Exploring life and the world with wide eyes and curiosity.

Faces of Friends

New Year’s Eve. “Capodanno” they call it here. Fireworks are going off in the distance.

Having just come back from the energy of Paris, I don’t feel compelled to go downtown tonight, but will follow my tradition of spending the evening writing. Part of that act is the reflection on the past year, and for 2009 the novelty is in the last 6 months, since I moved here to Milano in June.

When I decided to move here, I very consciously wanted to have relationships. I wanted to form friendships and know people. I didn’t want to remain on the outside surface, as tourists do, but rather touch hearts and have mine touched. I left behind my treasured communities in Seattle, and came here where I had none.

Reaching this 6-month mark, I started to think about all the people I’ve gotten to know in big ways and small. I see people at school. At some of the stores I frequent. I’ve met some while traveling. And now, even see familiar faces while just out walking in the neighborhood. I’m creating what I wanted!

Allow me to introduce you to some of the many people I’ve either enjoyed a single, rich conversation with, or have had the pleasure to create a friendship with:

JUSTIN - From Kenya. I met Justin soon after I arrived and now I shop at that store a mile away just so I can say "hello" to her. Here she is cutting prosciutto for me.

JUSTINE - Kenyan. I met Justine soon after I arrived and now I shop at that store a mile away just so I can say "hello" to her. Here she is cutting prosciutto for me.

EVELINA, BRUNELL & GLENDA - From Italy. These are the three I work most closely with at NABA.

EVELINA, BRUNELLO & GLENDA - Italian. These are the three I work most closely with at NABA.

PIOTR & EWA - She's from Poland, he's Polish-German. We met in the summer when our tables were an inch apart and I was eating octopus. We've been getting together once a week or so ever since!

PIOTR & EWA - Polish-German and Polish. We met in the summer when our tables were an inch apart and I was eating octopus. We've been getting together once a week or so ever since! Eva is a Pharmacist and Piotr is a retired conductor from Teatro alla Scala.

NARIN - From Thailand. Architectural faculty member from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

NARIN - Thai. Architectural faculty member from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

PETE & ERIN - From Australia. We met on the bike trail in the morning, and they slept on my fold-out bed that night! They were biking around Europe for 6 months and relying on the kindness of strangers.

PETE & ERIN - Australian. We met on the bike trail in the morning, and they slept on my fold-out bed that night! They were biking around Europe for 6 months and relying on the kindness of strangers.

ORIETTA - From Italy. Concept researcher and trend forecaster in fashion and accessories. An instructor at NABA.

ORIETTA - Italian. Concept researcher and trend forecaster in fashion and accessories. An instructor at NABA.

LYDIA - From Sweden. Lydia makes the way smooth for NABA's agents.

LYDIA - Swedish. Lydia makes the way smooth for NABA's agents.

DOMENICA & PAOLO - From Italy. They have the Spezia Pasticceria that creates those incredible pastries I've shown. They're two blocks away from me, and we met when he did a search on the pastry shop and found my blog. They make the best pastries in town.

DOMENICA & PAOLO - Italian. They have the Spezia Pasticceria that creates those incredible pastries I've shown. They're two blocks away from me, and we met when he did a search on the pastry shop and found my blog. They make the best pastries in town.

ANASTASIA, EMANUELE & ENCARNA - From Greece, Spain. We shared a table and the dance floor at the Thanksgiving Dinner.

ANASTASIA, EMANUELE & ENCARNA - Greek and Spanish. Emanuale is the Consulate General of Greece. We shared a table and the dance floor at the Thanksgiving Dinner.

ENZA - Born in Sicily, raised back-and-forth between there and Australia. She and her husband own the corner grocery where I buy my water, and we chat.

ENZA - Italian. Born in Sicily, raised back-and-forth between there and Australia. She and her husband own the corner grocery where I buy my water, and we chat.

TOMA - From France, but has lived in Italy for years. He's established in fashion and teaches at NABA.

TOMA - French, but has lived in Italy for years. He's established in fashion and teaches at NABA.

BARBARA - President of the Benvenuto Club.

BARBARA - President of the Benvenuto Club.

BRUNELLO - Vice President of NABA.

BRUNELLO - Italian. Vice President of NABA.

LILY & TOM - Irish. My cousins from my family's historic homeland in Fermanagh County, Northern Ireland.

LILY & TOM - Irish. My cousins from my family's historic homeland in Fermanagh County, Northern Ireland.

LEE - Originally from England, but she's been in Italy a long time. Lee's been working in fashion for about 30 years.

LEE - British, but she's been in Italy a long time. Lee's been working in fashion for about 30 years. She was my Fashion Design instructor in 2008 at NABA.

CIRO -

CIRO - Italian. A One-man Chamber of Commerce for the town of Casamicciola on the Island of Ischia.

