George Clooney Ate Here

This morning, I went straight to Venice for a coffee and cornetto (the Italian cousin of the croissant) and then headed to the tail of the fish (Venice is shaped kind of like a fish) to see the second part of the Biennale. Ok, that’s not entirely true; before I left the house, I actually had quite a large, strong coffee. At home, Italians use a moka pot to make coffee; a moka pot is a stove top coffee maker that produces coffee by passing hot water pressurized by steam through ground coffee, from bottom to top.

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Due to the way it is brewed, the coffee produced in a moka pot is similar in strength to an espresso; in other words, it is much stronger than American drip coffee. Each morning, I tend to drink and entire mug full of it. Hmmm.

Anyhow, after polishing off my first coffee, I headed into Venice to Tonolo, the best (or one of the two best, according to my host) patisserie in town. George Clooney was told the same thing when he was here for the Venice film festival, so I figured it was legit. Apparently, George turned up at the shop with bodyguards, locked the door, bought the two other customers in the shop at the time a coffee (one of whom was an irritated old lady who has no idea who George Clooney was), and treated himself to a coffee and pastry.

I had a macchiato and a whole wheat cornetto with honey. This was not what I was expecting to order — it was a little out of left field — but it was pretty good. So was the coffee.

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Next time, I am trying this:

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Next, I made my way to the Biennale, this time at the Arsenale, a different location from the one at the Giardini that I visited on Tuesday. I preferred the Giardini because it was a very unique arrangement in the sense that each country had its own permanent pavilion set throughout a park. Instead, the Arsenale is basically a huge long warehouse (this is where the Venetians used to build ships) that felt more like a normal contemporary art museum. Also, there were a lot of individual art works displayed, but only a few countries’ separate exhibitions of their emerging artists. I won’t do a large upload of photos like I did two days ago, but I will show you one part of Croatia’s exhibit. This is me watching me watching….me?

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…except that most of those people standing around me were not actually there. I looked into the second cut out in the wall (the first one had a film of some very naked people) and I could see a film, on a four by six inch screen, of me looking into the wall. On the film, I could see people coming up to peer over my shoulder but when I turned around no one was there except one or two people walking past or peering into the cut out with the naked people video. Parts of the film of me (on a constant stream) looked real and parts made me look superimposed, like on the last photo above. Very cool.

New life goal: get bait to opening weekend Biennale parties in 2013. If you have any leads, please share!

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