Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Beach Days

With temperatures in the low 90s these days (33 degrees C)--and as most Venetians don't have air conditioning (even in the grandest palazzos)--the only relief from the heat is to be found in one's own boat or on the beach; or in a boat on the beach, as at Sant' Erasmo above.

Just beyond the right edge of the image above is the bacan, or sand bar, a focal point for summer boaters. You can read about the scene here in a 2011 post entitled "Belly Up to the Sandbar: 'Locals Only' off Sant' Erasmo."

The "locals only" part of that post's title is outdated, however, as a number of tour operators now offer trips to the bacan: promising to deliver tourists to "authentic and hidden Venetian experiences," which of course become markedly less "authentic" and "hidden" with each arriving tourist.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sea, Land, Sky: Lagoon Strata, This Morning

 Three rowers in the distinctive azure and white stripes of the Querini rowing club follow a meandering stream through a flowering barena (mud flat)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Fatoumata Diawara at Teatro Goldoni (Venezia Jazz Festival)

Diawara namechecked Nina Simone and Fela Kuti during last Thursday's concert and, as I hope this series of images suggests, their influence was evident as her performance moved from powerful elegance to communal exhilaration

Among the many things missed by the 75% of Venice's tourists who spend only a few hours in the city are major events like the Venezia Jazz Festival, which each summer features an inspired (and inspiring) mix of legendary artists--such as Gil Gilberto this year--and younger ones, like Fatoumata Diawara, who performed last Thursday night. For anyone planning a trip to Venice during the first half of next summer, it's something that should be kept in mind.

More immediately, Fatoumata Diawara is touring extensively in Europe in support of her new album Fenfo through the rest of 2018 (see the full schedule, which includes two US concerts, here). A native of Mali who now lives in Paris, Diawara's recorded material (available through the usual online sources) is fantastic (this video from her first album is a good introduction, and includes an English translation of its lyrics among the comments); her performance live is unforgettable. See her if you get the chance.      

Audience members join Diawara onstage for the encore

Thursday, July 19, 2018