Capodimonte Museum, Naples

Guido Reni, Atalanta and Ippomene.  c. 1625

Guido Reni, Atalanta and Ippomene. c. 1625

The same day we visited the National Archaeological Museum we went up the hills of Naples to the Capodimonte Museum.  We were on the hunt for a Caravaggio but also to see another gem of a museum.  I was so excited when we came upon the Guido Reni painting of Atalanta and Ippomene.  Why?  Because it is the cover illustration for Richard E. Spear’s book on Reni, The Divine Guido: Religion, Sex, Money and Art in the World of Guido Reni and Spear taught at my alma mater Oberlin.  Hurrah!  I was never aware of where the painting lived and to discover it just hanging on the wall was thrilling.

The whole museum is filled with great paintings and drawings.  If you have any interest in Michelangelo, Raphael, Masaccio, Botticelli, Perugino, Mantegna, Bellini, Jacopo de’Barberi, El Greco, Il Parmigianino, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Carracci, Goya, Francois Gerard, Angelika Kauffman, Elisabeth Vigee le Brun or Matteo di Giovanni, then you must visit Capodimonte.  Thank goodness for the royals, rich families and papacy for commissioning and buying art. More

Gimme ancient Greek Sandals

Love the Greek footwear

Love the Greek footwear, National Archaeological Museum of Naples

When you look at a massive marble statue you wonder how the artist conceived it.  How many sketches of a model in different poses were made?  Was a there a clay model?  How much polishing was required to get the marble just so? The question on my mind?  Are those sandals real or made up and why hasn’t any contemporary shoe designer made them yet?

These sculptures tower over you.  You look up trying to catch the subtleties and your eyes wander down and around ending at the feet.  The feet could have been bare, simple, strong Greek feet, but no there are these fantastic sandals.

More fabulous Greek footwear, National Archaeological Museum of Naples

More fabulous Greek footwear, National Archaeological Museum of Naples

Yes there are gladiator sandals today but nothing with this level of embellishment.  Naturally if sandals like these were real they would cost more than I could spend.   I’ll just watch “300” instead and admire the uh, sandals there.  Mmmhmmm.

 

National Archaeological Museum of Naples, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli

Farnese Hercules, c. 3rd century

Hercules from Baths of Caracalla, c. 3rd century CE

Oh hello.  Is winter over yet?  Is it time to come out of hibernation?  Here we are.  Let’s do this Naples thing!  Our first official day in Naples was spent at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.  It houses artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum and several Roman antiquities.  Being able to see bronzes and mosaics rescued from Pompeii before visiting there emphasized its glory once we got there later in the trip.  As we walked through the rooms of the museum reveling in the collection it was clear that this was the most important archaeological museum in Italy.  The Egyptian collection was not open since it was August and according to Cadillac only Americans work hard.  No matter. More

Naples in August

Via dei Tribunali, Naples

Via dei Tribunali, Naples

Let’s forget about the cold weather and remember the time a few months ago when I went to Naples, Italy for the first time.  This past Summer vacation was spent in Naples (5 days), then a small Aeolian island called Panarea (8 days), a few days (3) in Positano and finally 2 days in Rome to eat at a couple of favorites and see a fantastic exhibition of Luigi Ghirri photographs.  Panarea was my favorite part.  I love vacations but Panarea was better than anything I could have imagined.

Naples is a beautiful city packed with culture and a long, rich history.  The historic sites and buildings are not as perfectly packaged as Rome.  It is grittier and stranger than Rome.  In the New York Times Travel section Rachel Donadio was “Seduced by Naples.”  I can’t say that I was.  I was intrigued and puzzled but Venice seduced me more than Naples.  Perhaps Naples in the days before Pompeii was destroyed, or when the Bourbons ruled it as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, I may have been seduced. More

October, November and December Hot Guys with Baby Animals and Hot Priests

Thank to everyone for the repeat or first time visits. Nice to see someone out there is interested!  There is something about the last 3 months of the year that zip by faster than any other time of the year.  Time already speeds along but once Halloween comes it’s suddenly Thanksgiving, Christmas and a brand new year.  As a toast to the holidays here are our last 6 gentleman from our calendar saga.  No new advent calendar this year.  Boo!

October 2013 Hot Guy with Baby Animal

October 2013 Hot Guy with Baby Animal

I’m tempted to cut October’s hair, just a trim.  Kittens can be cute sometimes but I’m allergic to cats so no love here.

November 2013 Hot Guy with Baby Animal

November 2013 Hot Guy with Baby Animal

I would take Marley home.  Thanks for the present!  Bye now!

December 2013 Hot Guy with Baby Animal

December 2013 Hot Guy with Baby Animal

Bunny!  How can you resist a bunny?

Overall I give the 2013 Hot Guys with Baby Animals a C.  The idea is good but the guys were average.  The baby animals were more appealing.  January was my favorite month.

A truly titillating hot guy calendar is the Warwick Rowers.  I suggest you check out the trailer for the calendar, yes there is a trailer, and the money goes to the team!

October 2013 Hot Priest

October 2013 Hot Priest

Meh.

November 2013 Hot Priest

November 2013 Hot Priest

Wait a second, the priests have leisure time?  This is our first priest not outside in front of a church or architectural element.  They’re regular people!  They read the newspaper!

December 2013 Hot Priest

December 2013 Hot Priest

December is a nice way to end the year.  My favorite by far was September.  We’ll give the priests a B+.

