Archive for the ‘NYC’ Category

What to Do in New York City for Christmas

If I could do it every year, I would. There’s nothing quite like walking around New York City at Christmastime and just soaking everything in.

Read on...

If You Know Me Well, You Know…

Inspired by my good friend Frances:

  • If you know me well, you know that I am a sucker for fuzzy creatures, I love cappuccino any time of day, and I can’t stand people with inflated egos.
  • If you know me well, you know that I am a bleeding heart liberal, I love living in southern Italy, and I can’t stand watching anything with Chuck Norris or Steven Seagal (but can kinda sorta tolerate Jean Claude Van Damme if I must).

  • If you know me well, you know that I am a Coal Cracker, I love reading, and I can’t stand water running down my sleeve (just writing that skeeves me out).
  • If you know me well, you know that I am experiencing life with baby goats for the first time, I love finding and sharing inspiring blogs and websites, and I can’t stand cold hands and feet.

  • If you know me well, you know that I am not happy unless I’m working on several projects at the same time, I love climbing into freshly washed sheets, and I can’t stand that weird feeling when a fingernail is too short.
  • If you know me well you know that I am a big fan of pizza, I love (and miss) March Madness, and I can’t stand when I have to pull my laundry in just minutes after I’ve put it out because of rain.

  • If you know me well, you know that I am not likely to jump out of a perfectly good plane, I love trying new foods, and I can’t stand mosquitoes.
  • If you know me well, you know that I am proud to be all hopey *and* changey, I love castles, and I can’t stand whining.

P.S. All the photos here are, of course, from my trip to NYC in December, during which I met Frances for the very first time in person. Un bacione Francesca!

I would love to read your take on this prompt, so please post yours in the comments or on your own blog/FB/Twitter and let me know!

Buon weekend!

An American Expat in Italy Goes “Home”

As many of you know, I was back in the US from mid-November to late December. This was my first trip “home” since February 2004.

Yes I write it in quotes; as much fun as I had there, you see, I was also extremely excited and happy to get back to P, the pooches,

and the three kids (who, incidentally, we believe may all be pregnant!).

Stateside, I spent lots of time with family and friends, visited Philadelphia, New York City (where I met two online friends for the first time and met up with an old college friend–none of whom are shown in the photo below!)

and Washington DC,

helped my mom make cookies (which she sells for Christmas),

and shopped. A lot. The Christmastime prices in American malls? Worth the price of the airline ticket, quite frankly.

For instance, P was amazed that I could get him a pair of Levi’s for $30 (€21) when they cost, oh five times that here. My other spectacular purchases for myself include a new iPod Touch (to make it easier to read English language books, mainly) and a new external hard drive.

NB: Anything technological/electronic costs *way* less in America than it does in Italy.

My biggest culture shock actually came very early on in the trip when I couldn’t. stop. speaking. Italian. It was the weirdest thing! On the plane over, no matter what language the person addressing me was speaking, I would answer in Italian…and only sometimes catch that I had done it–once purely by the blank look on a fellow passenger’s face.

The two hardest things to stop saying were “Ciao!,” “Grazie!,” and “Sì!” So I imagine I just looked like a really pretentious American for at least the first few days of the trip. Oh well.

The other thing that was hard to get used to? Things being open in the afternoon. So strange to be able to go shopping or *gasp* get something to eat between one and four! Lovely.

I still have lots of photos to go through and post on Flickr (and possibly here), and probably a lot of mental processing of the whole experience. Soon I’ll be publishing my Top 10 Realizations After Being “Home” for the First Time in Nearly Six Years so please check back!

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake