Easter, Steve Jobs and Facebook

I don’t watch a lot of TV these days, since I only have Netflix, and I normally don’t watch it either for the lack of time, so when I finally got time this weekend, I went on a “movie binge” and watched 2 movies back to back!

I watched Steve Jobs and The Social Network (both for the first time I must say).

Loved both movies!

Not because of cinematography or costumes, that I usually gravitate towards, but for the inspiring stories. Both of the characters Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg had something in common which made both of them not only eccentric and socially awkward characters but something else that let them change the world in a way that was never done before.

What were those unifying characteristics?

I would summarize it as -” the passionate belief in the impossible”!

That was something that Christian religion introduced more than 2000 years ago. It was something that I always treated as part of the beautiful legend without even ever understanding what it really meant.

Now I have learned from the “tech gods” that It is essentially the belief in the” limitless possibilities”…Both Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg dared to believe in the impossible with such conviction and passion that people around them thought they are crazy.

The truth is they were able to acheive the impossible and unify the world that has never done before.

How does it relate to Christianity?

It connects with the belief of the resurrection of the Christ. Resurrecting from death is the most impossible thing on Earth. If you truly belief that Christ resurrected it means that “impossible is nothing” and that is exactly what great thinkers “..the misfits, …the rebels, …the crazy ones” believe in.

Let me know your thoughts,

Happy Easter Everyone!

evelina galli

Health Thursday: Relaxing baths

One of the best ways to pumper yourself is to take a bath, put on a nice music  and light up some candles. Warm water helps muscles to relax . Relaxed muscles send signal to the brain, that “everything is fine you can relax” and brain follows the body and slowly calms down.

The whole experience can only improve by adding some aromatic salts into the water.

Here is one of my favorite  DIY recipes ( I absolutely love the smell of rose in this!)

  • Dried rose petals
  • Rose water or rose essential oil
  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 2/3 cup powdered milk

Mix ingredients together and add a scoop to the bath water .

It is great for skin, mind and spirit, try and let me know :)

evelina galli wearing komarovinc.com dress

Wearing Red flower print resort dress by Komarovinc.com

Hello Palm Springs!

Sooo excited to be in Palm Springs! 90 degrees! (compare to 67F in LA )

Looking forward to new discoveries at Palm Springs Fine Art Fair! Check back tomorrow for the show pictures, see you soon!

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evelina galli at palm springs

in Komarovinc.com blue color blocked top

Anger Management

People always demonize anger as a negative emotion that should be avoided and diluted at all costs. In general, this might be true, but some things are hard to obtain without the presence of anger.  For example, anger can stimulate A CHANGE …any kind of change… changing the way you dress, your habits, where you live, how you eat…any change is sometimes hard to motivate without anger!

evelina galli in a Komarov top

In a Komarov “Abstract Expressionism” top

Let me explain…

If you’re annoyed with something would you change?….well maybe

If you dislike something, would you change it?…possibly

If you absolutely hate something, cannot stand it at any cost, and it aggravates you down to your DNA, would you change it?…I am positive you would!

So, in order to make the change we want in our life with anything, be it “cleaning up the closet” or “losing 5 pounds”….number 1 step would be:

#1…Get really angry! Angry to the point that you cannot stand it anymore! Play that emotion like an actor or actress for a more dramatic feel.  Draw a picture of it and tear it, for an even more, opera level, dramatic effect!

#2 Imagine your dream “WANT”, your ideal, your fantasy, your goal …find a picture save it on your phone, on your fridge, wherever…so you can see it everyday and think about your goal.

#3 Write three immediate steps that you can take today to get there. It should be something achievable, something immediate, and do it!

  1. Keep a journal and write even your tiniest progress every day, and make sure to keep it positive! Be nice and encouraging to yourself, ask constantly “how can I do it better, more efficient, more fun, more enjoyable?”
  2. Make your action steps gradually more challenging and give yourself a deadline.

Do Not STOP until you’ll get to your goal!

These steps might sound really silly, but they worked for me, because whenever I was feeling unsure, lukewarm, or indifferent, I would not get out of my way to change anything.

So if you want a change–Get ANGRY!

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The 8th Wonder of the World!

As you saw in my previous post, San Gimignano is a pretty unique place. A complete fossilized city in the middle of nowhere. One of the most intriguing things about the city is their delicious food!

Evelina Galli in Tuscany

I found a restaurant that Tripadvisor gave more than 1200 reviews. It was located in a non-descript alley, with an unmarked door.

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A little curious fact is that the restaurant was  right next to the Museum la Tortura.

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(As you may have guessed, “Museum la Tortura” means “Museum of Torture.” Because my hands were shaking when taking the photo, you may notice the skeleton in the cage.)

