Thursday, June 21, 2007

One year later: Rib Festival in Ottawa (reload)

One year ago it was my first summer in Canada and my first Rib Festival... , one year is gone very fast...and it's summer again, so is ribs' time.
Last year I went with Rita and Kamala in the evening (which is a smart thing to do if you want to avoid the lunch-hour-business crowd) and Chris could not join us (I didn't remember that, but thanks to my blog I can remember many more things ;) ). So this time it was just Christian and me enjoying a full rack of Ribs!
I guess the reason why there were longer lines for the ribs, is also that there are less trucks cooking and selling ribs around, maybe they did not find so many good clients as they expected last year... who knows? If you have never been to this event it worth trying anyways (there is even a Facebook group about the Ribs Festival in Ottawa). The Festival will be on until June 24th on Spark Street in downtown Ottawa.
(If you want to see some more pics you can do it through my Flickr link on the right).


Deal or no deal?

On Friday I took the bus to go to Preston Street to help with the final preparations for BookItalia. I took the line n.14 from downtown Ottawa (where I work), but could not reach Preston St. by bus (streets were already closed for the Italian Week celebrations). Preston street was closed to motor vehicles and there were just pedestrians walking around, oh, and Ferrari and Fiat500, but they count as Human Beings). Therefore I decided to walk there (well, not having a Ferrari or a Fiat 500, yet, I did not have many other options)... and that's how I met her!
She was old, but still beautiful.... and they were selling her. I'm talking about my new green Canadian bike. I asked for the price: 45 dollars, 40 for me. I bought it (10 dollars less than the bike I bought last year -the blue one you can see on the back of the picture). Her name is now Cletta (from bicicletta, bicycle in Italian).
My blue (older) bike is called "Grandma", she's old and beautiful (as my new bike), makes a lot of noise, but I really love her. The problem is that, already before the winter came, she had a problem (I guess with the chain) and she didn't work very well. To make it worse, during the winter a car hit her in the parking she's not doing well and it would probably cost me more to repair "Grandma" than to buy a new bike. Therefore I bought a new bike.
The problem is that my new bike (the green one that you see in the picture), Cletta, had a flat tire a couple of days after I bought it. I brought it to the shop and asked how much would it cost to fix my bike. They told me that it would cost me between 5 and 30$. End of the story: they had to change all the tire and it ended up costing me 42$ (meaning 2$ more than the bike itself).
I'm still very happy about my bike, but less convinced of my business-woman skills. Now the problem is: how will I bring my two bikes (Grandma and Cletta) to Switzerland?


Friday, June 15, 2007

Want to marry a future Millionaire? Come to Ottawa!

I think my slogan (read the tile of this post) would have brought many more ladies in the Canadian Stadiums for this U-20 FIFA World Cup... but they chose this other more politically-correct campaign instead :)
In the last few days in Ottawa, I figured out that I'm busier (working) in my free time more than in my working time. Nevertheless, what sounds as a complaint, is something that brings me lots of satisfactions.
Wednesday I was at the Rogers Studios to record the show that will be broadcast this Saturday and Sunday (Rogers Television Channel 22, Sat 6am, Sun 5pm). I interviewed some people, presented the show and met some new people (and this is the interesting part of the story). Adriano, the responsible for the sports section of the show, had a FIFA representative to be interviewed for this Saturday...and as I was there, and thanks to Adriano's wife who pushed me a little bit in order to network with these FIFA people, I met the Communications Manager of the Ottawa Site Organizing Committee for FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007: Mike Winterburn.
As a result, and after a few emails and calls, I will be able to have Mike Winterburn as a guest during my radio show this Saturday! I will start the show at 10h00am and Mike will come in for an interview at 10h30am. If you don't want to miss it tune in on Chin Radio 97.9 FM or through the Internet on
After the show I will run to Little Italy as we're having the Book Fair going on! If you don't have any program for this week-end, I strongly recommend you to join me (after you listen to my show of course) on Preston Street and enjoy the ambiance, the Ferrari parade, the biking contest, the Vespa display, food, music and much more!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Little Italy under the spotlight

I'm back in Ottawa! After a very nice week spent in Boston with my Mum, here I am, once again in Canada's National Capital.

