GenX, mortadella & Ferrante
I wrote you a bio: Among other things, Belle Chesler is a middle aged woman observing from the margins who is also a little sister tomboy jock genius world traveler lover painter teacher designer mother wife potter sister dancing plant whisperer explorer friend water loving writer daughter wife adventurer artist just here, asking good questions, looking around, and making the world a more beautiful place.
Thx, Belle. for all your thought provoking insights. I love Renee’s bio for you!! Well done! She knows you. 🥰
The part about the Mediterranean Diet is pretty hilarious; do they grow avocados in Italy? After watching Stanley Tucci, I would tend to agree with your opinions about food.
Seems he’s always talking about pasta and pastries, and cheeses, and meats. And cream and butter! Hmmmm 🙄😂
Rich and I have felt for quite a while that a career in writing would be ideal for you. Understanding that it’s no doubt a challenging way to make a living, or at least to get started. I wish you could write reviews and commentaries about new art openings at museums, or artist profiles and bios, or historical texts of art and artists. And travel the continent and the states while you do it. Sound appealing?
I’ll happily read it all!
Belle so excellent as always. I do hope for you to make writing a fulltime career someday. You certainly have the talent. I never had avacado toast in Italy but I definitely ate a lot of cornettis....
Never read Gomorrah but I know Tom and Kelly both did. For me during the period of time we lived in Campania it all seemed too close to home.... I do remember hearing a very loud helicopter over our area one afternoon. I knew something big was happening and it turned out that someone high up in the Camorra was being arrested about a mile or so away. As I said too close for comfort.
enjoying your thoughts turned into words for this blog...ALOT! Saw your folks on Monday and they gave us cute little avocados from their tree so I could make---yes, avocado toast with juice from our meyer lemons. Loving your insights and private musings which of course you are generous to share with all of us. Did you catch Ferrante's first two books on TV? impressive. I really hope to see you when you get back, don't know how or when or where but it would be such a pleasure!
Same exact energy that people use to describe Japanese food as healthy and vegetable and fish based. Visiting Tokyo now, you can have only pork, chicken, and beef at every meal if you want, cheap cigarettes and booze at all hours of the day! No one is eating tofu and seaweed, unless it’s a tiny prelude to yakiniku, pork belly ramen, and fried chicken
Food moans aside your posts are just generally resonating with me so much! Keep writing - in awe of your skill.
Another Bio Option: Belle Chesler, 21st Century Explorer. Discovering cultures of the world, new foods, art of today and yesterday, and most importantly, the magic of her authentic self.
Eight dollar Avocado toast is funding cartels; adding to even more crime. One thing, traditionally, in Italy is that people ate a local, mostly modest and seasonal diet. That is changing in many places in the world with the onslaught of big corp and junk food. The social aspects are right, the healthcare (though that is getting harder there too) and the traditional family support, which is also not like it used to be, the lifestyle has a lot to do with it. Regarding diet and community, not sure if you are familiar with Blue Zones - interesting, and you hit on a lot of it. The thing I think is slightly skewed is people think Italians live on pizza and pasta (and maybe mortadella and prosciutto mmm 😉); there is such a variety of vegetables, fish, grains, raw olive oil, nuts, fruits, cheeses, legumes etc etc. Some things you only see in the market once a year (not like avocados in the US). Many meals use very simple, fresh and FEW ingredients - a small piece of high quality meat after a primo and accompanied by either a salad or greens. Grains like pasta and bread have changed, but you still find a much more healthy bread in Italy than most places in the west. Some of the flours for pasta don't even exist in other areas. The Mediterranean diet is whole food, in healthy portions combined so flavors are simple, but without a lot of additives. Coffee is had plain or with 3 oz of milk (once a day or more times if just espresso no milk), not 12 oz all day long; taken in a bar, in a real cup, with conversation, jests and laughter, or simply relaxing and watching the day. Alcohol is usually modest, some wine and maybe a digestivo. Now micro brews and more drinking is popular. Overall, besides some glossing over how food is made/served and the importance of the meal overall, long and with family and friends, this is a great read. I've been enjoying your insights on Venice and travel. - A fellow traveler, ex-PNW transplant, and dual American - Italian. 🤗 BTW I waited so long to read the Neapolitan stories and I ended up listening on audio which I really loved.
The health care anxiety was a major bummer for me, coming from the UK in 1980, and later finagling the system to ensure my daughter with cancer was eligible to stay on my company health insurance plan (she had to be in full time education though she really didn't want to be). And I've remained anxious over the years - though that I'm geriatric I get Medicare (which still also requires you to buy two supplements, one for drugs and one for - medical care). Give it to the people having babies! I want to yell.
I love your style - enjoy the sense that you're talking me about such interesting things you come across and do and think about. I love the feeling of spontaneity in it - even if your revise a lot as I expect you might! I'd hate to have to write a bio too!
“Naples was the great European metropolis where faith in technology, in science, in economic development, in the kindness of nature, in history that leads of necessity to improvement, in democracy, was revealed, most clearly and far in advance, to be completely without foundation. To be born in that city- I went to write once, thinking not of myself but of Lila’s pessimism- is useful for only one thing: what today, with endless fine distinctions, everyone is beginning to claim: that the dream of unlimited progress is in reality a nightmare of savagery and death.”
Ferrante, The Story of the Lost Child