“Papaya” – Urszula Dudziak
This is another short story from a foray out of home. This time, It’s been a weekend in Milan. It feels strange to think about it at times, but I’ve spent the longest period of my life there, and If I really had to say where my home is, it would probably be Milan. This is one of the first shots made, and the striking thing is how classy this concierge is – even the shoes are fashionable.
Most people in Italy, and in Milan in particular, are fashionable by default and you really notice this if you come to see the place directly from abroad.
It was the weekend of Monaco Grand Prix at the end of May, and we fled from home to avoid the mess and noise. The spring sun was playing stiletto games in Corso Monforte.
The taste for cultural exuberance speaks through the carefully matched pieces of wardrobe sported by this gentleman, on a stroll in the shade of Via Sforza.
To my surprise, a centrally located shop “Ravizza Sport” a traditional mecca of high shelf sports and casual wear and hunting and fishing apparel, had to double as a caffe’ in order to face the reality of a shrinking balance sheet. I just hope, that the famous “Hoepli” library, situated just a few meters away will not need to follow suit.
Piazza Duomo is the fulcrum of life in Milan, and is always full of people, many discussing animately about politics. When people speak in Italy, you can notice this easily, as they also speak with their gestures, as if they talked to the deaf.
A man struggles with his newspaper while seated in front of Palazzo Reale, like Buster Keaton in one of his silent movies.
In an old song from 1965, Memo Remigi was describing how strange it was to fall in love in “this impossible place” – Milano. Milan, far from being “impossible” is now covered by a heavy cap of the current crisis, and maybe it is precisely because of it, why falling in love there could be a great way to survive.
A couple of young Dutch tourists were sipping their early aperitif at the adjacent table of Caffe’ San Carlo, where we went to revive the taste of top quality local ice cream and observe people rolling through Corso Vittorio Emmanuele.
The street fountain in Piazza XXV Aprile was attracting people in need for a refreshing, while I couldn’t help noticing the trash and lack of maintenance.
Finally, “Eataly” opened doors also in Milan, in the building once hosting “Teatro Smeraldo”. I approve the novelty. It’s not that Italian theatre is bad, but to be completely frank, theaters are everywhere, but this level of food exists only in Italy.
Corso Como, with its Numero 10 has been an emerging place for the local movida for some time. I was mainly attracted to the photo exhibitions and fantastic photo library hosted in “Galleria Carla Sozzani”, but now the street has has gotten a fresh boost.
Nothing can exist without a close relation to food in Italy, and this place is not an exception.
Corso como has become now the approach to a whole new district called Porta Nuova, filled with daring architecture immersed in a park.
The building you can see at the back, is called “Vertical forest”, from a design of Stefano Boeri, who imagined a forest embracing the tall building along all the height, rather than just at the base. I wonder what will happen when the trees grow big.
A selfie to establish a sense of proportion with the new Unicredit skyscraper.
I couldn’t make this post complete without some pictures of dogs. Via Solferino.
We quickly made friends with this beautiful Golden Retriever. Corso Vittorio Emmanuele.
This Jack Russell Terrier had a perfectly symmetrical brown patch dividing the head in half. Corso Garibaldi.
When I was driving back to Monaco with my eyes filled with these images from the streets of Milan, I was full of mixed feelings, freshly renewed taste for milanese life, and some unease in my throat, as if it were filled with gritty sand.
“Garganta Con Arena” (Throat with sand) – Diego El Cigala
– I dedicate this song to Beatrice – a recently met musician who lives in Nice and likes the tango.
This is a quick flash from my short stint to Cannes at the beginning of summer. My wife wanted to buy some clothes, and Cannes is an appealing place for doing this, with its multitude of boutiques placed long a couple of streets parallel to the beach.
The local equivalent of an evergreen shot of two men carrying a mirror are two girls carrying a scale. They probably needed to fix some shop window display.
It’s hard not to spot numerous relaxed, well dressed and good looking women out and about in Cannes – after all it is a typical high flying Cote d’Azur holiday destination.
As it was only a half day excursion and I wanted to stay light with the equipment, I just took an M7 with a 35mm Summaron, so there was often the need to shorten the distance from my subjects by shooting from the hip on the hyperfocal, and the verticals sometimes suffered.
This is another example of what you can get shooting from the waist level – the lady noticed as I passed by that I was observing her, but at that point I released the shutter and the outcome feels like she is looking above me.
The series would not be complete without the usual dog shot. This gentleman kindly agreed to pose.
“Strollin’ “ – Emily Remler
“Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay” – Otis Redding
“Alone Together” – Kenny Dorham
“Out Of This World” – Ted Rosenthal Trio
“Lush Life” – Bobby Timmons Trio
“Baubles Bangles And Beads” – Zoot Sims
“Interplay” – Bill Evans
“Midnight Sun” – Diana Krall