It's funny because now that I'm starting to get prepared to go back to Europe, I also start to see old pictures and e-mails that I wrote to my family and friends with my first impressions about this city. One of these emails was about Little Italy in Ottawa.

The first time I went to Little Italy on Preston St., I heard people speaking in italian dialects and saw many Italian Restaurants. As in every Italian City, the main street was called Corso Italia (in every Italian town, village or city you will find a main street called Corso Italia), but here is more a nickname, as the official name of the Street is Preston Street.

The first impression I had is that Little Italy was welcoming me. Why? Well, one of the Cafes was called "Caffé Cosenza" (Cosenza being a main city in the south of Italy... but also my surname). So I interpreted that as a positive sign. And I was right! I consider myself quite integrated in the Italian Community here and this is because it's really an open and welcoming community.

June (as you can see from my previous post) is the month of Festivals and Parades. One of them is the great Italian Week here in Ottawa which is currently going on with all sort of events and will finish this week-end with a big celebration in Little Italy (Preston Street).

I will be helping with the BookFair we are having in Ottawa's St. Anthony Italia Soccer Club (off Preston St.) (I will actually present the Literary Awards and help around -you can check the Programme under "events"on the Italian Week official webite).

Now I just have to find the time to:

  • Record my Radio Show for Saturday (and prepare it), because it's in the same time than the Book Fair
  • Prepare a Slide-show for the Italian Primary School
  • go to a Canadian Women in Communications Meeting
  • oh! and prepare the text and present the TV Show tonight...

(all of this just in my free time, as I work 8h a day). I think I will be kind of busy! But busy = happy.

If you are in Ottawa or around... don't miss this opportunity and come visit us to Preston Street this week-end, it will be lots of fun! Guaranteed.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Stories from Boston: Gay Pride

Today there was the Gay Pride in Boston and I convinced my Mum to come to downtown with me to see the Gay Pride and take pictures.

Actually both of us have never seen a Gay Pride before (besides on TV) and it was real fun.... and interesting.

The first interesting thing about it, is that it was not just one of those very provocative parades... not at all! (Actually some guys in the public did not really appreciate it I guess, commenting in a negative tone "hey, what's going on with this parade...).

Most of the people were people dressed in their casual outfit (as opposed to dressed-up people) just wearing some coloured necklaces, socks, blankets and flags). Many of them were married couples (gay/lesbian couples) with kids... who seamed to have lots of fun. At the same time there were also a couple of dressed-up people, but nicely dressed-up and appropriate for all publics, so it was really nice.

The other main characters of the parade, and I didn't expect this at all, were churches and religion groups! Almost half of the parade was composed of all sort of churches "marketing" their community to the gay community (OK, that sounds very cold-analytical, but that's the impression I got).

The experience was very nice... I recommend to participate to a Gay Pride (if it's like the one that was held here in Boston)...and If you are lucky enough, you can catch a free coloured necklace as I did (New Orleas'Style). Bacardi was one of the sponsors of the parade (actually one of the only chars having very-undressed people dancing on their car) and they were giving free necklaces...while other chars were showing people dancing on Xuxa's songs... (a former Brazilian TV host for Children as well as Pelé and Ayrton Senna's ex-sweetheart). Xuxa's songs brought me back to the time I went to her TV show in Buenos Aires, in TE LE FE's studios (channel 11)... but this is another story, and not a Boston one :)


Friday, June 08, 2007

Stories from Boston... lack of ethic or business entrepreneurship?