This was entertaining.  For a review of other 9 months:

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

One World Trade Center

One Monday this past July I went on a tour of the World Trade Center construction site.  It was one of those moments when knowing someone comes in handy.  My aunt works for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the short version is that a tour was happening, do I want to go?

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

Of course I did.  I am fascinated by the construction of buildings, like 432 Park Avenue, and couldn’t wait to explore one of most famous construction sites in the world.  Even before 9/11 the World Trade Center towers were internationally recognized.  Their creation added the neighborhood of Battery Park City to lower Manhattan.  New methods were used thanks to innovators like Arturo Lamberto Ressi di Cervia who supervised the slurry wall construction of the original trade centers which still survive today and are now visible to the public (pictures below).

The importance of One World Trade Center is not lost on me.  I had lived in New York for a little over 1 year on 9/11.  When I got to work  around 9 am the doorman of the building said something had happened downtown but wasn’t sure what.  We opened at 9:30 so most of my colleagues were there too.  Our gallery is located in Midtown Manhattan which is approximately 4 miles north of the World Trade Center.  We found a radio and tried to figure out what was happening.  My cell phone wasn’t working but fortunately I got in touch with my parents who live outside of New York and told me the news.   More

September Hot Guys with Baby Animals and Hot Priests

Kids are back in school, the weather is changing which means Mary Poppins may be arriving soon or that Summer is over.  This time of the year makes me melancholic.  Summer whizzes by and here’s September the limbo before Fall.  It’s especially sad settling back into normal life after a good vacation.  This is why I disappeared in August and why it’s been difficult for me to get my act together.

Our monthly calendar installment is one little bright spot.  Not a fan of the Hot Guy.  Definitely yes to the Priest.

September 2013 Hot Guy with Baby Animal

September 2013 Hot Guy with Baby Animal

I like Diesel the Italian Greyhound.  What is the Thunder from Down Under?

Oh God.  It’s a male revue in Vegas.  HAHAHA!

They have a national tour if you can’t make it to Vegas.  They even have a calendar, feather boas and t-shirts for sale.

September 2013 Hot Priest

September 2013 Hot Priest

Smolder.  This is what our September Priest is doing.  Thank God because the past few months have been disappointing!  I have no further comment on him except enjoy!

I was in Italy the last two weeks of August and I tried looking for the 2014 Hot Priests Calendar.  I saw them at newsstands here and there but guess what!  The priests are all the same!  No new priests!  I was so excited to see them but so sad upon inspection to see the same guys of 2013.  Why not change it every year?  I can’t be the only tourist buying the calendar.  Do they expect people to buy it once because they’ll never return to Italy?  Here’s an untapped market.  Boo.

Review the past installments:

August    July    June   May   April   March   February   January

 

 

 

 

 

Jaisalmer, A Golden City in the Thar Desert

Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer

From Jodhpur we went as far West as possible without entering Pakistan to Jaisalmer.  Jaisalmer is known as the Golden City because of the yellow sand of the Thar Desert that surrounds it and the yellow sandstone of all the buildings there. You can stay in Jaisalmer Fort but we stayed outside the city, only a 5 minute drive away.  The fort is an endangered monument and the water that pumps through the city, around the fort, is causing it to self-destruct.  In some small way I thought not staying in the fort was a good idea.

Jaisalmer was founded in the 12th century and served as a stop for trade caravans.  Now tourism is its main source of revenue.  There are plenty of camel and desert treks you can take.  There’s even a festival in January and February.  We opted out of the camel rides and stuck to exploring the city.   More

August Hot Guys with Baby Animals and Hot Priests

Where is the Summer going?  Why does it always fly by?  Kapow!  August is here.

My brain and my body are definitely on Summer time.  The heat is manageable now in NY unlike June which was a cooker.  Summer equals vacation so I want to stay up late, be lazy, spend the day wandering around, which is pretty much my normal mind-set, but the warm weather really encourages it.

Let’s move on to what you came here for: our monthly installment of Hot Guys, Baby Animals and Hot Priests.  This month is good.

August 2013 Hot Guy with Baby Animals

August 2013 Hot Guy with Baby Animals

More

July Hot Guys with Baby Animals and Hot Priests

Clearly the editors of these calendars has a different notion of hot than I do.  Everyone has their own ideas about what turns them on and what makes a guy hot.  For me they have to stand out from the crowd.  Maybe it’s one feature that catches your eye or the whole package.  I’m a sucker for eyes.

Our July representatives are okay.  We won’t kick them off the island but here’s hoping for better next month!

July 2013 Hot Guy and Baby Animal

July 2013 Hot Guy and Baby Animal

Here’s a question, what does Michael’s hair look like?  Hats can change a person’s look, add attitude or hide something.  Who is the Michael without the hat?

As for Mr. T is he a pony or a miniature horse?  Is he related to Lil’ Sebastian?

July 2013 Hot Priest

July 2013 Hot Priest

Our July Priest reminds me of one of my bf’s friend which makes this weird.  I don’t consider my bf’s friend to be hot so being reminded of him in this Priests of Rome calendar makes think ick.  By the way bf just saw this picture and said, “that totally looks like Jonathan!”  Great.  Next please!

Why the clenched face?  Did he not want his picture taken?  Be happy!  You live in Rome!  You serve the people!  Maybe he doesn’t feel that way.  Or maybe his shoes are too tight.  Haha.

Oh July, you are here already.  Happy 4th of July to everyone!