After my traveling plans for the weekend of Carnevale fell through, I decided to make the most of my weekend in Milan and take advantage of all the cool events in giro. I also had my camera with me for my adventures. My Saturday consisted of:
-bike ride into centro with F to see the children in their holiday costumes. We found a Trasforma Milano exhibition that turned junk into toys:
(Duomo lookin' imposin')
-Then we swung over to the Samedi Gras Multirazziale, a march against racism in Milan. ("Dove tutti sono milanesi, tranne i razzisti"). We danced with our bikes to reggae, watched the destruction of Lega Nord political posters, and paused in a tunnel to sing and curse at the vice sindaco of Milan.
-After our daily dose of politics, we returned to my neighborhood, Isola, for the Milano Clown Festival. The Festival, which lasted over three days, included street performers, artists, and musicians from all over the world.
The night before, I had watched the Brera Street Band perform al Frida. Saturday, we caught Le Rang du Frond al Teatro Sala Fontana.
They were fun (I especially enjoyed the fishnet-wearing banjo player), but they were playing strange banjo glam punk for a crowd that was half under 10, and I think they were a little confused. Their attempts at Italian were adorable though (Per favore potere lower the volume perchè i bambini sono *puts hands over ears*).
We headed to Piazza Gioia for the clowncerto of Hibiscus Theater from Spain, grabbed a beer at Frida, and then returned to Gioia for the concerto finale.
I never figured out the name of the band, but they were French and played gypsy music that everyone felt in their feet. The PIC Clowns mingled and danced too. At one point one of the singers began talking about a mystical experience (in French. All I know F translated for me). The accordion player began wiggling his fingers at the crowd, and we wiggled back. He climbed down from the stage, we kept wiggling our fingers. As he moved through the crowd, he caught my eye, cocked his eyebrow, grabbed my hands and pulled me to the stage. The singer began chattering in French, asking me my name (Rachel. Vashayl? Ra-chel. Mayshell? Rachele! Machall? Rachel! Ahh, Ray-shell!) Next thing I knew I had an accordion strapped to my back and the accordion player embracing me to play it. We spun around in circles while the crowd cheered and the band played along. Then as a finale, the entire band kissed me four times on the cheek, merci merci merci, bravissima. My head was spinning. F laughed at me and said he could tell I was confused about the kissing the entire band deal. And as we left to go dancing at Circo Bussa, strangers said, "Ciao Ray-shell!"
Then, on Sunday, we took a little trip to Cremona, the birthplace of Stradivarius. We wandered around, saw the Duomo, and visited a little flea market. I bought two records, Johnny Cash and Doc Watson, to play on my new (borrowed) giradischi.
All in all, it was a good weekend.