Friday, October 31, 2008

A Tour of Our Casa

Ciao! I'm happy to devote this post to providing our devotees with an all-access pass to our apartment. I spend much more time here than Martello does, as he is either in or traveling to/from the office 12 hours a day during the work week. Our favorite time of day, of course, is when he returns and we prepare dinner together.

But before I get to the culinary delights, let me guide you through our home. First, take a look at our elegant street sign—it’s quite an upgrade from the green aluminum and white block lettering in New York City! We live on Via Michelangelo Buonarroti, he of sculpting and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fame.

Just off Via Dante Alighieri (ah, the Italians and their beautiful names...), we are the second house from the top of the street.

Conveniently located across the way are the recycling and trash cans (note, if you can squint, the handy, sanitary foot pump on the far right bin); the locals take their recycling very seriously.

Our steps are composed of a lovely marble. However, they do get a little slippery when it rains, which it does a lot here… (Martello says the forecast is rain through next Friday, November 7! Pacific Northwest, eat your heart out!)

After passing the mailboxes (not pictured), which are eagerly awaiting your postcards, it’s time to step into our elevator.

This picture is not quite illustrative, but visualize inside this plain white door a set of green swinging doors leading to a tight squeeze.

When you disembark from the elevator, a quick right turn leads to our front door with its crazy locks. The locks look even nuttier from the inside! I think we have four; the main one and three additional deadbolts! We are quite secure! (But from what we can gather thus far, this town isn’t a hotbed of criminal activity.)

The doorway leads immediately into the hallway, where we keep our outer garments (including Trofie Wife’s infamous bomber (aka Nanook) hats.

Adjacent to the front door is our guest bedroom, which is eager to welcome visitors!

Note how the retro orange décor coordinates beautifully with the bedspreads (how we wish we could take credit…).

Our favorite room is our cucina Italiana! It’s really the cutest kitchen ever.

The red checkered tablecloth is straight out of Lady and the Tramp and just screams “pasta! vino!”
There’s plenty of storage space (and interesting appliances—a juicer!— left behind by prior tenants) in our overhead cabinets.

Dishwashers are not common here, so we do our scrubbing in the sink and drying on the side.
Our small appliances exquisitely pick up on the cute theme. Here is our adorable fridge.

For those of you familiar with the original latte-colored refrigerator at the Jackson Place apartment, it too has those amazingly helpful (hysterical?) drawings that outline how long you can store (presumably dead) fuzzy animals: bunny rabbit—six months, Rudolph, 12.

The bathroom contains a trove of treasures.

Note the hot pink bathmat, which Trofie Wife scored on sale at the housewares shop at the “mall” (a true New Jerseyan wouldn’t even deign to call our dinky local “shopping center” that)!

Our freshly washed clothes get hung on this amazing contraption that rests above the hybrid shower–tub.

Below you will see our infamous hot water boiler.

In our town, hot water is only guaranteed when the central heating is turned on, a momentous event that will occur on November 15. Between March (when it turns off) and November 14, the only way to take a warm shower–bath (you kind of a have to sit in the tub as if you were taking a bath but then use the handheld shower nozzle to moisten your soap and yourself) is to turn on the electric water boiler, which is supposedly quite expensive (we’ll let you know when the bill arrives). Martello forgot to unplug it earlier this week, so Trofie Wife had quite a nice warm shower that afternoon! (It consequently may turn out to be the most expensive shower ever; we’ll be sure to update you.)

This is our dining room, which Trofie Wife repeatedly refers to as the living room (even though it’s really her “office” (used loosely, since as of yet no actual work is being done) during the day).

This is our curio cabinet and some sorta comfy chairs.

We don’t have a couch, and it does not appear that there will be room for one (and we’ll be less likely to turn into little gnocchi that way…).

Our shutters (located on all doors and windows) open and close with this cool device. This is the view from our dining room terraza.

We have a lovely snapshot of the Santuario e Seminario di Gesù Bambino, the major duomo in the town. It’s actually a noted Catholic pilgrimage site and many of the faithful pass through Arenzano to visit. Additionally, this year is its centennial; we were lucky enough to wander into one of the celebrations during Trofie (Almost) Wife’s September visit. I should also add here that our house is filled with Catholic iconography (courtesy of the owner), so between that and our own religious contributions, we should hopefully be pretty covered in the God department! This is the sea view from the terraza in the kitchen and this is the mountainside view. On warm days (months from now) Trofie Wife can sit outside with an espresso and inhale the view and salty air.

Finally, here is our master bedroom. It’s sizeable, though sadly we could not bring our lovely new bedding with us (except for one blanket), so pardon the clashing.

Well, that concludes our tour. As I used to say at each stop on College Walk (after bracing myself to start walking backwards again), “any questions?” We hope you enjoyed your first “visit” to our home!

Next up: More news from around the house.

Baci e gelato,
Martello e Trofie Wife

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Totally brings me back to my semester in Sevilla. At least you're not rooming with 3 other American girls -- showers were either very short or very cold! Also forgot about the lack of clothes dryers in Europe and how everything is always stiff and crusty. Am very impressed at how you're adapting!