Friday, April 29, 2011

Have a Romantic Evening

AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions. (Here are other best of lists from AFI.) If you need more help than that for a romantic evening, don't look at us! See you over the weekend. (Roman Holiday still via Audrey1)


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dance Is The Answer

We almost missed National Dance Week! If you're in the DC-metro area, visit Dance/MetroDC's Dance Is The Answer site & check out the large number of low-cost activities. If you do not live here, but live in the States, check out National Dance Week.

From the website: Dance Week creates a heightened awareness of dance and movement activities in the DC metro area. Dance Is The Answer includes classes, workshops, performances, lectures, open rehearsals and more in different styles of dance from ballet to tap to world dance, and takes place April 15 through May 2, 2011...(read the rest).

Giulia is limbering up. Of course, being a cat, this comes naturally to her.


(Josephine by Mads Teglers via Cup of Jo)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Wishes - Sott'er Celo de Roma

...or On an Evening in Roma. If you want a little blast into the past, play this song & dance about.

Click on the video & watch
Audrey & Mr. Peck set to the song by DrSamoora. If you want to plan a trip to Roma, see Italian Notebook for some excellent tips from expats. For many laughs, visit that wacky Roman family at 2 Kids & a Dog. As always, Giampaolo Macorig's photographs are wonderful. Here's his Rome set for your viewing pleasure.


PS: Giulia is whipping up a classic Roman Insalata di Cipolle con le Sarde & making an absolute mess. (Well, what can you expect from a cat?)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Birds by Audubon

We're wildly busy but just noticed that today's Google Doodle is an homage to naturalist & painter John James Audubon on his 226th birthday.There's a lovely tribute to Audubon from the online Audubon magazine. Thank you also to National Geographic for an overview on JJ's contributions to the change in humans' appreciation of birds. Giulia is at this moment appreciating birds in the traditional feline manner. Don't worry. For the protection of all, the window screen is secured.


(Louisiana heron by Audubon via
PBS, where you can see much more material)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Monday Carousels

A little trip to France for some merry-go-round photographs. Also, two coloring pages of a carousel horse & a merry-go-round. In Italy, our friends are so lucky to celebrate Pasquetta. Picnics & pastiera rule. And with that, we're off!

ciao-meow/GG Easter Central

(Paris carousel by
Strasbourg carousel by penwren; carousel on the Côte d'Azur by Angelica Ardasheva)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

GG & her editor wish a Happy Easter to all who celebrate. If you're reading this on Easter, go outside! Sorry. We'll lower our royal we voice. Go outside & play. Loll around in the sun. No sun? Devoted to the computer? OK, visit Peter Rabbit & help him find his lost Easter eggs. Beatrix Potter World is very sweet, is in a few other languages & has some resources for parents & teachers, too. More on this another time but thanks to Content in a Cottage for the head's up.

ciao-hop-meow/GG Easter Central

(image courtesy of wpclipart)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Eggs 101

GG's editor just read (on Facebook) & heard (on the phone) a bit of last-minute Easter egg panic from some family & friends. So here are a few easy links. Martha Stewart, of course, can help you out of a jam. Also some last-minute decorating ideas with things around the house. (Another tip: Don't buy that awful fake grass. Just shred some colored paper that you can recycle later.) For fool-proof hard-cooked eggs, immediately go to Egg Watchers. It works & it's very funny too.

ciao-eggy-meow/GG Easter Central

(no-nonsense Easter Granny Rabbit via Vintage Holiday Crafts)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Two Royal Weddings

AFI Silver Theatre near
GG Central is showing The Young Victoria & Royal Wedding (Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling) in a tongue-in-cheek tip of the top hat to the royal wedding across the Pond next Friday. We don't want to take any business away from the Silver (& we will be seeing Jane Eyre there soon) but both films are available on Netflix Instant. These two films could not be more different but they're enjoyable in their separate ways.