SAM, PATRICK & MOMO - From France and ? These three were fishmongers down the street from my hotel in Paris. Patrick, in the middle, speaks some Spanish, so between that and sign-language, we all had some laughs.

SAM, PATRICK & MOMO - French and ? These three are fishmongers down the street from my hotel in Paris. Patrick, in the middle, speaks some Spanish, so between that and sign-language, we all had some laughs.

DAN - From Ohio University, working with NABA. Executive Director and Professor of Geography.

DAN - American. From Ohio University, working with NABA. Executive Director and Professor of Geography.

EVELINA & GLENDA - Both from Italy, though Glenda lived in the U.S. for 8 years. These two coordinate the myriad details of the NABA summer and semester programs.

EVELINA & GLENDA - Italian, though Glenda lived in the U.S. for 8 years. These two coordinate the myriad details of the NABA summer and semester programs.

LUKA - From Italy. We've discussed "Italian Design Methodology" and the differences in teaching methods between Italian schools and U.S. schools. Luka is NABA's Design Program Coordinator.

LUCA - Italian. We've discussed "Italian Design Methodology" and the differences in teaching methods between Italian schools and U.S. schools. Luca is NABA's Design Program Coordinator.

DIMITRI & VERA - From Russia. Architects, instructors at NABA.

DIMITRI & VERA - Russian. Architects, instructors at NABA.

ENIEL - From Cuba. My personal tour guide in Paris.

ENIEL - Cuban. Moved to Paris 5 years ago and speaks some of 5 or 6 languages. Loves history and was my personal tour guide in Paris.

MADALENA & EMILY - From Italy and Australia. Madalena lives in the mountains near Milano, and teaches Italian Language courses. Emily is a student in my class.

MADALENA & EMILY - Italian and Australian. Madalena lives in the mountains near Milano, and teaches Italian language courses. Emily is a student in my class.

Ahmad

AHMAD - Pakistani. Living in Venice and assisting his brother with his restaurant, "Noemi".

FRANCESCO - Architect and instructor at NABA. He's engaging and involved with the students.

FRANCESCO - Italian. Architect and instructor at NABA. He's engaging and involved with the students.

GISELLA - From Sicily. She has a Siciliano bakery just down the street. Sometimes I'll buy little regional specialties from her.

GISELLA - Italian from Sicily. She has a Siciliano bakery just down the street. Sometimes I'll buy little regional specialties from her.

HASSAN & SEBASTIAN - From Iran and Germany. We've been in Italian language classes together.

HASSAN & SEBASTIAN - Iranian and German. We've been in Italian language classes together.

Ida

IDA - Italian. We met at the Benvenuto Club Christmas Bazaar, which is a fund-raiser for several local charities.

JAMES - From England. He's opened up a shop here selling textiles and is taking Italian language classes, too.

JAMES - British. He's opened up a shop here selling textiles and is taking Italian language classes, too.

Rolando

ROLANDO - Italian. We met on the train to the airport. I was on my way to Seattle. He was on his way to an EU gathering of parachutists from 10 different countries. He was in the Army in the mid-60s. He pulled B&W photos of his father out of his suitcase to show me.

MARZIA & FRIENDS - From Italy (Sicily), Russia and ? Marzia's on the right and after we had gone out for "apperitivi", we met up with her friends at another restaurant.

MARZIA & FRIENDS - Italian (Sicily), Russian and ? Marzia's on the right and after we had gone out for "apperitivi", we met up with her friends at another restaurant. Marzia is also with NABA.

REMO - From Italy (Southern) and a Materials Engineer. We've had some good converations and I've sat in on some of his design classes at NABA.

REMO - Italian (from the south). A Materials Engineer. We've had some good conversations and I sat in on some of his design classes at NABA and accompanied them on field trips.

OZDAN, SEBASTIAN & EMILY - From Turkey, Germany & Australia. They were doing a skit in our Italian language class.

OZDAN, SEBASTIAN & EMILY - Turkish, German & Australian. In this photo, they were doing a skit in our Italian language class.

NORM & JOE - Irish. My Guinness drinkin' buddies in the far northern reaches of Ireland.

NORM & JOE - Irish. My Guinness drinkin' buddies in the far northern reaches of Ireland.

JAN - From Norway. He got talked into wearing a "Babbo Natale" hat at the language school's Christmas party.

JAN - Norwegian. He got talked into wearing a "Babbo Natale" hat at the Scuola Leonardo language school's Christmas party.

  1. josefina moschellaJanuary 1,10

    Vedendo tutta questa bella gente che hai incontrato e conosciuto direi che lo scopo e’ stato raggiunto!
    Allora, per il nuovo anno ti auguro di continuare cosi’, senza pero’ dimenticare le persone che, nel 2009, hai conosciuto qui a Seattle :)

    Augurissimi, anche da parte di Enrico

    ~Josefina

  2. patruJanuary 1,10

    WOW!!!!

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