San Siro send-off turns sour for <em>capitano</em> Maldini

San Siro send-off turns sour for capitano Maldini

It was a sunny afternoon in Milan last Sunday as Paolo Maldini led his team out onto the San Siro turf for the final time. The Milan captain was greeted by the fervent roar of home support from a crowd of over 70,000 that had gathered to cheer their hero one last time and to honor an extraordinary career. Each fan waved aloft a special scarf commemorating the occasion, and even the players of Roma, Milan’s opponents for the day, wore GRAZIE PAOLO t-shirts over their playing jerseys as they took to the field. As the teams lined up, an…

Liza Finn

Liza Finn

Blame Norah Jones, but it would be easy for some critics to dismiss the music of Liza Finn as the work of yet another girl-at-the-piano: the post-adolescent jazz-pop musings of a young, urban woman. But the apparent ordinariness of this 25-year old from North London is precisely what makes her and her music so extraordinary. Finn may compose pretty songs, and even has a pretty voice with which to sing them, but her abilities as a vocalist and a songwriter lift her above the swathes of supposedly like-minded artists with whom she could all too comfortably have been mistakenly grouped….

Portugal’s generation gap

Portugal’s generation gap

Any child developing an interest in football over this past year could be forgiven for believing Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest player the game has ever seen. The popularity of the Portuguese winger’s club, Manchester United, combined with the generally over-hyped Premiership coverage on Sky Sports would be enough to fool any impressionable youngster. But the fact that the football media can so strongly influence adult fans is much more surprising. Following Ronaldo’s fine form for United this season — in which he scored 31 goals (a Premiership record for a midfielder) — there was much talk amongst fans and…

Liberté, egalité… surrealité!

Liberté, egalité… surrealité!

Raymond Domenech might just be the luckiest man in football. Seventeen days after his France side were dumped out of Euro 2008 following three wretched performances, the Féderation Français de Football (FFF) today announced it would be holding onto the coach’s services for another two years, much to the disbelief of French fans and media. Despite France’s disastrous results in Austria and Switzerland, a meeting with the 56 year-old coach led to 18 of the FFF’s 21-member federal council voting in favour of Domenech’s tenure, with one abstention and two absentees. France’s uninspired displays at Euro 2008 earned them just…

Goodnight Vienna

Goodnight Vienna

Last night’s Euro 2008 final was the last live broadcast by John Motson, BBC Sport’s most senior commentator and the voice of its football coverage for over thirty years. His decision came after the BBC lost the rights to screen live football as of next season. Motson will continue to commentate on BBC1’s Saturday night Premier League highlights show Match of the Day and BBC Radio 5 Live, but will not be present at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. “I’d been thinking about it at the start of the season,” says the 62 year-old, on the eve of…

Room with a view

Room with a view

When I moved to Italy in the autumn of 2003, I was lucky enough to be offered a place to stay by an old friend of my parents, a retired English teacher named Bibi. That isn’t her real name: she’s actually called Fortunata Maria, but for reasons unknown people have always called her Bibi, so that’s what we called her too. Bibi lived in a small town called Borgo San Lorenzo, in the Mugello valley, roughly an hour north of Florence (or half an hour if you’re being driven by an Italian). I’d first met Bibi when I was eleven…

Scenes from an Italian restaurant

Scenes from an Italian restaurant

Though I try to keep this website up-to-date with what’s going on in my New York life, there is one tale I have yet to tell. In fact, the subject matter is of such a dark and depressing nature I have had to wait until the onset of Spring to even discuss it. And after I write this, I hope to erase the entire experience from my memory. Here goes. Around mid-January, I found myself to my surprise, still in New York, but also jobless and soon-to-be-homeless. Having exhausted all other avenues of potential employment I became desperate, and began…

MoMA

MoMA

It was exactly four months ago when I discovered I’d be spending the fall of 2007 working at The Museum of Modern Art. I had long dreamed of the opportunity to live in New York City, yet never imagined it would arrive in the form of an internship at arguably the world’s finest Modern Art museum. A heavy application process (including three essays) had ended with a carefully coordinated trans-atlantic telephone interview with a certain Larissa Bailiff, MoMA’s internship coordinator. I was extremely nervous beforehand, and spent that morning researching extensively the museum’s current and upcoming exhibitions. Fortunately, Ms. Bailiff…

PERFORMA 07: A first-hand review

PERFORMA 07: A first-hand review

Through a colleague at MoMA, I’d become aware of something called PERFORMA, a performing arts foundation founded by Roselee Goldberg. I was offered the chance to volunteer for this year’s month-long biennial, PERFORMA 07, and without a real job and lots of extra time on my hands I said yes. At a meeting at the PERFORMA office I was gifted a red PERFORMA (you’ll have noticed by now that PERFORMA is always written in capitals) tote bag and assigned to assist with various projects, performances and what I guess they used to call “happenings”. Allan Kaprow invented the term in…

Welcome to the future

Welcome to the future

It was a humid evening when I arrived in New York last Friday night. Aching and weary having spent most of the day aboard a Lufthansa jet, I was immediately awoken by the series of advertisements which greeted me at JFK Airport. As I made my way through the endless maze of corridors leading to immigration, my eyes were bombarded with the repeated image of what appeared to be a sort of executive Etch-a-Sketch, but which upon closer inspection was in fact a device they’re calling the Sony Reader. Some very clever people in Japan had figured out a way…

Raising the bar

Raising the bar

The life of a young writer is a hectic and stressful existence, often involving long hours of frantic typing as a deadline fast approaches, time which could be better spent sleeping or enjoying a proper dinner. However, occasionally we must abandon the iBook (or 1960 Lettera 32 Olivetti typewriter) and venture into the real world, all in the name of “research”. This usually means checking out a new bar or club, a task which has the added incentive of perhaps getting a free drink and/or meeting some girls. Thanks to their brief mention in Elle Decor magazine, I had recently…

Guernica

Guernica

On April 26th, 1937, twenty-four Nazi German fighters bombed the small town of Guernica in the Basque region of Spain. It was one of the most brutal attacks of the Spanish civil war — the estimated number of victims range from 250 to 1,600, and hundreds more were injured. Appalled by this latest attack, Picasso was propelled into action. The artist had already received a commission from the Spanish Republican government to decorate the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris International Exposition. The shocking attack on Guernica now provided Picasso with a perfect subject matter, and on May 1st, just days…

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