Have a great Friday evening!

ciao-meow/GG's editor

(photographs via IMDb)

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! We're going to see Mia and the Migoo, are you? Consider going this weekend as proceeds from all ticket sales are being donated by the producers to The Canopy Project.

Be the first to see the breathtaking new animated adventure about a girl trying to save the world from destruction, Mia and the Migoo, and help us plant trees! The English version (it is a French production by Jacques-Remy Girerd) features John Di Maggio, Whoopi Goldberg, Matthew Modine, Wallace Shawn, and James Woods.

The producers GKIDS are donating 100 percent of Earth Day weekend (April 22-24) ticket proceeds, including purchases of advance tickets for upcoming Mia and the Migoo shows, to Earth Day Network's The Canopy Project to plant trees in deforested areas around the globe.

ciao-green-meow/GG Green Central

(images via Médiathèsques de Mauguio Carnon)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Il Natale di Roma

Oh, how we wish we were in Rome today for the 2,764th birthday celebration. Tanti auguri, Roma. Read the mythological birth story here; the celebration schedule, here. If you have children, or are a teacher, visit BBC Primary History - Ancient Rome for Kids. It's a terrific & fun resource.

If you'd like to make a traditional Roman recipe, here's
a slideshow & recipes. Easy-peasy but buy the best ingredients you can.

ciao-baci-meow/GG Italy Central

(Temple of Saturn photograph by Giampaolo Macorig; Romulus & Remus photograph via BBC City of Rome)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Olivia's Birds: Saving the Gulf

We posted last June on young artist Olivia Bouler's inspiring project to save birds on the Gulf Coast during & in the aftermath of the BP oil spill disaster. On the year anniversary, much remains to be done; frankly, things are just a mess. Read about Olivia's new book here. Starting today, read the Audubon Society's one-year update on conditions in the Gulf. You can sign a petition there to urge Congress to act on Gulf Restoration now.

ciao-meow/GG Central

(image via
Barnes & Noble)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peep Culture

To prove that we can make anything (anything!) about Italy, here's a GG Custom Peep in Venice via the Marshmallow Peeps website. Click here & make your own peep-avatar (& let the children have a go at it, will ya:). Giulia will have to count as a kid this a.m. The second photograph is the winner of the Washington Post Fifth Annual Peeps Show.

We are determined at GG Central to enter the contest next year. If you read the Post's story, you'll see that it's a group thing. But every time we get set to do this, someone (are you reading this a certain sister?) drops out. Visit the site for all things peep. And just try to stop twisting words around to include "peep" or "eep."

ciao-meow/GG Silly Central

( "Chilean CoPeepapo Mine Rescue" by Deb Lindsey for the Washington Post)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Prepare for Earth Day

If you need materials for Earth Day blog posts or school projects, visit Vintage Holiday Crafts & Free Clip Art. Just remember to read the rules of the road & also link back.

ciao-meow/GG's editor

Have a Sweet Passover

A joyous holiday to our Jewish friends around the world. We're going to make this Toffee-Chocolate Matzoh recipe today. Yum.(Here's an article about the origins of "sweet Passover.")

ciao-shalom-meow/GG Central

(photograph via Martha Stewart)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Postcards for Japan

A little Sunday evening post to highlight a set of pretty postcards by Hsin Ping. The set is $4.00 & proceeds are donated to the American Red Cross fund for Japan. (via The Benevolent Postcard Society) See you next week! ciao-meow/GG

Friday, April 15, 2011

Teach Yourself French

We had a lot of positive reactions to the Italian language lesson post earlier this week. As we're pressed for time today for a longer post, take a look at the BBC's French language page, too. It's very much worth checking out all the links. If you have slower internet, you can read transcripts rather than watch videos; you can also access these from outside the UK, so no excuses! If you can't be in Paris (or elsewhere in France) in April, you can at least refresh your French - or begin it for the first time.

ciao-chic-meow/GG's translator

(Dreamy Paris photograph by Jen Gotch)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bikes for the World

...needs your help if you live in the Washington, DC area. There will be a donation day on Saturday, April 16th at area Whole Foods Markets. They will be accepting bicycle (& financial) donations but before that, they need you to spread the word via blogs, Facebook, Twitter, residential & company listservs.

