Graffiti groupie in Torino and what I had for lunch

Sunday, 16 September, 2018 30C

Today we went to the Balon flea  market but it wasn’t there! I’m puzzled since I thought it was every Sunday! Never mind. So we headed back up to the main road, Regina Margherita.

On the side of the mosque near our flat
On the side of the mosque near our flat
Haven't noticed this flat before - nicely done!
Haven’t noticed this flat before – nicely done!

At the top of the street, we saw a roughly painted whale shape on the wall and, looking a bit more, there was a guy sitting on a wooden crate – the artist? Yes! So I went to chat with him. He said his name was Fijodor. He was from somewhere else but now in Turin. Where he comes from, it’s on the French border and in that part of the Mediterranean there are whales. His theme for the wall art will be plastics and the plight of the earth. The other interesting thing was he was from the place where plastic was invented.

He gave me his card.

The outline for the whale
The outline for the whale
Mr Fijodor takes a break
Mr Fijodor takes a break

Continue reading “Graffiti groupie in Torino and what I had for lunch”

Shopping in Torino

Saturday, 15 September, 2018 32 and very humid

I went out!

I decided over breakfast that I wanted to go shopping, something I rarely do while on holiday. There are two stores I’ve heard about that might do the trick. One is OVS, which is a clothing department store, and the other is Rinascente, a national department store. There are several shopping areas in Turin but these stores are on Via Lagrange and Via Roma – both somewhat upscale.

Dhal for breakfast
Dhal for breakfast

The tram wasn’t as crowded as expected this morning, particularly since a lot of people get off at the first stop, Porta Palazzo market, in full swing for a Saturday. We both score a seat!

When we get to our final stop there’s more to see than we expected – a real mix of buildings. Some quite baroque, and one looked medieval. We wandered along the street looking at the architectural details. This isn’t like Paris, where all the buildings conform in colour and design, and this makes everything seem more interesting so we’re curious.

Some of the architectural detail is stunning
Some of the architectural detail is stunning

Ahead of us on the main road, we spotted an impressive building with one of those really tall doors. We headed towards it to start our journey to shop but were a bit delayed by swarms of birds.

A couple of times birds came swooping down the road
A couple of times birds came swooping down the road
The birds perched everywhere and we noticed there's no deterring spikes here
The birds perched everywhere and we noticed there’s no deterring spikes here
Looking towards our targeted building, the contrast with the medieval building on the right
Looking towards our targeted building, the contrast with the medieval building on the right
Someone opened the front door of this magnificent building
Someone opened the front door of the magnificent building we were heading towards

There were some great details on that building. First, it must have originally been something to do with electricity ( I can’t find the details so far) since along above some windows there were some engraved names – GRAMME THOMSON EDISON AMPERE FARADAY OHM.

Electricity!
Electricity!

And another great detail – wish I were taller – these rather demonic figures!

Turin has links to the occult - can see why
Turin has links to the occult – can see why

Then we turned towards – shopping! Continue reading “Shopping in Torino”

The heat keeps me indoors – most of the time

Friday, 14 September, 2018 30C or so and humid

I say I’m happy to stay home but it would be nice to go out too, so that’s becoming a big issue for me right now. The heat continues and it’s humid, with no end in sight. Earlier forecasts had shown this coming week to be in the mid twenties but instead 29 is more the figure. Nothing I can do about the weather but I’m gathering ideas for hot weather and shut-in ideas.

Ideas? Here’s what I’ve done so far.

First hot weather idea. I made a doll! She's called Ciao so far
First hot weather idea. I made a doll! She’s called Ciao so far
Second idea - eat leftovers! Agnoletti and burata
Second idea – eat leftovers! Agnoletti and burata
Third idea - watch really cheesy (and unPC) Italian television
Third idea – watch really cheesy (and un-PC) Italian television

There’s also watching Amazon Prime and Netflix. I am following the new Better Call Saul series. I finished watching series 3 of Poldark and very ready for series 4 – that might have to wait till London since BBC probably won’t play for me here – we shall see. I’m also working my way through the quirky Halt and Catch Fire series 2.  Very annoyed that I can’t see This is Us series 2 without purchasing a TV subscription – that is not going to happen!

We also spent time watching a rather spectacular lightning storm, which started in the clouds over the Alps and eventually reached us with some high winds and drenching rain. It sadly did nothing to abate the heat more than just for that evening.

Friday I planned to get out but again the heat stopped me. But I thought maybe we could go out later, for dinner. We were out of food. I booked a place that sells plates of local meats and cheeses but eventually Krish opted out and so we thought about what to do instead.

Krish suggested walking around Borgo Dora and see where we could eat, with a fallback for pizza nearby. Done!

I made a deal to look at restaurants and pick one for each week and actually go! Also I still plan to go alone when I can – for lunch.

First we did a big loop around the Galleria Umberto.  Nothing to interest His Fussiness there. Then we headed into Borgo Dora ro see what we could see.

