Has anyone actually leased Poveglia (Europe/the World’s scariest island)? Yes. Early last summer, Poveglia – the beautiful Venetian isle turned plague quarantine – turned insane asylum – turned abandoned food for horror movies – was to be auctioned off on a 99 year lease by the Italian government, in hope that some real estate tycoon would swoop it up and turn it into a resort. I never heard much of a follow-up on the matter; and now I read that Poveglia was auctioned off for 513,000 pounds. The isle stands less than 20 acres; and the buyer, Luigi Brugnaro, would be expected to pay 16.25 million pounds to restore the old asylum buildings. Also, rumor has it that the soil is 50% human ashes, and that fishermen avoid the island because there is a high likelihood of netting human bones. Being the home of plague pits and lobotomies, and the death of 150,000 people, it does sound like a little piece of heaven; but surely superstition shouldn’t get in the way of such things. It’s only a little creepy, but also ridiculously attractive – and a real bargain, as a matter of fact.
Is there really an Egon Schiele exhibit underway? Yes. Although I am a bit of a traditionalist, I can’t deny that I am swept away by Egon Schiele, who was, after all, born in 1890 (and succumbed to the Spanish influenza, together with his pregnant wife, at the young age of 28). Schiele’s exhibition is taking place at Richard Nagy and there is no entrance fee – so no excuse not to go, either. It covers sketches that deviate from his normal depictions of human form, and stands until the 5th of December. Chop chop. Other than that, I might point out that there is Moroni at the Royal Academy of Arts, Rembrandt (as we’ve briefly discussed before) at the National Gallery, and Turner at the Tate. You know what to do.
What have you learned this autumn? That finding a nice flat in London wounds the soul, but isn’t impossible. That eating too much takeaway is bad for you (but oh so delicious). That I really need an iphone (sorry, Samsung). That dressing gowns are crucial to ones existence and that one cannot get up in the morning, unless immediately stepping into a dressing gown. That a dressing gown also works as a parka. That as a journalist, one must rather defy court and be jailed/pay a fine than disclose a source. That the gym is a nice place. That old friends are gold. That curry is gold. That ebay is gold (but we already knew that). That referendums are a waste of time (but that doesn’t stop politicians from throwing them all over the place).