venice

by sam on 10/12/2014

It was somewhat of an impulse vacation, when I realized that if I didn’t take some time off soon, I wasn’t going to get a break until the end of the year because of the way some work projects were shaking out, so I put in for some time and decided, rather impassively based on some good deal opportunities on Expedia, to go to Venice for the week. I got back last weekend, but with the jet lag and the catching up with work and other stuff, I finally got to sit down and sort through photos this weekend.

The way the trip worked out, I really only spent four full days in Venice. I landed on Sunday mid-day, and flew out again on Friday afternoon, leaving Monday through Thursday as the days to truly wander around and soak in the atmosphere. I largely avoided the whole Clooney wedding kerfuffle (arriving after the main event, and yes, I planned my trip before that whole mess was even announced), but the tourist crowds in general were not avoidable.

By day then… (if you click on the thumbnails, you can click through all of the photos from the trip without having to exit)

Sunday and Monday: Some arrival shots, my hotel was situated right on the Grand Canal on the Dorsoduro side across from San Marco, so you could sit in the front lounge/bar and just drink cocktails and soak in the view. I did this a lot. On Monday, my original plan was to go to the architecture biennale, but apparently it’s closed on Mondays, so I recalculated and spent Monday at San Marco, visiting the museums (Museo Correr and the Doge’s Palace) and generally wandering around the area.

Tuesday: Second and more successful attempt to head over to the architecture biennale, curated by Rem Koolhas and held at the Venice Arsenale. It was mostly video installations, which doesn’t really lend itself to photography, and I didn’t spend a lot of time in the country pavilions at the end, choosing instead to grab some lunch and then head up the grand canal via vaporetto (where I got a coveted seat on the back deck of the boat) to the jewish ghetto for a late afternoon tour of the synagogues – again, no pictures allowed inside, but the tiny synagogues built secretly into the top floors of the houses here are a marked contrast from the luxury of San Marco. A definite must-see if you’re ever in Venice. The word “ghetto” actually derives from this tiny island, which was originally an italian “gheto”, or foundry, and which is where the original jews of venice were segregated because they could be walled off and locked in at night during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Wednesday: it was pouring rain on Wednesday, so I decided to make this my lazy day. I slept in and then headed over to the Peggy Guggenheim collection, which was near my hotel. Not a lot of pictures, because I generally don’t think photographs of art do any justice to the art itself.

Thursday: My last full day, which was beautiful again, I decided to just take a lengthy walk, starting in San Marco and heading back up towards and past the Rialto Bridge, wandering in and out of side streets and canals and basically getting lost (although you can never get really lost in venice, because you’re never that far from the Grand Canal). Made my way back for a late afternoon lunch near L’Accademia Bridge, the “other” bridge that crosses the Grand Canal, and then finally went back to San Marco for the ultimate in tourist trap dinners, but had a total blast listening to the band and just generally enjoying the piazza, wine, and atmosphere.

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Happy fourth!?

by sam on 07/4/2014

I’ve been a bit down lately about my status as a second class citizen since the recent Supreme Court decisions, and have been thinking about tangible things I can do to at least make myself feel like I’m doing something, even if it amounts to spitting in the wind.

In the meantime though, my family is celebrating a very rain-sodden July 4th in the Berkshires and our barbecue got waylaid by the incessant rain. So…flag, and and barbecue trimmings being cooked in the kitchen.

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philly

by sam on 06/5/2014

The weekend before Memorial Day was my law school reunion. 15 years (gasp!). It was tons of fun, and compared to last time, much less anxiety-inducing (I had gotten laid off from my job only three months before my 10-year reunion, so the “what are you doing now” questions were a little awkward). I didn’t take many pictures of the festivities, because I was having too much fun in the enjoyment of them, but Saturday morning I walked up to the new Barnes Foundation and took a few shots.

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snow day (2014 edition)

by sam on 01/3/2014

Today is officially the last day of my winter vacation. Sure, there’s still the weekend, but I (almost) always get the weekend off, so it doesn’t really feel like it counts in the same way. This last day of leisure coincided quite well with this year’s giant snowstorm. I refuse to call it Hercules, because naming snowstorms is stupid. My week-and-a-half off consisted of cleaning out my closets, long-scheduled doctor’s appointments, discovering that my fridge died (with the consequent throwing out all my food, spending an entire day waiting for the repair guy, and buying all new food), and finding out that our family’s beloved jack russell terrier, Ollie, passed away.

But I got to sleep late, so that’s…something. In any event, common sense lost the battle this morning and I headed over to central park and bethesda fountain for some picture taking. I don’t know if I was too early or too late (or the kids had more common sense than me), but there was a distinct lack of sledding kids compared to years past. I’m still working the chill out of my face and hands.

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the last stupid idea of 2013

by sam on 12/31/2013

I still have a few hours, but my plan to not leave my apartment (except for maybe CPW fireworks) again this year will probably mitigate any attempt to top the stupid idea I had this morning, namely, to take a photo walk down broadway. on new year’s eve. needless to say, my plan got a bit stymied by the fact that I basically walked into the developing morass that is times square. It was still pretty early in the day, so instead of times square being filled with people, the side streets were filled with people who were waiting on line for hours in order to be corralled into the actual times square at what the police deemed to be the appropriate moment. In any event, here are a few final pics for the year. Side note: It was really freaking cold out today.

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