All the newspapers in the World were speaking about the two Bills who were guest speakers at the Harvard Graduation Ceremony this year (well, of course as a second news if compared to Paris Hilton drama).
However, no international newspaper (at least none of the ones I read) reported this interesting curiosity that shows how people (and students) are the same all over the world (read the article below from Boston's Metro Free Magazine).
Is this a case of lack of ethic or Business Entrepreneurship? (I wish I had one of those free tickets though).
(The library at Bill's back is the one donated by the Titanic-student mom -see post below-)
Harvard students scalping tickets
Some of the hottest tickets in town are to Harvard commencement events featuring two famous Bills: Clinton and Gates.
Dozens of Harvard University students sold free tickets to events for as much as $100 a piece, much to the chagrin of university officials.
"We obviously frown upon it and do what we can," university spokesman Joe Wrinn said.
The tickets, listed for sale on, were to Wednesday's Class Day talk by former President Bill Clinton and Thursday's commencement address by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates.
Scalping tickets to free events has gone on in the past, but students have taken the practice to a new level this year because of the high-profile speakers.
"Harvard always has pretty compelling speakers, but with the two Bills this year, it's certainly quite unusual," said Ryan Spoering, resident dean of Lowell House.
Spoering sent an e-mail to the 450 residents warning them not to sell tickets online or they would face disciplinary action.
"If you have extra tickets, please give them to your blockmate's grandmother. For free," he wrote.
Students are given a certain number of tickets for each event, which they are supposed to give to family and friends. They are told when they get them they are not to be sold.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A story from Boston...

I've been in Boston already a couple of times and I find it to be a very nice city with many stories to tell... one of these it's about Harvard!

Harvard University is in Cambridge, just a few stops away, on the Red subway line, from Boston Downtown, across Charles River.

When you walk out from the subway, you can see a very active square, full of tourists, students, researchers and just interesting people (see the picture below).

Then you walk into the very peaceful Parks of Harvard University, with many student dorms (architecturally nicer than the ones I'm used to see in Canada, Switzerland and complitely another World if compared to the ones I've seen in Slovakia and Croatia), and a huge library donated by the Mom of a Harvard student in the name of his son, who died in the Titanic in 1912.

In the middle of the Park, you can see Mr. Harvard's statue. You will recognize it because the statue is always surrounded by people taking pictures of it, taking pictures with it and touching the statue's foot (a bit like the Bull statue close to Wall St. in NY, always surrounded by tourists). Up to now, this is not very original, in every University around the World you will find statues representing the founders of this or that institute or school. Bur Mr. Harvard's statue is different.

Students (and tourist) usually touch Mr. Harvard's foot because this is supposed to help people to get their degree faster. As you can see, even in the middle of science and highly educated people, superstition still exists (or at least the "I don't believe, but let's do it just in case" attitude) :). This part of the story is still not something very original. Many universities have this type of tradition/superstition. An example is Pavia (where I was in April and where Dina, my little cousin studies to be a Doctor). Dina told me that, if you want to get your degree, you have never to look to Minerva's statue eyes (which is a huge statue in the middle of this academic town).

There is still something special about Mr. Harvard's statue... something that just the people who read their travel book know (rather than just looking at the pictures): Harvard's statue is not Harvard's statue. Let me explain:

Harvard's statues is known to be the three-lies statue: While under the statue is written "John Harvard, Founder, 1638". In reality:
  1. The statue is not modeled after John Harvard (there was no picture of him, so they used a model)
  2. Mr. Harvard did not found the university,
  3. The founding was in 1636 and not in 1938

This is one of the many stories from the city of Boston, (well, actually Cambridge, MA).


Monday, June 04, 2007

Habemus Papam

This week I came to visit my Mum in the USA. Nevertheless, I'm physically in Boston, but virtually in Ottawa!
Besides following the outcome of the Senators matches from here, I'm working for my office and for the Italian Community. The good news? We just approved the flyer I created for the first Italian Canadian Book Fair in Canada's National Capital: BookItalia.

If you are in Ottawa or around, don't miss the opportunity to come to Ottawa during these two weeks, Little Italy, on Preston Street, will be celebrating the Italian Week.

On June 16th, we will also organize this book fair to promote the Italian and Italian Canadian literature. If you have some free time on that Saturday and want to volunteer just let me know! :).
PS. I'm especially proud about the picture: my boot in equilibrium on my balcony. Other options for the BookItalia logo/flyer were the following:

However... the little mouse did not make much sense in English (what in in Italian and other languages is a "library mouse", in English is a book worm, so no mice could be involved in the logo) and the other one represented just one single city in Italy, therefore it was not good enough)... I love them all (and I'm super modest and objective as usual).