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And More VeniceSeptember 27, 2006

I have heard from Lala! God bless the internet. She says all is well, that the gig at Antwerp Prison (really) was awesome, and they were on Belgian TV. I haven't really told you how it works: They got booked by this company that brings talent into the Benelux area. They were set up in a house in the country, and they are given food and drink. They have a driver named Ludo who comes about 5pm every day. He picks them up, drives across the country for two to four hours (because you can get to Holland in about a minute from Belgium). He takes them to the gig, and then he transforms into their sound guy. Since I was at the first (really, really fun) show, I'm here to attest that anyone who can set up sound that well on the first night, using plugs and amps normally used in another country with different voltage, now, that's cool.

They make 30% of what the company makes on the shows, and they get the full proceeds from all sales of swag and CDs (they have a new one out that they took all copies of with them -- I'll let you know when it's ready for distribution here). They have been playing every night, and they're kicking ass. Three nights ago they played with the legendary Wanda Jackson. Dude. They're rockstars.

And she emailed me (Lala, that is, not Wanda Jackson, although that would have been cool), which was good. Because I miss her. And having never really missed anyone in this way, in the shared-house-life way, I've decided it's for the birds. No fun for Rachael.

Also, I'm a moron. I decided, the first night, to get into our bed on HER side. Just for the sheer FUN of it! Wild antics in the Hehu house. While the rockstar's away and all. So I jump up, WHEEE! and oh, shit! I hit the bedframe SO hard that I have posted a picture, but made it a pop-up , for the squeamish of you. It's a damn good bruise, high upper thigh. Getting into bed. Lord. Bruise is here

Back to Venice! Because I'm dying to show you more photos.

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This lady, defying her role as “local color in a Venetian window,” waved at us, making us see her as real. Which I loved.

There aren’t many cats in Venice anymore, not wandering the streets as they used to, anyway. Not too many years ago, they were all rounded up and placed on an island nearby. Now, most cat owners keep their cats inside, fearing another round-up, but we did say hello to this big brute.

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Look who we found!

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This is John and Alan, and they’re from Portland. And we heart them. John’s been a Dear Reader for YEARS and I was SO excited to get to meet him in person. We met up under the Accademia Bridge, at one of my fave outdoors eateries, and we wasted a great portion of an afternoon drinking and talking about yarn and cactus and all manner of wonderful things. I love it when two couples click, when the two Planners start teasing the two Spontaneous ones, you know.

Then, of course, we went on a mini-yarn crawl. As far as I’ve ever been able to tell, Lellabella is the only yarn store in Venice. I’d already been in once earlier in the day and learned that my limited Italian does indeed include almost everything one needs to know to have a conversation about the fashion industry in Italy. But when we went back, it turns out that John’s is even stronger, since he knows how to conjugate verbs. Fancy.

Because I will be asked, have been asked for years, here are the shop specs:
Lellabella
San Marco 3718
Tel: 041 522 5152
Oh, look! I just noticed, they have the CUTEST url ever: yarnshopinvenice.com
It’s such a nice little store, and they ONLY sell Italian yarn.

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Directions:
Walk toward Campo Manin from the Rialto, and it's just over a bridge on your right hand side, the block BEFORE you reach Campo Manin. It is technically on Calle della Mandola (aka Della Cortesia) but don’t expect that to help you. Addresses mean just about nothin’ in Venice. You’ll find it.

So we get there and start chatting Monica up. I want yarn, but they can’t find enough of a certain color so THEY OPEN THE STOREFRONT. Look, Lala and Alan were being boys outside and took photos:

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Could you just die? We had the best time with the boys, and we’ll look forward to doing it again sometime…..

Also, while I’m thinking about it, you have to know that this season is about yarn, people. Thank goodness.

This is from a Benetton window:

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Yarn tree. Yow.

And yarn boots-toppers!

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There were other windows FULL of cashmere sweaters with huge cables as central motif, and lacy cashmere dresses, but did I get pictures? No. I’m a Bad Knitter. I was heading to coffee/wine/spritz/prosecco, no doubt. No time to spare….

This is a dark photo to follow, but it’s worth including. Trattoria da Bepi is just around the corner from my hotel, and I’ve loved it for years. A good place to go to avoid tourists (I love that I can say that and completely ignore the fact that I, of course, am one. I don’t count, thanks). This time, however, we were settled into the room I am usually settled into, and we looked around to find we were in The American Room. Augh! The horror! What where all these crude people doing near us?

