March 31, 2016

My cousin Beatrice Cappelletti lives and works in my ancestral hometown- Norma, Lazio, Italy- half an hour south of Rome by train. We met during the family visit my father and I made there back in February. She and her sister helped us connect to the rest of our parenti (relatives) in Norma thus launching a journey of a lifetime.

 

She works as an Archaeologist at the ancient site of Norba, a pre-Roman town that sits, partially dug out, on the hilltop just above the 15th-century village of Norma, the place my great-grandfather Primo left behind in 1916 for a chance at American opportunity.

 

Our visit inspired Beatrice to write about the way history is personal, how it touches our lives and reaches into the present. The full article, in Italian can be found here at Lepini Magazine...and below i...

March 17, 2016

 I used to think that the best way to convince someone of my viewpoint was to beat them over the head with my opinion. To grind them down with facts, figures and quotes. To wear them out until they finally gave in, agreeing to my absolute correct perspective!

 

This method extended to my involvement in historic preservation. As a newcomer to the field, and a DIY-er, I learned by doing and by surrounding myself with other experts. I read everything I could, picked people's brains, and watched the campaigns that they were involved in. I saw a professional field full of passionate people who wanted to make places better.

 

You know what I didn't see? Subtlety. Maybe that's why I was initially attracted to the movement. I thought it was all rallies, lawsuits and press conferences. A lot of flash,...

March 10, 2016

We all tell ourselves that we want lots of options. After all, what better than to have your pick? Plenty of food options on the grocery store shelf, all kinds of clothes to choose from, nearly any art supply you could want...

 

My lightning bolt moment came when I was looking through my studio to pick a medium to work in: pastel, marker, watercolor, liquid graphite...the possibilities were endless. But you know what happened? I didn't create anything.

 

I was paralyzed by too much choice.

 

This is our postmodern conundrum. We suffer, not from a lack of possibility, but from too much. We're drowning in information and images: books, newspapers, magazines, Twitter and Instagram feeds- plenty of distractions. We freelancers feel the urge to take on every project, most that seem worthwhile in the s...

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