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  • Rome

    Elswick Envoy

    Remember J.F. Sebastian’s little car in Blade Runner? The one not unlike a mini airport-shuttle van conversion, which Syd Mead had remodeled and re-shaped with his trademark rhomboid angles? I did…

  • Rome

    Vatican railway

    The other night, walking around the Vatican’s walled borders, we came across an overpass I’d noticed before, but never given any thought. There’s a flight of stairs leading to the top,…

  • photo of vatican easter mass, 2003

    Restaurant touts vs. fresh peas

    Walking back from the outdoor market at Andrea Doria, Azure and I were accosted by a restaurant tout. With folded red napkins over one arm, and laminated English-language picture menus tucked…

  • Rome

    Vespa conversations

    Watching vespas jockey for position as they barrel down the Lungotevere, one realizes these fearless riders are indeed the cultural (if not genetic) inheritants of the whole Ben-Hur business of chariot…

  • Rome

    Emelyn Story

    The most beautiful spot in Rome that I know is the Protestant Cemetary, a curiously silent and shaded place that’s kept hidden by the looming Cestius Pyramid, some crumbling remnants of…

  • Rome

    Da Cesare roma

    Hostaria ‘da Cesare’ is Rome’s equivalent to SF’s ‘Tadich Grill’ – a restaurant oddly immune to time, monumental certainly, but too slammed with customers to bother acting chic. The waiters here…

  • Pasticceria Valzani SNC

    Pasticceria Valzani chocolate eggs

    We picked up a big chocolate egg today, from my favorite candy shop in town, cioccolateria Valzani, a slightly-worn mom-and-pop affair (well, grandmom-and-pop, these days) tucked away on Via del Moro,…

  • antenna picture

    Alternate programming

    Came across a truly strange artifact on TV last night, while taking a breather from war coverage on RAI: the ‘Whacketts’ episode of Max Headroom, a now-quaint cyberpunk TV series from…