GARGNANO, ITALY: Before I left I was thinking about the things I would miss the most about New York, and the first things that came to mind was the print editions of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Each morning I’ve been away—thus far, two—I wandered around a little nervously until I could get a International Herald Tribune into my hands.
The IHT is, essentially, the foreign edition of the New York Times, which has owned it singlehandedly since it broke some china in late 2002 in order to stop sharing it with the Washington Post. (This has allowed the Times to own 100% of its losses since then, but that’s another story.) But it’s not the same as getting the New York Times. The IHT feels distant. It lacks all urgency. It doesn’t demand your attention—a problem I have with “serious” English-language European newspapers in general. The IHT feels Canadian in its remove from the events in America and elsewhere it describes, even though practically everything in it was written by an American and for an American audience. I have to squint at it really hard to make it resemble the New York Times; it’s the Times through a blurry glass. I don’t think this is just the jetlag talking, either.
Other than that: Italy is beautiful. Immediately after landing in Venice we headed over to Al Covo to talk about natural Italian wines with Al Covo owner Cesare Benelli and his fabulous and hilarious sommelier sommelier pal Mauro Lorenzon. (Lorenzon also writes a blog–hope you can understand Italian–and runs this wine bar where we had a rollicking late dinner. Late for us, at least.)
Yesterday it took Laurel and me several hours to realize it was Saturday, not Sunday.