wine. They even had Nebraska steak on the menu… although I’m pretty sure the waiter said it wasn’t technically from Nebraska, but in the style of Nebraska. Go Big Red!

After a peaceful, poetic, fundamentally enjoyable meal finished off with tiramisu, we took one final walk around the neighborhood, both of us exhausted and dreading the early morning routine of packing and cleaning that must come at the end of any vacation.

I also had a Lowenbrau which was on tap at the restaurant. I took some time to explain the old commercial to Rita.

 

One final note…

In the photos below, you will see pictures of the stairs of our flat. I just couldn’t believe the craftsmanship that went into making a staircase for a simple apartment building. The steps are solid marble held in place by lovely decorated cast iron rails. Again, just like the attic trusses, I think about the labor that must have gone into quarrying the marble, cutting it, polishing, moving, placing, securing… it’s just incredible. But look… at least 100 years later, it is still beautiful. It isn’t falling apart. It doesn’t need updating. It will last for another century. Permanence and style—these are features of Italian (and much of Europe) architecture that make me envious.

Oh, and there is also a photo of some graffiti. I was a bit disappointed and concerned about all the graffiti we saw in Milan. It reminded me of my trip to Berlin in 2005. East Berlin was riddled with graffiti every where we went. Latvia also has it’s fair share depending on the neighborhood. Is it art or vandalism? What does it mean? It’s such an interesting urban form, but much of it is just ugly and not aesthetic at all.

And public art… so many statues everywhere you go… tributes to beauty and important people who represent the places. Plazas named for famous Italians… and whether you know the people or not, their names and deeds have been preserved and valued by the local people through this art. Stunning and historical and just wonderful. I hope Edgar can comment on the three graces. Which of them does he find most appealing?

Enjoy photos. 

 

 

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