Monday, February 23, 2009

Brought to you by the letter V and the color purple

This post goes out to my cousin Nikki and my colleagues and friends Olivia and Cheryl. The first two, because they luuuuuuuuuuuuuv shoes, the third for her love of purple. 

One of Ila's first words was purple. Certainly, it was one of her first multiple syllable words, and Viola was a top contender for her name, so I'm a little partial to the color. Here, in Firenze, purple is everywhere. I'm not interested in fashion, but the difference in dress here as compared to Tucson is not completely lost on me. I saw a little purple in Tucson. I knew it was one of this season's colors, but nothing like here. Everyone, men, women, old and young is wearing some shade, violet, indigo, lavender, orchid....

Just down the street from our apartment is this fabulous shoe display, a shrine to purple and insane shoe prices.  You can't quite see it here, but the shoes in the center have some sort of metallic wedge heel. I can't imagine wearing any of them for more than a few steps, but they're cool to look at. While I'm not so sure about shoes that can double as torture devices, actually I am sure I don't like them, I'm not sure that I think fashion is all bad. As long as it doesn't hurt, confine, restrict, but allow creativity and expression in some format, I hope Ila will appreciate fashion as something to be playful with rather than a set of rules. I'm afraid I see it too much as a set of rules, so I  just shut down and ignore fashion all together.

Despite my aversion to fashion, I do love the color purple and so in honor of the color purple, of my almost named Viola, and in an attempt to use up some of the yarn stash I brought with me, I've started knitting a beret.   Yes, I did bring some yarn stash with me. Yes, to one of the global capitals of yarn, a place where it was the Wool Guild (Arte della Lana) that commissioned Brunelleschi to build one of the most famous domes (Duomo) and the cupola of the Duomo, I brought yarn. I guess, at this point, I should share a picture of the Duomo, but mine came out terribly today. Will have to try again, another time.   The yarn, Frog Tree Alpaca worsted weight, like the Duomo, is beautiful, the picture doesn't do it justice. It is incredibly soft (knitting should be confined to working with the softest yarns and only small projects) and the purple deeper and more vibrant than represented here.   I got the yarn on sale at Kiwi Knitting (my LYS in Tucson). I'm working on a beret from Baby Beanies by Amanda Keeys.  The pattern has some issues, but I'll subject you to those when the beret is done.

So the fascination with purple didn't occupy the whole day.  We started off visiting the San Lorenzo Central Market. Downstairs are fruits, veggies, meats, and cheeses, upstairs leather goods. I didn't actually go upstairs. It was more like the markets I grew up, except with better (and more expensive) food.  We bought some very pricey, but amazing tortellini from this place and just across the way was this amazing dedication to cheese. Who couldn't be moved by that? Don't think about the last sentence for too long.

While getting to know where to buy everything is going to take a while, I love being able to go to a market like this again; to have specific stores for bread, veggies, meat etc. It seems so much more respectful of food. Thanks to my dear friend M, I have some cooking classes to explore too.  As for the lack of 24 hour supermarkets, Doug went out tonight and found a place that was open until midnight where he bought a bottle of not bad Chianti, chocolate and some milk for Ila. What more do we need?

With that, I leave you with my almost Viola, in true to form fuzzy mode and her dad. She is really into giving hugs right now. It is wonderful.


  1. What fantastic food markets you have within walking distance! Sure beats the Safeway down the street from our house! :)

    I love all the pictures you're posting, and the last one of Doug and Ila is precious!

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. May I just say that Ila-hugs are something special, indeed!!! That girl presses closer then my own child and is so loving. What a sweetie!

    - Kerry

  3. What a SWEET picture of Ila and Doug! Gorgeous shot, gorgeous content.

    Love the food too.

    My request--gelato pics? Thank you.

    Oh, and those tiny cups of coffee?

    And chianti pics please!!!

  4. Fabulous photo of Ila & Doug -- makes me teary. That one of the cheese is pretty sweet too. I'm already addicted to this blog.

    -Rachel F