A couple weeks ago, I told you we were moving. And so we did! We moved from a couple kilometers outside the center of Milan to the very heart of it. We vacated the place on the left and landed in the place on the right. With the help of Italians and Romanians and Albanians, painting and heaving and plastering and packing. Always arriving in little Italian trucks, and driving off again in little Italian trucks
And from this new vantage point, we’re like children let loose on summer vacation in a foreign land. Every day we walk and walk, peering into the unknown nooks and crannies of our next chapter. (I have actually lived here before, but it was years ago, and as you know, cities don’t sit still. They change as if their lives depend on it.) Today we stomped around Corso di Porta Ticinese and the Ripa di Porta Ticinese, which runs next to one of Milan’s old canals. Once upon a time, it looked like this:
Now, it looks like what you see below. Not changed in significant ways, but dressed up in others. A modern, loose-handed and spirited creativity, slathered generously over the bricks and mortar of hundreds of years ago. A slow moving, secret-keeping water which ties it all together under bridges that prove just how diminutive it all is. (A couple bounds and you’re up. A couple paces and you’re over. A jump or two and you’re down on the other side.) Floating restaurants, bars and boutiques. And every few paces another one-of-a-kind art gallery, clothing store, antique store or eatery. You want Italian? Good. It’s there. But if you want Greek fusion or Brazilian sushi, they’re serving as well.
And before we arrived back home again, a sighting of the kind of character that makes me so happy to be here. A Japanese woman peddling home, dressed as if she just stepped out of the Japanese countryside, groceries swinging and a garden installed in her bike-back crate. There can never be too many expressions of who we are…Out of frame, an allium, its big blue ball of a flower bouncing over her head like the flag of her very own domain.
If this post were to be accompanied by music, it would undoubtedly be Michael Franti’s “Stay Human (All The Freaky People)” As he says, “Every flower got a right to be bloomin’.” Today we saw so many. And therein lies the beauty.