The restaurant that I was looking for was called Cum Quibus. The sign said they will open at 7:30 pm.  And just in case someone wanted to open the door to peek in, it had curtains in front of it: a complete mystery.

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It was only 3 o’clock and I had to eat something. Some American tourist suggested Cafe Stella, and I thought, well maybe something light will help me survive to 7:30 pm. Of course I ended up eating a 3 course meal (dessert included) since this was the absolute best food I have had in Italy so far! Caffe Stella was not even close to Cum Quibus’ ratings on TripAdvisor, so my desire to go there was hightened 10 fold!

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At 7:25 I went back to Cum Quibus and waited another five minutes under the pouring rain, for the doors to open. The restaurant was booked completely but somehow they managed to find an extra table. The place had a really cool rustic Tuscan vibe and was very small.

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Food started coming in and despite the more casual presentation it had the most surprising, bold flavor combinations that were extremely artistic.

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Then some of the loyal patrons started coming and congratulating Lorenzo, the restaurant’s young owner that TripAdvisor just announced Cum Quibus as the 8th BEST Restaurant in the WORLD! 

That was unbelievable! 8th restaurant in the WORLD in the middle of nowhere?! How is it possible?

evelina galli in tuscany

Cheers for Cum Quibus from Instagram

But it made me think of an Armenian proverb that says “a polished diamond won’t sit on the floor for too long”.

Regardless of where you are and how small you are, if you’ll do a good job, it won’t be unnoticed.

That was the beautiful lesson from old San Gimignano and wounderful Cum Quibus.

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Lost and Found in Tuscan Hills

People don’t normally like the feeling of being lost, me included. It is the uncertainty, the loss of control, disorientation, frustration, anger, denial, and the list can go on.

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But if we have time and we can move past the initial sense of anxiety, being lost can be an opportunity to see new places, to discover new things, to become an explorer…almost like Columbus.

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I was not quite in the philosophical mood when I got lost on the way from Florence to Sienna. Rain and feeling hungry did not help the situation. But pretty soon a structure that resembled old city walls appeared, as well as promising signs of Trattorias and Pizzerias nearby. The medieval city structure was so impressive that for a little while I forgot I was hungry. Rain almost became a drizzle and my iPhone finally got an Internet signal showing that my location was at San Gimignano.

evelina galli in tuscany:san gimignano

Since I had never heard of this city, I wanted to get inside and see what was happening inside the city walls.

evelina galli in tuscany:san gimignano

Especially after seeing that TriplAdvisor.com recommended an amazing restaurant there, which had more then 1200 reviews on it, all being fantastic and fabulous!

Inside the city walls the cutest medieval city was hiding! Coming from LA it almost felt like a movie set. But of course it is as real as it gets!

evelina galli in tuscany:san gimignano

With the 14 towers that were leftover from the previously built 72 (the highest one 54 meters!), it was an architectural gem that I was feeling so blessed to see.

I will tale more about this fascinating city but I wonder if you can guess why people will build these labor-intensive tall towers in the 14-century, 72 of them and one higher than the other?

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Styling à la Florentine

When you enter a city trough the medieval gigantic doors, you know it is a special place.

Firenze (Florence)  is an epitome of the Italian Renaissance where even the hotels are built with the Renaissance in mind.

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When the hotel room has a Renaissance themed frescoes on the walls, it must be Florence!

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Florence has a very distinct style.

It is an open air museum that would take a visitor a few months to experience and appreciate all the gems that this city has to offer.

One of the least touristy places is the Medicis’ villa. There are so many primary spots that I think the Medicis’ villa hardly gets any traffic.

It is a unique feeling to experience such historical locations in a Zen atmosphere.

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In this Zen environment, I have stumbled upon the most beautiful movie theater ever!IMG_1998

Doesn’t it just look fascinating?

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It just needs a popcorn and a soda machine!

Talk about Form NOT Following the FUNCTION!

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And if the movie is boring, one can always look up to the “sky” for more action!

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What do you think? Would you like a home theater à la Florentine ?

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Crystal Chandeliers and the Gas stations

Spending time in Venice seems like time travel. Life in a beautiful painting, life in a fantasy land. No cars, no streets, no gas stations…instead it is canals, bridges, palazzo and basilicas.

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I was almost afraid that I lost touch with reality.  When it was time to stop by a gas station on the way to Florence, I was almost excited: finally back to the modern life, not as pretty and romantic, but you know it is REAL!

But there was an element of a surprise waiting inside the gas station. Cristal chandeliers, dark hardwood flooring, freshly made Panini’s, gourmet espresso and  restaurant quality amazing pastries.

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“Welcome to Italy,” I told to myself. How could you expect an ugly gas station where food and beauty are the matter of a national pride!

