Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: anna

Different pictures

In Italian I make a picture (‘faccio una foto‘, almost a creation that we build) or we snap it (‘ho scattato una foto‘ and it literally took an instant). In French, like in English, I take a picture (‘je prends une photographie‘ – almost an egoistic gesture). In Spanish (‘saco una fotografia‘) and in Greek (‘βγάζω μια φωτογραφία‘) I take out a picture: maybe a memory of when there was still a film that you had to extract from the camera? In German (‘ein Foto aufnehmen/machen‘) I take up a picture, as if it was a flower hanging there for me.

Anna nella neve

Jaja

In questo periodo chiuso in casa mi sono divertito a recuperare mentalmente le immagini che associo alla primavera.

La primavera di quando ero bambino erano le pedalate in bicicletta. Quelle serali, vicino al Convento delle Laste, con alcuni ragazzi della zona. E quelle del fine settimana con mamma, papà, e Anna. Fiumi, torrenti, parchi, ciclabili, strade sterrate, tra il Trentino, l’Alto Adige, e il Veneto. Era il periodo del Giro d’Italia, che seguivo con Stefano e con papà. La sera guardavamo il Processo alla Tappa: le giornate si allungavano visibilmente ed i commentatori parlavano in maglietta o camicia dalle piazze italiane, bellissime, al crepuscolo. (Francesca, che vive a Londra ed è rientrata a Trento per il lock-down, mi ha scritto da poco che “la primavera italiana è meravigliosa ed è forse la cosa che all’estero mi manca di più“). Io simpatizzavo per i ciclisti stranieri, chissà perché. Laurent Jalabert e Pavel Tonkov. Feci disperare mio zio Paolo: mi promise di comprarmi la maglietta di un ciclista, probabilmente convinto che gli chiedessi quella di Pantani. Io invece volevo quella di Tonkov e lui dovette andare a cercarla in un magazzino di Roma. La conservo e la metto ancora, ogni tanto.

Di quelle pedalate ricordo anche gli orribili pantaloncini arancioni aderenti e gli eccentrici calzettoni bianchi, che amavo portare fino a sopra il polpaccio per emulare i calciatori. Erano calzettoni della Nik, con la famosa freccia capovolta all’ingiù: i miei li compravano da alcuni ragazzi che li vendevano porta a porta.

Crescendo, la primavera ha assunto altre forme. Ci sono state quelle del venticinque aprile, quella irlandese, quella passata al lago di Caldonazzo per preparare le Facoltiadi; quella canadese (vissuta un pò a metà, per dire il vero); e, più recentemente, anche quelle toscane, spagnole, e svizzere in un colpo solo. Però quella che ricordo in maniera più vivida è la primavera vissuta a Bruxelles nel 2013, con Mindo, Giulia, Moe, Roberto, Giovanni, Alessandro, Vaida. Penso spesso ai parchi (Cinquantenaire, Bois de la Cambre, un altro parco dove andai con Giovanni, Giulia, Diletta, Katharina e Valentina, ma non ricordo il nome), alla gita fuori porta a La Hulpe, alla scappatella a Dusseldorf, alla gara a Uccle, alle birre nelle piccole piazze vicino a Saint Boniface.

ps: il titolo di questo post è il soprannome di Jalabert, Jaja, che nello slang francese vuol dire anche goccetto.

Grüne Papeterie

Shortly after NYE in Bordeaux, Thomas and I rejoined in Berlin. He was traveling from the South-West of Europe all the way up North to Copenhagen. We spent three days around Kreuzberg together with Anna and Felix (Jonas also made an impromptu appearance). It was grey and rainy, but we had a jolly good time.

If you are in the area between Kottbusser Tor and Schesisches, then go to Kvartira 62 for some vodka with pickles before dinner; Gong Gan for Korean bowls with Lego or Schwiliko for Georgian sources made with herbal roots; then head to die Kommune for Turbo Mate and finally visit the Hotel, where you can play team-chess until 2:30AM.  From there, we suggest you move to Tresor: apparently the bouncers have a very loose policy and let everybody in (Alas, we were not). Also, buy some drawing material at die Grüne Papeterie before they close it down and then go for a walk around the Landwehr Canal: you might bump into something that strikes you as beautiful. If you have only one museum to pick, then my informed choice would be die Berlinische Galerie – Anna and I were lucky and found a Bauhaus exhibition there.

