This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘stores’

More Shops in Venice

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 12, 2017

As a follow-up to my earlier posting, unusual shops in Venice, I’m posting some more shop windows and displays.

In a glass shop in the sestiere of San Marco, I found this chess set showing Ashkenazi vs. Sephardi Jews. I’m not sure this set would be very functional because the pawns are different designs and you would need to agree, in advance, on whether a Jew holding a palm branch or a Torah scroll is a bishop or a knight. Some stores have lights in their display windows that interfere with cellphone photography (the lighting turns bright pink or purple), but DSLRs are not affected.

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I bought this vase in a small glass shop in the San Polo sestiere. It’s probably a knock-off because it’s so cheap (25 euros = 100 NIS); the clerk said it was the last one in that design. Although I looked in lots of glass stores, I saw very few asymmetric teardrop vases, and the ones I did see were half the size, twice as expensive, and not as beautiful. The design is similar to the work of Vetreria Artistica Oball in the sommerso (“submerged”) technique. It’s 10 inches high and weighs about a kilo. The seller packed it in bubble-wrap and newspaper and sealed it in a sturdy, sealed carton. I shlepped it around Italy in my suitcase and hand-carried it on the flight back. The photo was taken when I got home. I love the clean, elegant lines and jewel colors of this piece.

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All Saints’ Day is a public holiday in Italy, but who knew that they celebrated Hallowe’en with Jack o’lantern and bat cookies? Bakery in San Polo, Venice.

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These dishes with three-dimensional sculpted mice and pigs are adorable. I’m sure they’re decorations. If you were to eat off them, you’d have a tough time getting the food out of the crevices and you’d probably chip an ear or a snout.

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Everyone needs a gondola kit. Gondolier and velvet upholstery not included. They got the shape right–a gondola is asymmetrical. Because the oar is plied from one side of the gondola, that side is less curved, so that it will glide in a straight line.

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I would have loved a cheerful ceramic spoon rest for my kitchen counter, but there was a limit to how many breakable objects I was willing to carry.

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Torrone morbido (soft nougat) is a traditional Italian Christmas confection made from honey/glucose, beaten egg whites and lots of nuts. Here’s a recipe for a large quantity, with a video, Jamie Oliver’s version (requires you to wave a blowtorch around the metal mixing bowl during whisking), a beautifully photographed recipe that makes smaller quantities, and an extremely simple Sardinian torrone that requires only three ingredients: nuts, honey, and a couple egg whites. The commercial torrone have food coloring added. The homemade versions are extremely pale or white.

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Unusual Shops in Venice

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 27, 2016

Unbelievable as this may sound, Venice does have shops that sell beautiful things not mass-produced in China. “Gualti” was very close to the flat that we rented in Dorsoduro. I must have walked by it a dozen times but never had the courage to go in because I was certain I couldn’t afford it. Gualtiero Salbego is a self-taught artist who creates sinuous scarves and flamboyant jewelry. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll buy a Gualti scarf someday.

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A local designer sells funky bags near Campo Barnaba. I’m fairly certain the store was in Calle Lunga S. Barnaba. It was closed when I took this photo and I never got a chance to go back when it was open. If you want to buy interesting things that aren’t produced solely for the tourist market, student areas are good places to shop. Dorsoduro has a lot of students, which means affordable bars, cafes, and supermarkets.

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This large, two-room shop, located in San Polo (maybe Salida S. Polo) sells gorgeous Japanese fabrics, pottery, hand-bound books, and interesting scarves. The design of the perforated scarf on the right is the result of slits cut into the fabric. When it lies flat, it looks like a piece of wrinkled gauze. I spoke for a few minutes with the clerk. Beautiful things but beyond my price range.

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Clothing in the Muslim Quarter

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 22, 2015

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These dresses for little girls aren’t costumes. They’re for celebrations.

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Colourful padded bras are very popular.

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