You know how when you’re only eavesdropping on your countrymen, you just HATE them? Oh, we were so annoyed. We couldn’t help listening to these two couples sitting together discuss the state of their camera’s SD card. I kept rolling my eyes.

Then, as it goes, we got into some conversation with them, and it turns out that they were great. They weren’t couples, they were one gay male couple (Lou and Larry, from Brooklyn) and Larry’s mom and sister. They confirmed that yes, this place was now in Rick Steves’ guide, therefore the new American interest in it, and by the way, they thought we were from Park Slope, were they right?

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That is why we were laughing so hard. We look like Park Slope dykes. I was immeasurably flattered. Brooklyn, represent.

And a real photo:

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After this, we headed out for the uber-cool internet café I used to patronize, the one open 24 hours a day, with an attached bar and where all the cool Italian kids hung out. Mom, you’ll be saddened to know it now closes at 11pm, and there’s no bar, and it just looks like a big white room and a young nervous-looking guy taking photocopies of IDs. Very sad. So we went there, it was too late to use the internets, so we sat at an outdoor gelato place and drank spritz.

They must have been GOOD spritzes, because:

#1 – We are drag queens:

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#2 – We are international models, seen here in our ads plastered in the vaporetto docks (plastered might be the right term here)

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I actually think Lala does that very well.

Okay, I am off to take the dogs to the beach and start my 72-hour work week. I will be working from 6pm tonight (Tuesday) until 6pm Monday night, with short 12 hours breaks in between, on a three hour commute, which makes me sad for not only the obvious reasons, but because I can't see when I'm going to get you more pictures! It's not something I can do at work, because the pics are on my home computer, and as it is, I'm pre-posting this one on Tuesday afternoon to go up on Wednesday morning. And I've got to run, like, now. So, I'll throw you more as soon as I can, okay?

Ciao, ragazzi!

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Comments

Thanks for a nice start to my day. Hope there are some bright spots in your long week.

Ha! Brooklyn is recognized all over the world!! World Domination!!!!!

(Oh, and Lala pulls off the international model thing very well.)

lovely! and i'm glad that sweater is getting a work out. I actually bought the same yarn (brown) to make it for myself.

also, i listened to some whoreshoes this morning and my 4 year old, still naked from the attempts to get dressed, started swaying, clapping, and kicking out both legs, generally just just gettin' down. he loved it and commented that it reminded him oh the dolly ranchers (some friends of ours' band). Good stuff!

I'm not getting over the Park Slope thing any time soon. Hilarious!

I love these pictures.

wonderful pictures-- especially the one of you two cracking up. good luck with the loooong work week ahead!

I loooove the yarn tree. I may have to make one for myself. Hrm....

Man, you guys crack me up. What a GREAT vacation! And I am thrilled that you FINALLY met John and Alan. Really, aren't they the nicest? And Alan is who you want to stand next to at a party or any other gathering, because he has the best observations and comments!

I do that same annoyed eavesdropping on my country(wo)men even when I am in our country. I suppose it pays to be more humane, but sometimes one just has to be bad!

:: sssssiiiiiiiiiggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh ::

i sometimes pretend that i don't speak english when i meet "ugly" americans

i know -- so wrong

i love that cat.

How funny...you're making me want to visit Venice...and try my hardest not to be an annoying tourist.

Also, I was wondering if you could share the information of the company Lala used to book that gig. My girl is a musician too, maybe I can use that as an excuse to get over there. Thanks!

When I was in Rome last month, this dad and his two (very bratty) teenage daughters sat down next to us outside of a caffe. As per usual, the waiter set out bread and a caddy of oil/vinegar/salt and pepper. They all ordered Cokes and grabbed some bread, then rooted around in the caddy for a few seconds. "There's no butter in this caddy!" the Dad yells, exasperated. "Waiter, waiter, we need butter for our bread." The waiter looks at him blankly (he didn't speak very much English and I bet you can guess how much Italian the Dad spoke). The waiter, knowing I speak Italian looks at me for some help. "Lui desidera burra per suo pane." The waiter shakes his head and mutters, "Americani Maledetti." (Damn Americans.)

Awesome. Thanks for all the pictures.

Now you've done it, I want to go to Venice NOW!!! Oh and I finally watched Saving Face last night. Loved it and got all teary eyed when they looked at each other across the dance floor at the end.

I'm sooo enjoying this trip! And note to self: must make yarn tree.

Lala definitely looks like she should have been in the D & G ad. I'm glad that you guys had so much fun.

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