On one of the pages of my paper I scribbled a little poem: “Silenzio / Improvviso battito d’ali / Uno stormo si leva nel cielo azzurro / Sferragliamento su rotaia“. Then I wrote down a list of ‘Things that make me feel I am in Berlin‘: candles, the s-bahn passing above your head, sneakers, musicians in the street, graffiti, bars that are more like apartments with open doors, a lot of queer and postcolonial books, smell of roasted meat when walking on the street.

2020: resolutions

Start and finish one cross country skiing race. Free ride on the mountains. Eat chocolate. Remember. Get a sketchbook. Polish up the archive of pictures taken over the last few years. Learn some German. Do some interviews for my research. Experiment with French cuisine in Jules Joffrin. Spend a week in Berlin with Arianna, Anna, Felix, Jonas. Update the blog regularly. Write letters. Organise something with Giacomo and Francesco. Volunteer. Hike on the mountains (via ferrata) with Arianna, Giallu, Nicco, other friends and family. Race a gran fondo. Spend time with Camilla and Isabella. Relaunch the Gingerello s.p.a. Go sailing. Play tennis.  Spend new year’s eve with the Canadians in Canada.

Natale in montagna

The photo with the horses (all the pretty horses) makes me think of a random scene from War and Peace, with the army resting in the aftermath of a gruesome battle.

 

Cavalese, 2019.

2018: resolutions

Go ski touring in Switzerland. Finish the Ph.D. in style. Improve my French. Memorise twelve poems: one per month. Cook. Read one, big classic of Russian literature. Reunite Dani, Jonas and Tosan. Collect whiskey and photography books. Go sailing. Avoid developing an addiction for the pipe. Continue fencing and playing tennis. Race with the bike. Drink alcohol with Anna, visit Tirana. Hike with my parents, with Giallu, with Nicco. Travel outside Europe, meet Thomas. Spend some days with the Canadians, possibly in Istanbul. Get married. Nervous laugh: I was kidding on that last one.

On the front line

One month ago Anna and I went to see an exhibition at Palazzo Madama in Torino. This is a deeply moving collection of photographies that invites all of us to move away from our comfortable reality through the work of women reporters documenting war zones in Egypt, Syria, Congo, Libia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and more.

The photographers included in the exhibition are Linda Dorigo, Virginie Nguyen Hoang, Jodi Hilton, Andreja Restek, Annabell Van den Berghe, Laurence Geai, Capucine Granier-Deferre, Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi, Matilde Gattoni, Shelly Kittleson, Maysun, Alison Baskerville, Monique Jaques, and Camille Lepage.

The exhibition will be open until the 16 of January.

Dutching

Pédaler avec charme

I have received a few messages from readers complaining for the abrupt interruption of publications on this blog. To be honest, it is mainly relatives worried about my health – a reasonable concern in light of recent events and previously expounded theories. Unlike my blog and Aston Villa, I am still doing fine. In the last few weeks I have been traveling. Let me sum up so I myself can keep track.

First off to Spain. It is a shame I do not have a good camera, because there are so many vivid imagies I should have captured. Instead I only took a picture of a book which I found in a museum of photography. I thought it was funny that it appeared randomly open on a picture of South Tyrollean valleys. Anyways. I was in Madrid for work and I stayed in a room in Lavapies, arguably one of the city’s most vibrant, alternative, and popular neighbourhoods. My stay was courtesy of Pedro, whom I hope to meet soon. Then down to Sevilla, also for work: I could barely appreciate La Giralda, el Alcazar, la Torre del Oro, el Guadalquivir, which I had already seen in 2009 in a torrid day at around 45° when I was living in Granada with Anna. This time my mind was closed, much more closed than it used to be, so I only had a remote glimpse of the exotism, the monuments, the women, the fiestas. As a sentence written in a lost book, todos hellos parecian confabulates para arrastrar a los centavos mas alla de lo que los limited que podian proportioner una domesticate imagination.

Then back to Florence. Unfortunately I had to cancel my participation to the Florence Gran Fondo which took place today (sic), because I am away. However, I still managed to go on a couple of long rides with Giallu and Bjorn. It is probably safe to assume that I have ridden more kilometres in 2016 than in the previous three years combined. And it has become somehow addictive.

Cycling is really becoming a thing for me. I am spending too much money buying fancy outfits, too much time watching highlights of professional races, too much energy studying stories of old champions.

The video above is about the story of a Swiss rider, Hugo Koblet. And it is probably fitting, since I just moved to Neuchâtel to work on my PhD dissertation – hint: that’s why I had to miss today’s Gran Fondo in Florence. Here, again, I have to thank Jean-Thomas, who made my stay possible and provided such gorgeous looks on the lake.