BfW also needs volunteers to help pack the bicycles for shipment. Please see the organization website for details. (BfW is a sponsored project of The Washington Bicyclist Association, check them out too!)

ciao-meow/GG Central

(the beauteous Claudia Cardinale via the fun Rides a Bike)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Wombat for Wednesday

It's been a busy day here but we had to share this photograph of a little girl & a wombat. It's by our favorite Sam Hood in the State Library of NSW Archives. We're not experts on marsupials so here's a National Geographic page on the little devils. Here's a link to a cute wombat coloring page.

G'night (g'day to our Aussie pals!)

ciao-meow/GG's editor

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

La Bella Lingua Lessons

I have a theory that there is something in the Italian landscape which inclines even the most stolid nature to romance. --Miss Lavish, A Room with a View

It's not just the landscape; listen to that language. Do you want to learn Italian (or brush up on your skills)? You should sign up for a course. GG's editor went to Casa Italiana in Washington, DC. But if funds are low or you want to do something at home first, check out the BBC Italian Language page. Test yourself first (on the website) if you know any Italian. Then move through the page links; it's an excellent site.

For a wonderful book on what it's like to "become Italian," definitely read Dianne Hales
La Bella Lingua. We won it in a giveaway via Bleeding Espresso, a favorite stop every week. Dianne's book is absolutely superb & renewed our dedication to all things Italian. Check out her blog, too.


(photographs via Period Films)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Meatless Monday - We Do Declare

We mentioned Meatless Monday briefly in December & January. So we should declare ourselves: GG Central is officially meat-free on Mondays (& truthfully, most days). It's easier than ever to find terrific & easy recipes for veggie meals. Here's a link to the website's history lesson (Meatless Monday began during World War I & returned during World War II).

If you're a blogger, visit the Meatless Monday website & take the pledge & ask for a link. You don't have to be in the States, just to be clear. Everyone is very, very welcome.

Today, we're making the quick pasta dish shown above. As stated last year, Giulia is excused from MM as she is an obligate carnivore. Please do not talk to us about making her a vegetarian. It makes GG's editor really very cranky. You don't want that, right?

ciao-meow/GG Central

(photograph via Martha Stewart)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Diversion - Upstairs Downstairs

A new series with a familiar name begins tonight in the States: Upstairs Downstairs. In case you've been hiding under a rock (listen up, Mia aka Bronx Zoo Cobra), the series is related to the venerable old show in that 165 Eaton Place is the center of the action & co-creator Jean Marsh is involved. Unrelated to the original series: there's a monkey named Solomon. Giulia can hardly wait for this simian storyline.

Here's a
review/recap by Jane Austen World. If you'd like to attend the Twitter Party, click on Jane Austen Today (or just log on & use the hashtag UpDownPBS). Tweeting begins at 9pm EDT. These people are hilarious if you just want to laugh at one-liners. GG's editor isn't modern enough to watch & tweet simultaneously. Ahem.

ciao-pip-pip-meow, darlings.

(photograph via PBS Masterpiece)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Liz Lemon's Worldview

Can I share with you my worldview? All of humankind has one thing in common: the sandwich. I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich.--Liz Lemon

Saveur magazine's Sandwich Issue is on the stands now. Explore it & see if world peace breaks out. Yeah, no. We're still fuming away here at GG Central in Washington. If the government does shut down, the Cherry Blossom Festival parade will still be held tomorrow morning thanks to the help of the DC Metro Police. Check here for updates.

ciao-blurgh-meow/GG Hoagie Central

PS: The winner of the sandwich photography contest is
Denise Woodward. Congratulations!

