Tag Firenze

Half Mask Commedy

A few weeks ago we performed a few public shows in half-masks. We had a photographer come, Stefano Borghi, and I just got the photos back. I’m happy to finally have something to share of the wild work I’ve been doing here the past months.

These first to are of me and my friend Anja Završnik in a piece we made called The Box or Identity Card. Rosie was expecting a nice vacation was stopped at the border by a very eager border agent. On the border the consequences are steep and decisions are made in an instant.

The night was full of tragic and funny short plays. A stolen crown, a dead cat, a deranged pizza man. This last photo is of the second piece I made with Cynthia Kneen, The High Wire. The mask work is over now and I’m on a two week vacation, when we all get back together we’ll jump into some of my favorite work from the first year, red nose clown. In the meantime, rest, relaxation, and anticipation!

Sunday in Firenze

Something I learned after leaving Florence for the Christmas break was that I haven’t really seen much of the touristy stuff in the city. Now that I’m back I’m committed to seeing more of what’s available here.

West from the Ponte alla Carraia, the bridge I cross every morning to school.


Gene invited me to the photography museum that houses the Fratelli Alinari collection, apparently the oldest photographic archive in the world. Along with some very beautiful old daguerreotypes and albumen prints from around the world there was a room lined in back-lit negatives and a wild collection of photographic albums, some of them huge sculptural assemblages with metal hinges, gemstone covers and painted edges.

I thought the famous Florence lion was a monkey until I was corrected.


These are a few of the choicest examples of the Florentine street artist Booe or Booey. There are very few tags, mostly you see the big gumdrops and the popsicle is an anomaly as far as I’ve seen. They have become little totems for me walking through Florence, just as the little men and sasquaches of the Wellington street artist Neonate kept me company while I was studying theater in Wellington.

Whoever this Booe/Booey is, I think the number of pieces he’s got around town will stay the same. All of the one’s I’ve seen are a bit weathered or painted over and I haven’t seen any fresh paint. Maybe he’s grown up or gotten arrested too many times or just moved out of town. In any case, I’ll keep snapping photos as I find new pieces, and I’ll be keeping them here.

Sunday Haircut

Peter and Barbara hosted a lovely brunch this Sunday that included haircuts and Uno. I met their friend Martina who stopped by with her special pair of sissors to give anyone who wanted one a haircut.

Mangio la Bicicletta

Looking for a used bicycle online in Florence was useless. I found a few new bike shops walking the city but they were more for fancy road bikes. A friend suggested looking for a sign-less bike shop walking up Via dei Serragli in the afternoon. I did and sure enough there was a tidy corner shop lined with old bikes. The man at the bike stand in the middle of the room was working patiently at a derailer hanging off a beat up frame.

Not knowing the language makes beginning any interaction very awkward. I had learned just a few days ago that I had been greeting everyone at all times of day with a hearty, “good morning!” So after standing in the doorway gawking at the bikes,  at least I knew to greet the bike mechanic with a time appropriate, “buonasera.”

I pointed to a bike on the wall, an old Campagnolo branded one, and thanks to a short Italian lesson from Chris was able to grunt, “quanto costa?”  The guy raised an eyebrow and said something while gesturing with four fingers. Only forty Euro!? I thought, a great price!

“Sì, sì,” I said, taking out my wallet and patting myself on the chest like a fool, “I’ll buy it, yes.”

The man smirked, shook his head and said four something and “originale,” while gesturing four and then wrote on a small piece of paper, 4-0-0.  Ah.

Then I pinched the air like I was squeezing something (like the price) down to be smaller and looked around pointing at other bikes. He showed me some newer looking ones, but there was one ratty red one in the shop that I liked the look of. Lugged frame, flat tires, probably too tall for me, perfect.

I quanto accosted him again and was pretty sure he said sixty euro, which sounded like a fair price. Again I patted my chest and took out my wallet. He looked at me over his glasses. This is the universal response to dealing with an idiot who does not know what is going on. If some one looks over their glasses  at you it communicates the doubt that person holds for your ability to make it in the world.  He then left the shop and walked out into the street.

He called out to a younger man walking past who then came over laughing at me. They had a brief conversation and the younger man turned to me and explained in English, “It’s sixty euro for that bike, but the tires are flat. It’s late and he doesn’t want to work on it today, but come back tomorrow at 11 and it’ll be ready.” I agreed, thanked them both, and felt equally proud  and embarrassed for myself. But I can live with that, because today I’m riding around the streets of Firenze on my new bike with a foolish grin on my face.