Month: July 2015

The Really Forbidden Fruit

I can’t think of a better way to get me amped to try something than to tell me not to and with the No Durian signs populating the mass transit and hotels in Singapore, I was pretty curious about the fruit. I was excited when Iris, my guide said we were going to the Geylang area, Singapore’s red light district (which is as harmless of a red light district as I’ve ever seen), to try Durian from a roadside vendor.

Perfect Finds: Shopping Italian Blackamoor Jewelry

If you’ve ever been to Venice, you’ve seen blackamoor art. It’s pretty ubiquitous in hotels there although you might not have noticed them. They are the sculptures depicting African males (and sometimes females) decked out in jewels and/or regalia and holding a tray or some type of container at entrances. With jewelry and sculptures dating back to the Early Modern period of European art, blackamoor art has drawn controversy in recent times, most notably on the Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2013 runway. Much of the blackamoor jewelry on the market today are Venetian antiques carved from ebony or enamel and inlaid with gold and fine stones, like diamonds, rubies, pearls, turquoise etc. Famed Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin was said to keep a blackamoor figurine on his desk to remind him of his great-grandfather, black Russian nobleman Abram Petrovich Gannibal. This figure can be seen in his former St. Petersburg apartment, now turned into a museum. Diana Vreeland, Coco Chanel and Anita Pointer of the Pointer sisters are also collectors of blackamoor jewelry and furniture. I …