Summer Break 2017: Michael Muro’s vacation in Italy, Part 2

I received a few photos and an update from Michael Muro today.  The weather in Agropoli continues to be very hot and very humid.  Michael is staying with the family of Giuseppe Carnicelli, the cousin I met during our May meet-up in Brooklyn Heights.


July is a festive month for Giuseppe and his brother Vincenzo.  They both celebrate birthdays this month.    Vincenzo will turn 23 on July 29th.  This photo of (left to right, Vincenzo, Michael and Giuseppe) was taken at Nero Cafe in Agropoli.  I love the bright, upbeat colors in the décor.

Giuseppe’s birthday was on July 11th.  The combination of birthday cake and champagne is irresistible!   Uncle Sammy and I wish both brothers a very good year ahead.


A festival was recently held during the time Michael has been in Agropoli.  Here we see the Piazza all lit up.  I love the way the colors of the lights are so vivid against the night sky and the old buildings surrounding the piazza.


Michael also had time to visit another cousin from the Carnicelli family, too.  Michele lives in Santa Maria which is about 20 minutes from Agropoli.  His mother is from the Carnicelli family.  I think I see some resemblance between Michael and Michele.

Giuseppe continues to take courses online with the school in Pittsburgh where he studied English conversation, reading and writing this past Spring while he was in the U.S. visiting Michael.  On Saturday, July 25th Michael and Giuseppe head to Calabria for another get-together with the newly discovered relatives of his Grandma Rose.  Eugenio and Aldisa Aiello and their children will spend a day with Michael.  He’s promised more photos along with all the details.  Eugenio is Rose’s nephew.

Uncle Sammy and I wish Michael safe travels, sunny weather and the continued pleasure of good company during this last phase of his vacation in Italy.



41c-Winter Break 2016-Washington, DC

Greetings to all!  I returned on Monday, December 26th, 2016 from a much needed retreat and rest during the holiday season.  I hope all our readers and WordPress bloggers enjoyed their get-togethers with family and friends.  I will be back to a regular blogging schedule in 2-3 weeks.  In the meantime, I want to share some impressions and photos taken during my stay in Washington.  There will be one more posting after this one about the awesome Christmas day I had at the Washington National Cathedral.

My wish is for all to have a year ahead that includes good health and quality time with loved ones.  Here’s to a Happy 2017!

Impressions of Washington, DC December 23 through December 24, 2016

I stayed at the Adams Inn which is made up of three adjacent rooming houses built in the 1920s.  The main house where we gathered for breakfast was Guest House 1 at 1746 Lanier Place NW.  I stayed next door in 1744 Lanier Place NW.  There are smaller dining rooms and kitchens in the other 2 houses.  1744 and 1746 had pantries filled with instant oatmeal, snack bars, coffee, tea, cocoa, a fridge and microwave.  I found this very convenient when I got hungry and wasn’t up to a big dinner or lunch.  Each house has a comfy and inviting quality.  There are books and magazines as well as charming decorative elements.

Lanier Place NW is a very scenic block.  The entire area has similar houses.  My cousin says it reminds her of Greenwich Village in the 1970s.  I agree.


The area where the Adams Inn is located is called Adams Morgan.  It is a very charming area.  I spent Friday and Saturday afternoons exploring Columbia Road NW.  There is a popular café and bookstore called Potter’s House Books that has a long history in the community as a place selling delicious coffee and a varied selection of books, many of which deal with social justice and civil rights.  The store is very involved in community activities to help the homeless. I wanted to stay and enjoy their coffee and baked goods.  However, the service was much too slow.  I ended up at Starbucks.

I found that Adams Morgan had two groups of people living parallel to each other.  There are the wealthy, upper class professionals and young students living in the area and frequenting places like Potter’s House Books.  The escape I temporarily felt from the worrisome effects of gentrification that I have for Brooklyn, NY came back when I saw how many homeless people there were out on Columbia Road NW as evening drew near or very early in the morning.  I took a bus ride on  Christmas Eve on the Circulator Line, which costs only $1 per ride to any point along the route.  I went through the entire line in Columbia Heights and found a replay of parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan.  There is a park along I Street in Columbia Heights that was filled with homeless people sleeping and milling around.


While there were homeless people along Columbia Road NW, I did not find them along 18th Street NW on the 2400 block.  This block has a great assortment of restaurants, cafes, book stores, salons and other shops.  The food available at the places I went to like The Diner and Jyoti Indian Restaurant is reasonably priced.  I had some pleasant conversations in passing with regulars and wait staff and booksellers, too.  It was a very light and positive feeling on that block.  My favorite place on 18th Street NW was Idle Time Books.  They have a wide variety of used books including sci-fi paperbacks from the 1950s.  Also sold there are post cards featuring photos of the book covers of pulp fiction from the 1940s through 1960s.  I bought a few because they are humorous on one level but also serve to dispel nostalgia for the “good old days”.  Women have come a long way since then.  I don’t see this kind of book or art work anymore.  For example, there’s one called “Dime a Dance Queen.”

From my photo album

Adams Inn, 1746 Lanier Place NW, Washington DC


Main entrance.

Continue reading