Tag Archives: renaissance

Rick Steves episode diary – filming in Venice – an enchanting behind-the-scenes

We’re nearly finished filming two new TV shows on Venice. Thinking back over a very productive day, I realize how much I love this work. Our scripts are about 3,400 words per half-hour show. They are split between “on-cameras,” with me talking directly to the camera, and “B-roll,” where we “cover the script” with footage that illustrates what we’re describing. While it’s been called “shooting the nouns,” we think of B-roll as more than that.

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We started early, on St. Mark’s Square. While it’s littered with kitschy souvenir carts and jammed with tour groups most of the day, at 7:30, there is no tourism. The square is clean, with just a few well-dressed businesspeople walking to work, the random jogger, and very focused photographers like us marveling at how the history pops with the architecture and without the modern tourism. The Gothic is so lacy, and the Renaissance so capable. We got a few “walk-bys” to establish me in what looks like a pure, computer-generated Venetian cityscape.

 

Venice’s St. Mark’s Square before the crowds hit.

 

At 8:30, we met our local guide, Michael, who has been instrumental in setting things up in advance for us. He is brilliantly navigating the Byzantine bureaucracy of the city and helping us open all the right doors — some of them literally pillaged from Byzantium.

We climbed the Torre dell’Orologio, or Clock Tower. This was built 500 years ago, providing the city with…

keep readingJust Another Workday — in Venice

A Dance to the Music of Time – by Nicolas Poussin

The famous painting by Nicolas Poussin in the 1630s, which also inspired the novels of the same name, A Dance to the Music of Time.

I’m not a big fan of Renaissance painting, nor this one, but the them creates endless thoughts in my mind.

  • “the music of time”
  • “dancing around time”
  • “is time’s music a harp?”
  • “do we dance in circles around time?”
  • “is time like a chariot boldly pushing forward?”

 

photo // Wikipedia

5 reasons to love the Kindle

This is a personal piece about my experiences owning a Kindle for 2 years. There were many early fears and unknowns but they’ve since been wiped away. I am able to do everything I want with it and more.

Here are my 5 favorite things about the Kindle:

  • Saves time
  • Lighter, easier on the hand
  • Cozying up with it
  • The classics
  • Exotic books

Saves time

Let’s talk about the entire Kindle buying experience. I lay back on my comfy pillow, browse the online store, purchase and begin reading.

Now, compare that to the bookstore experience. Hop in a car, drive in traffic, park in traffic, walk to store, hang out in a cozy cool community-friendly store, wait in line, purchase at cashier, and then reverse the walking, parking, and driving.

I’m just saying. It’s a whole lot easier on me and my stress level.

Then there is the free trial which allows you to read the first few chapters without buying. A perfect way to purchase books, after all, if you’re not ready to buy after the second chapter then it’s not worth it. Plus, I don’t have to sit on an awkward couch in a crowded store to read those chapters.

Lighter, easier on the hand

Sometimes when you really get going, a real page-turner and finish 100 pages, your hand gets sore. It’s not that books or e-readers are heavy, it’s that holding them steady for a few hours is like some ancient torture session.

To compare the weight of different books, the Kindle weighs 8.5 ounces and, on average, hardcover books weighs 20 ounces and paperbacks about 12 ounces.

Add that up over the long run and you get the idea.

Cozying up with my Kindle

Believe it or not, but, on cold nights it is nice to cozy up with an e-reader. The hot cocoa, warm blanket, and my Kindle.

I don’t miss the smell nor the look of paper books. I just like to lose myself in the story.

Of course, there is one more important reason why I enjoy cozying with it. The e-reader allows me to increase the font size on any book, which saves my eyes, and allows me to read for much longer than I could with a paper book.

The Classics

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, Edgar Allen Poe, Sun Tzu, Edith Wharton, William Shakespeare

All their works are free and sometimes you can get their entire life works with one click. Yes, the classics are all free. Thousands and thousands of books, it’s like a modern-day Renaissance.

I could read for years, not spend a dime, and become incredibly educated. I love this because I grew up in an era when the classics were banished from the classroom. We were asked to read maybe 1-2 books a school year and most were contemporary novels.

There is so much I don’t know about the enlightenment, greek philosophy, romantic literature, modern economics, and even early 20th century pieces.

Exotic Books

I cannot write a piece on e-books without the inevitable nostalgia for real, physical books. I have that feeling too, but with a Kindle everything changes: I actually buy the books I always wanted.

It turns out there are two kinds of books: ones you read and ones you keep. The first, you finish and put on the shelf to collect dust. The second, you pick up every few weeks when you’re bored.

With the Kindle I am able to save money (space too) on the books to read and then spend the savings on the special exotic books (which always cost more).

I call them exotic books because they are oversized or rare, often with glamorous pictures. Basically, they are coffee table books but since I don’t, and have never owned, a coffee table I don’t like that term.

My exotic collection of books is growing and I am absolutely in love with them. Here are a few:

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Tartine

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The History of Surfing

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Japanese Caligraphy


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Photos by: Tim D (coffee), Stephen (girl reading), 3Water (close-up nickel)