Posted by: cyradisnyc | April 20, 2009

Over the Atlantic

I’m somewhere over the Atlantic.

James was a sweetie and went along on the subway ride to the airport. For those of you not in New York, you may not appreciate this, but it’s a Long Ride, even from my apartment in Brooklyn. I wish he could come along, but it just didn’t work out this time. Hopefully next trip.

Kate and I met up without too many problems. I’m enjoying–believe it or not, Beloiters–a Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat. Very appropriate, as Kate and I consumed huge amounts of this stuff in college. And now I’m going to watch the Doctor Who Easter Special. I’ll check back in after.

Part II

Good Doctor Who–can’t wait to find out about what happened to New New York! I’m going to watch the Tudors and then go to sleep. The plot turns on Hans Holbein! For his lewdness, immorality, and violence against a lord. Fun fun.

Part III

All joking aside, I’m very excited. Having studied Europe for most of my adult life, it hasn’t quite sunk in that I’m going to be there in a few hours. I’ve never actually been. (I don’t count Ireland and the UK, as it is its own brand of history that is in my opinion different from mainland Europe in its current perception.)

Venice, while Kate and I have always talked about going there “some day”, is an unusual first choice. In many ways, I think it relates to how interests grow and change. I will be going to one of the hubs of East/West relations in Europe. Given what I am doing now, this seems an appropriate first step. (I’ve jokingly described myself as Marco Polo in China to colleagues, but I have really loved being in the Asian Art department and learning more about that area of the world. I’m sure that if Marco Polo actually made it to China, he enjoyed it even more.)

One of my friends from Fordham calls Italy “Disneyland for Americans.” I disagree. For a culture where 50 years represents a huge expanse of time*, Italy represents an amazing swathe of history. One of my colleagues described the approach to Venice by train as the “approach of the end of the world.” No, I disagree–Venice is an opening of doors and of minds that laid shut for hundreds of years. Even if it is touristy now, I don’t care. The understanding is real and present. To BE there, in the same space as Doges, Napoleon, Casanova, Byron and countless others-this is what we come for. (If I wanted overpriced coffee, I’m sure I could find that in New York.)

Soon I will see the Mediterranean. I can’t wait.

* “We have restored this building to the way it looked 50 years ago!”


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