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December 12, 2005

Christmas in Lisbon

STUNNING.  Lisbon is stuChristmas in Lisbonnning every Christmas season… and especially this year.  The Baixa is covered in lights, with each street once again seeming to compete with the next for the loveliest displays.

Europe’s largest Christmas tree glows over the city from its riverside perch at the Praça do Comércio. (A nice view of the tree awaits those fortunate enough to have booked Casa Santana.)

Our family enjoys traditional late evening Baixa walks, munching hot-roasted chestnuts and arguing over which streets have the prettiest lights.

See you there!

October 27, 2005

€2.50 Foreign Films: Year-Round!

Our Irish neighbor near Casa Travessa just revealed this gem:  Cinemateca Portuguesa Museu (Portuguese Cinema Museum).

October — even though it was officially French and Japanese Film Month — included “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Titanic.”  Tickets are €2,50.  Afternoon and evening shows.

November is Irish Month… so our neighbor is a wee happy lad.

For weekly schedules and contact info, visit the excellent website at www.cinemateca.pt (click on the tab that says “Programação”).

October 6, 2005

Laundry on the line

Very, very few Portuguese families own clothes dryers. Consequently, one sees everywhere, fluttering in gardens, from balconies, and on roof tops, that proud banner of doméstica, the clothes line. I have come to love Portuguese clothes lines for the same reason I’ve always gotten an irrational measure of solace from old-fashioned clocks in public places that are still keeping time accurately: because someone cares. Every clothes-laden line and every operating clock is a proclamation that someone cares enough to keep things going. Clothes do not hang themselves to dry and clocks do not give the time for long unless someone attends to them, unless someone thinks it’s important to serve people in these very humble ways.