From Via Milano looking across Piazza della Repubblica to Borgo Dora
From Via Milano looking across Piazza della Repubblica to Borgo Dora
Borgo Dora was quiet at first and then it got livelier
Borgo Dora was quiet at first and then it got livelier
But we ended up with local pizza anyway. It was as hot as the pizza oven in here so we took it home
But we ended up with local pizza anyway. It was as hot as the pizza oven in here so we took it home
Our pizzas - 4 Staggione an a gorgonzola and pear
Our pizzas – 4 Staggione an a gorgonzola and pear

A diversion. Pizza in Italy. So I always imagined I would come to Italy and think, well, this is what a pizza is supposed to taste like! But that has never happened. A good pizza anywhere is as good as a pizza in Italy. Yes! Disappointed? However, it’s hard to find a bad pizza in Italy. This pizza, from a local place called Saraceno,  has a chewy and salty crust. It’s not bad.

Last year when we came here, we arrived on the night the neighbourhood was having a street party. Everyone was sitting at a long table on the street eating together. This year it’s happening again but seems to be somewhere else. I will investigate. Krish has suggested we could go and I’d make my pesto potato salad. We had some fun talking about how a curry might not go over so well. I wonder how the potato salad would be received?

Neighbourhood Festival
Neighbourhood Festival

A day to tackle what to do, and at our Toret

Tuesday, 11 September, 2018 32C

Getting hotter! Just happy to stay home really. What’s the hurry? But we did know that we were running out of food so a short market visit was in the cards. Talking of running, Krish went for his first run since arriving. I don’t like him running in the heat and, in typical Krish fashion, he didn’t get out of the door until close to noon but get out he did. He came back having run ten minutes less than expected but pronounced it a ‘good run.’

While he was out I booked my cooking day – Market to Table. That will be on 5th October from morning till mid afternoon.

A quick lunch before the market, using up what we had in the fridge.

Hummus with veggies, cheese, a hard boiled egg and some fruit
Hummus with veggies, cheese, a hard boiled egg and some fruit

What a hot walk! I almost regretted going out but once up the hill, a cool break in the Orologio Market. We did a couple of circuits, then braved it across the street to the other covered market – does it have a name? Some agnolotti al plin (Piemontese tradition!), two pork chops, a very small roast chicken… not many stalls were open and we were done.

Half-closed market and one lonely shelf stacker
Half-closed market and one lonely shelf stacker

Porta Palazzo has a whole other feeling when it’s closed. I like the skeletons of the stalls and carts, not so much the piles of empty boxes and rotting fruit.

Hard to imagine this will be empty and gleaming later tonight
Hard to imagine this will be empty and gleaming later tonight

Krish had brought out three or four bottles to fill from the toret. Toret means little bull – and each fountain has the bull head as a spout, over 700 torets throughout the city. You can even get an app to show you the nearest one.  The water is purified from the River Po and these days the water company has taken over their care. At any rate, every day we fill our bottles and drink it. And I keep joking about whether there’s something growing in our bellies as a result!

Down by the farmers market is one of our closest Torets. First, we let a couple of birds have their fill and then it was our turn.

At the Toret
At the Toret

Krish went to  meetup for English speakers in Turin. I stayed home and started a new doll, the first in a long time. A hot, humid evening. I meant to make a To Do list and start checking things off but I didn’t get very far.

It’s too darn hot! The River Dora and Vanchiglia

Monday, 10 September, 2018 30C

It’s just too hot, but today Krish persuaded me to come out for a walk. We walked along the river for quite a while and checked out the engineering that’s been done on the Dora to divert the water and create a weir.

Coming along the road, looking south (Campanile in the background) to start our walk, which is northwards
Coming along the road, looking south (Campanile in the background) to start our walk, which is northwards to the Fiume Dora

Along the river, there’s some older and newer development. Then there’s this large, not yet tagged, Roa piece.

Art by Roa
Art by Roa
This artist does the same piece over and over in slightly different ways. I can't find out who s/he is. Torino Affonda means Torino is sinking
This artist does the same piece over and over in slightly different ways. I can’t find out who s/he is. This is new since last year. Torino Affonda means Torino is sinking – not sure if it’s done by the artist or afterwards
A fairly modern community, which overlooks the Dora
A fairly modern community, which overlooks the Dora

We headed back to Via Regina Margherita, which is the main street that runs a very long and straight way parallel to the river and directly to the south of the flat. The tram ride along it is quite wonderful, lined as it is with trees on both sides, for  miles.

We headed into Vanchiglia for a little while. Most things were closed but we checked out some supermarkets for vegetables. Seems it’s the wrong time of year. Everywhere had plenty of zucchini and that’s about it.

By now I was too hot and didn’t care about taking photos. It was also hazy so everything around us seemed shadowy. And we had the closest view yet of The Mole Antonelliana. Another, cooler, day for that! Back home before I melted!

Dim sum tonight. I miss my pans and my bamboo steamers!

The Mole, tantalisingly close but not today
The Mole, tantalisingly close, but not for today