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I do agree with the “form follows function” rule that moved 20th centuries design and esthetics, but maybe there is something else besides pure “function” of an object that the “form” needs to reflect …such as uplifting the viewer’s mood with it’s pleasant look.

gas station italy evelina galli

Gas stations with crystal chandeliers and wooden floors can be a great example for the new ‘postpost modern’ esthetics of the 21st century, where some excess won’t only be allowed but also welcomed.

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Will Love Last?

Early in the morning , while I was having breakfast with the most picturesque view that I have ever seen in my life, I thought about, “What makes love last?”

Evelina Galli Venice

Everything was as perfect as it can possibly be.

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The plan was to go to the close of the Accademia museum where some of the Leonardo Da Vinci’s original artwork was on display. (Being a lifelong Da Vinci Fan this was not an opportunity that I could miss).

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On the way to the museum when crossing  the Accademia Bridge,  I noticed a very strange-looking gentleman hanging from the street lamp with metal-cutting scissors in his hands and attracting attention from those passing by.

_MG_0075Apparently that was the infamous Venetian Love Lock Cutter and he was doing his performance art by cutting down all the locks that were attached on the bridge.

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Before seeing him I did not even notice the existence of thousands and thousands of locks on the bridge.

_MG_0087The Love Lock trend in Europe started from Federico Moccia’s story “I Want You” in 2006.  Lovers all over Europe started writing their names on the Padlocks attaching them to the bridges and throwing away the keys into the water. This Love Locking process is believed to make the love everlasting.

It is incredibly romantic if not one small downside: there are millions of couples who are in love, which results in enormous quantity of the Love Locks and subsequently extreme amount of weight that  damages the structural integrity of the old bridges.

Government authorities are interfering with the romantic Love Lock movement and cutting them down at least once a year. Italy is probably the strictest and there is a high fine for trying to attach a padlock.

So what should romantics do?

They want their Love Locks to last and not be thrown away. How to make the Love last?..Well at least Love Locks last.

The Love Lock concept  reminded me of the wishing trees that I have seen in Armenia, where people would wish for love and tie their handkerchief on the tree.

It did not look extremely appealing but provided couples with the comfort of knowing that their love will last.  I could not stop thinking about it until I found the Perfect Picture that provided the solution to the issue.

Love Lock Trees!!! Good for lovers, tourists and the government officials!

What do you think? Would you prefer old bridges or trees to immortalize your love ?

xo

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Gritty Palace in Venice

Venice can be considered one of the most beautiful places created by man. It has been captured in millions of photographs and artwork and it almost seems that there will be no surprises when you visit it.

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On the contrary, from the moment you jump into a water taxi at the airport to the moment you leave the city, it feels like you’re on a “Hollywood set” with the constant element of surprise. With the perfect weather and the perfect clouds it felt like a Las Vegas version of itself. (I know it sounds like heresy :)

Layers of history can be seen everywhere from the San Marco Square, Rialto bridge, Grand Basilicas to great palazzo hotels lined up on the Grand Canal.

One of these gems is the Gritti Palace, a 15 century palazzo that recently underwent a $50 million dollar renovation with the help of the celebrate designer Chuck Chewning.

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The Gritti was a nobleman’s home in the 15th century but later became a residence for Andrea Gritti, the 16th-century Doge of Venice who gives the property its name today. In 1895 the palazzo was converted into the Grand Hotel.

Staying there seemed nothing short of a time travel even after its “modernized” high-tech restoration with natural marble bathrooms and Aqua Di Parma Spa.

Gritti Palace was a prominent place for the artsy types and even made an appearance in the Hemingway’s novel Across the River and into the Trees.  Hemingway who was one of the frequent visitors of the Hotel alongside Peggy Guggenheim, Somerset Maugham and John Ruskin, all of whom now have suits named after them.

EVelina Galli Gritti Palace

Now it is all in the past and among exceptional art and elegance, the restored Gritti Palace retains its reassuringly  “Old World” feel with the high-tech comforts of a modern life.

Dramatic views of the canal and the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute are absolutely breathtaking when you sit on the restaurant patio.

It’s a centrally located hotel so there are varieties of attractions within walking distance (yes there are actually walking streets in Venice)… But for the Stiletto addicts like me, a friendly recommendation: not the best idea to wear them in Venice! I was able to survive the walk from the Gritty Palace to the Opera House, (which was very close), but that was my limit.

EVelina Galli Gritti Palace

I always wanted to visit Venice before it sinks, but it did not seem like it is sinking at all. Instead it is a breath of fresh air and is becoming the IT spot again like it was for centuries.

Do you think it can become a cultural center again or just stay as an open air museum?

For more pictures check out:

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