Selected Works

Nonfiction
A look at life in little-known mountain towns of the Sicilian hinterlands.
A true account of the last years of an ancient Sicilian giant bluefin tuna trap.






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Out of Palermo

So funny!

December 21, 2014

Tags: robber, spider man, l'uomo ragno, palermo, sicily, sicilia, on the loose

Spider Man, the burglar, caught with his backpack on.
For the autumn of 2012 I lived at the Palazzo Vannucci on the Cassaro, I had a third-floor bedroom that stretched from the facade of the palace to the back of the palace, plus the studio underneath that, (more…)

Spectacular

December 20, 2014

Tags: Palermo, Cassaro, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Porta Felice, Porta Nuova, centro storico, historic center

Palermo today. Photographer unknown at this time.
An incredibly beautiful view of old Palermo from the sea at the bottom of Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the city's first street, whose oldest part, near the top a, near Porta Nuova, was built by the Phoenicians 2700 years ago. There is a homeless encampment just out of sight of this photo, to the bottom right,where Mohammed lives with his friends in campers and cars and tents along the shore.

Walled up Palermo

November 29, 2014

Tags: wall, palermo, bricks, cement blocks, palermo, capo, sicilia, sicily, italy

This used to be a second-floor French door with balcony overlooking the Capo market.
Much of Palermo's historic center, the largest in Europe, is walled up like this window in what used to be a lovely art deco building above the heads of the market merchants. Some such buildings house newly-arrived clandestine immigrants.

Sedie Volanti

November 20, 2014

Tags: flying chairs, sedie volanti, palermo, transportation, bearers, sicily, sicilia, italia, italy

Two Flying Chairs
Near the end of the Capo street market in the quarter behind the Palermo cathedral is a narrow lane called Street of the Flying Chairs where once these elegant travel booths were made. The cabs were carried on long poles on men's shoulders and seemed to fly above the crowds. Men and women of (more…)

Tomatoes

November 4, 2014

Tags: tomato, pomodoro, Ballaro`, market, Palermo, sicily, sicilia, italy, Italia

tomatoes
The tomatoes look just as good as the persimmons.

Persimmons

November 2, 2014

Tags: persimmon, market, ballaro`, street, palermo, sicily, italy, sicilia, italia, fruit, frutta, gente, people, buy, sell

Persimmons at Ballaro` market
I ate my first persimmon in Palermo. You cut off the top and eat he flesh with a small spoon. So sweet, one does not talk while eating them. Friends will bring over a basket of them for dessert. They look like frosted tomatoes.

The Cuticchio family

October 17, 2014

Tags: cuticchio, puppet, sicilian, palermo, sicilia, sicily, italia, italy, culture, family, figli d'arte

A multi-headed monster puppet representing the Cuticchio family of puppeteers
In the hundreds of episodes that make up one drama from the repertoire of the Siciilan puppet theater, there is one many-headed monster which appears only once onstage. This lifelike sculpture is a spoof on that monster, representing instead the now-deceased head of the Cuticchio family and his children, puppeteers all, growing from his head.

Nut and seed store

October 15, 2014

Tags: store, seeds, nuts, cereals, kalsa, palermo, sicily, sicilia, italia, italy, cereali, semi

Loved this storefront
I found this nut and seed store while wandering the back streets of La Kalsa, the central Palermo neighborhood directly across the street from my palace rooms in Via Vittorio Emmanuele. I just liked the way it looked.

Heavy Lifting

October 6, 2014

Tags: Words or phrases to categorize this post for the tags section

Bookseller Pietro Tramonte (right) enlists the help of passsersby.
Moving books here is a community effort.

Inventor Marcello Lampone at play

October 1, 2014

Tags: Words or phrases to categorize this post for the tags section

I have spent the last two mornings reliving my three-hour encounter with Marcello Lampone, a 67-year-old Palermo inventor and blithe spirit. His bottega is near the intersection of Via Maqueda with Via del Bosco. Here he is at play.

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