I know, I know. I've been gone awhile. Two years, it seems. Where the hell does the time go? I've been concentrating on learning silver-smithing, so I suppose I'll use that as an excuse.
So this year The Old Man turned 40. I was riddled with anxiety over finding the perfect gift and creating a celebration worth the achievement, not to mention totally annoyed at the prospect of trying to cook up something memorable that would require much effort and secrecy on my part.
Then, thanks be to my sainted silver-smithing instructor, I got wind of a study abroad trip to Italy through my local, beloved community college. A drawing trip to Northern Italy! Perfect! TOM had never been to Europe, he was telling me he wanted to take a drawing class (sure, sure, for fashion drawing, but STILL, it's drawing) AND I wouldn't have to bust my tail arranging a big blow out party. A no-brainer.
Needless to say, TOM was bowled over by the gift. We headed out May 16, for ten days in Milan and Venice. I could write for days about the trip, and the people we were with, and the loveliness of the whole thing, but that would be a digression from my point here and I have limited time until Trey wakes from his nap and Ace & Deuce get bored watching TV and demand a little more hands-on parenting.
Milan, our first stop, is a city unlike any other in Italy. It is very forward-thinking, less in love with its past. It seems enchanted with progression. Fast-moving, bustling, lots of cutting edge design stuff happening all about. We visited all over the city, but each day would find ourselves back at the piazza of the city's grand, delectable Duomo.
And it was there that we witnessed, first hand, Milan's crack problem. In that piazza there isn't a direction to look in without spying some unfortunate victim of what can only be described full-blown crack-addicted epidemic! You know that sent this little country mouse into a tizzy.
TOM and I immediately set out to photo-document all the abuse going on in broad daylight. He would point them out, I would get all touristy and pretend to be taking pictures of the grand vistas just past the victims. What follows are the photos we nabbed in just a couple short days in the city.
I wonder if her friends know her dirty little secret.
She loves crack.
Even the artists are into crack.
TOM, at a sidewalk cafe near the Duomo. We were shocked the restaurants would allow such blatant crack usage.
But I shouldn't have been... eventually even the cappuccinos were getting in on the act.
And then it happened. One of our own fell victim... bless his heart.