(image via Tina Fey Fan)

GG Tea

It's cold & rainy in Washington, DC this morning. We're still sipping our tea & waiting on all sorts of news. We'll be back later today.

ciao-fume-meow/GG Central

(Mad Hatter's tea party via
Lewis Carroll Society of North America)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Remember Me: Displaced Children of the Holocaust

Between 1933 and 1945, millions of children were displaced as a result of Nazi persecution. Now, more than 65 years later, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is using postwar photos and the power of the online community to find out what happened to these children.

You can help by going to Remember Me to browse through some 1,100 photos of displaced children and share them with your family and friends.
Who knows, you might even hold a clue that could identify a child, reunite relatives, or piece together a wartime or postwar experience.

The more people who see the photos, the greater the chance of identifying these children and raising awareness about the experiences of the most vulnerable victims of war and genocide.

Please share this with your family & friends on Facebook & Twitter. Thank you.

(photograph of Michel Sztulzaft who was identified this week; he lives in France/© The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

French Fairy Tale

A little French girls tells a story. Watch at approximately 3.31 when she pronounces something
très méchant. What a darling poupée!

ciao-meow/GG's French tutor

(Children Watch Guignol Puppet Show in Open Air Theater at Parc de Montsouris by Eisenstaedt via Prints for sale.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Bronx Zoo's Cobra

Have you followed the adventures-by-tweet of the now-recaptured Bronx Zoo's Snake? She's a witty Egyptian gal. The zoo's naming contest Who's that Sssssnake is open through Thursday (EDT). We hope she continues to tweet as it has provided many laugh out loud moments since March 28th.

Update - The cobra has been named "Mia" & will make her debut-at-the-zoo on Sunday, 9 April.

ciao-regal-meow/GG Central

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Basket of Kisses for Mad Men

With the fate of Mad Men finalized, you might be thinking where oh where will I get my MM fix until March 2012? Where can I read features on the 1960s? Who are these "regular" people who get the interviews with creator Matt Weiner & MM actors? And perhaps most important - where can I read about ceramics of the 1960s? Basket of Kisses is the place for you.

The warm & witty Lipp Sisters rule with a benevolent hand & keep things moving in the most collegial manner. They spice it up with contributions from fellow Basketcases & fold in a judicious amount of side posts on movies & a few television programs. Roberta & Deborah introduce their blog thusly: Basket of Kisses: The unofficial blog of AMC's Mad Men. Where all the cool kids meet & greet to talk about Don Draper, Janie Bryant, Christina Hendricks, Jon Hamm, Matthew Weiner, & subtexty things.

Now run along & have a great Monday (& do something nice for at least one person or animal. OK?)

ciao-smolder-meow/GG Mad Men Central

(Mad Men fan art by lerms on Deviant Art via Basket of Kisses)

Update - Wednesday, 6 April 2011 - Netflix Instant will begin streaming MM on 27 July. Hoorah!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Design is Powerful - 50 Years of Amnesty International Posters

Happy birthday year to Amnesty International. See The Guardian's slideshow of the best of the posters (the one by Picasso is a favorite & available as a notecard). If you would like to get involved, here's an activist toolkit that will get you started no matter where you live.

Hope your Sunday is a peaceful one. Giulia is asleep & therefore the house is very, very quiet.

ciao-meow/GG Sunday Central

(La Colombe et le Prisonnier, 1959 via The Guardian)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Film Fun

For some fun, read Juliet Lapidos' article I've Seen Every Woody Allen Movie in Slate. Then skip over to rank your favorites, the merely good, & the ones you'd toss into the chipper. Voting ends April 5.

Have a terrific weekend. It's cold here (still). Fume.

ciao-kvetch-meow/GG Film Central

(Annie Hall/
Brian Hamill, still photographer/imdb)

Poisson d'Avril

Giulia is up to something...she's looking pretty sneaky. Here's an explanation of Poisson d'Avril. Watch out! Update already - Kristin at French-Word-A-Day has a list of expressions to write on the back of the paper fish.

ciao-cheeky-meow/GG's ever-suffering editor

Poisson d'avril French postcards)