Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy World Pasta Day!

Hey, guess what tomorrow is. It's World Pasta Day! Yup, and here I thought it only happened on Wednesdays.

To celebrate this carbolicious day, please enjoy some foodie photos from my recent trip to Italy. The below photo may just appear to be a plate of nicely presented pasta, but when I look at it I remember dining in Verona during opera season and hearing arias lofting overhead from the nearby coliseum.
Verona was also the first place I saw an Ape putting around. I was so excited when I saw it going around the square collecting garbage. Throughout my time in Italy, I came across countless numbers of Apes. In Florence, I even saw some electric powered ones. The Italians use their Apes to transport all kinds of things from luggage to huge wine casks. And I hear in Cinque Terra a certain Aussie tourist named Jannelle got a ride in one, but I'll let her tell that story in Bumpstart. (cough, cough hint hint Janelle).
While I was visiting the scooter motherland, I met up with Scooterbella, a Vespa touring company in Tuscany.

My Vespa tour group (Photo from left to right: Melanie from Australia, Bill from Boston, Tour guides Sagra from Spain and Elizabeth, an expat from PA, and Janelle aka "Ginger" from Australia)

One of my favorite restaurants we stopped at was L Alto Chianti.

Their ravioli with truffle slices was so good.

Besides the great food, their restaurant had a roof terrace that provided spectacular views of Chianti.
I see now why so many tourists have a hard time leaving Tuscany.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tuscan Scooter Rally

During my second week in Italy, I toured Tuscany by Vespa. At the start of our riding day, we would occasionally stop for some espresso. One morning as we pulled into town we came upon the start of a scooter rally. What great luck! The Italian scooterists enjoyed showing off their scooters to me. One of them spoke English, so I was able to communicate without the aid of my Rick Steves phrase book! There were lots of great scooters and Fiat cars in attendance, but I was really taken with this Lambretta.
It's a Lambretta 150 D in pristine condition that actually runs.
The group quickly threw back some espressos before heading to their next stop, but I managed to snap a couple photos.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Reading Frenzy

I was walking to IPRC the other night and as I passed Reading Frenzy's window, I couldn't believe my eyes. In their window display was Bumpstart!
It's right next to Mineshaft (featuring R.Crumb) and below Craig Thompson's Carnet De Voyage. My first time in a widow display and I'm in such good company!

You can also find it in the Zine Section at Powells....

Zinesters Talking 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in Multnomah Library's Zinesters Talking Series. I was really honored, and a little nervous when they asked me to be one of this year's featured zinesters. I joined Kate Lopresti, creator of Constant Rider as part of their transportation themed night, which was held in the US Bank Room of the Central Library. I asked if I could ride my scooter into the reading, but they mentioned some crazy regulation against bringing in two-wheeled transportation. Oh well, I tried. (above photo) Emily-Jane Dawson, Multnomah County Librarian introducing Kate and I before our readings.

It was my first ever reading and I scored the US Bank Room. Wow! I was nervous, but the library staff helped put me at ease. It really was a fun night. I gave an emotional account of flying to Italy and meeting Maria Borio, owner of Cascina Castlet. I also spoke of how doing 'zines has enriched my life and taken me places I never thought I'd go.(above photo) Here I am holding a bottle of Maria's famous Barbara 'd Asti "scooter wine".

Kate did a great reading from Constant Rider. She's a really poised reader and told some great stories involving Portland's public transportation. I just finished reading about her cross-country train ride home to Wisconsin and loved it.
(above photo) Posing with our beverages of choice for the night.

The library bought some copies of Bumpstart to place in their zine collection. I'm really excited that people will be able to check out copies of my zine from the library very soon. It's great that our library system is so supportive of local independent publishers. Thanks to all the awesome library staff and everyone who showed up for the reading. You made it a memorable night!