At the British Museum in London to visit Pompei and Ercolano…

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These days I have been following the evolution of the remote search of Alessandro Sicuro, the Italian blogger who always follows very closely these events on the mismanagement of the Italian cultural and artistic heritage. I work with this agency (sure-com) for almost a year, I read this article today and I decided to publish it on my blog, because I would like these things to let everybody know. It ‘a shame that all this happen in a country that has an artistic capital cilturale so awesome and yet can not make it productive. And ‘as bad as the beautiful country Italy to borrow for free, and his goods to other countries more’ rich in her strenuous. But it is not strange that the British accept the fact that it happened is incomprehensible is: who are those directors who give freely of these priceless treasures of all Italians?!

Kathy Kiefer

now the article of Alessandro Sicuro: ↴






Following the publication on my blog of an article on Italian art, (http://wp.me/p2kXuA-1fn), and its untapped potential, compared to European museums, including the British Museum and the exhibition on Pompeii and Herculaneum. Reading rather disturbing things in the newspapers a few days ago, I went to the English capital to ensure State-of- the-art in person, and get a better understanding of the situation

The mystery on the critical conditions in which the world of Italian culture and art has become increasingly dense and dramatic, faced with the realization that there are neither the means nor a true political will and entrepreneurial skills to manage those riches, as well as safeguard and then exploit this huge artistic heritage that makes our country unique in the world. My hope then is to make a small contribution to this debate, to send a message that can help reflect on how “sviliamo our potential” and especially about our limits: often we find pleasure in self-referential rhetoric of “Italy, the most beautiful country in the world,” and our presumption leads us to not promote truly this wonderful heritage, which could be a source of employment for many young people and of income for the State and the community.

The question I asked myself when I read that the British Museum could do 11 million pounds from March thru September 2013, with little more than 200 historical artifacts of Pompeii and Herculaneum “provided for free by the Italian State,” is this:

– why for free?

– because they can make these profits and us not?!

In those same months in fact –exactly from March to September, as I said in a previous article– a huge crowd of people has visited and is continuing to visit the exhibition “Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum”, at the British Museum in London. After being at the show, beautiful for that matter, I asked myself some questions that perhaps deserve research and in-depth replies – and it is for this reason that this article is being written.

The price of a ticket to the exhibition is of 15 £. The Museum is selling 500 tickets daily and sells out all the tickets …! along with an unspecified number of tickets booked.  Judging by the amount of people, tickets with reservations are at least 500 every hour, which means approximately 4000 tickets per day at least (that is constantly full, there are no doubts, I checked in person), I confirm that is already all sold out (guest from time).  Oh yes, because unlike Pompeii, you can purchase tickets on-line, giving way to individuals and tour operators put in ready-made tour packages for their clients this opportunity, which is not possible in Pompeii …

I did a bunch of accounts, (these days there is also needed).

That Italy lacks money and work, especially for young people. So why is it that Italy can submit material that is so valuable to the British to make a lavish profit without obtaining at least half?

We see the figures: look at the size of the gift made to British aristocrats, tickets cost £ 15, daily sales unit 4000, duration of the exhibition 180gg.

Then, £ 15 x4000x180 days = £ 10,800,000, which are obviously the proceeds from the sale of the catalogues and various gadgets connected to view (atleast the same digit).

Now, from the same interview in Corriere, we learn that the beautiful pieces on display in London were “provided for free by the Italian State” because it “would appear as the rag-a-muffin state initiative, would be really bizarre and demeaning to pay exhibits abroad”. Then however, anywhere, the Museum of Riace, complains about the lack of staff and funds, while France, not exactly in rags, has implemented the same operation with Abu Dhabi, by restoring the balance – and the Palace – Louvre, (remember that the Paris Museum collects as all Italian museums put together?!).

Many Italians and plus Myself would like to figure out who decided on this donation? There were perhaps of the palaces in Italy? In this country we have beautiful palaces, in excellent condition, as Florence (Palazzo Strozzi, Palazzo Pitti. Or Roma, scuderie del Quirinale, or in Caserta, in order not to make too many miles, in splendid Palaces, the Castello Sforzesco in Milan). How can anyone be reminded of anything like that?

We are waiting for answers, thanks …

Alessandro Sicuro



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Long Island August 2013 087


lighthouse_shutterfly1Windmills and water mills are truly the wonders of an earlier era, the wooden technology of yesteryear.  To us, they may be graceful and charming relics.  To the colonists, however, they were a vital necessity.  Colonial craftsmen constructed them to mill grain, saw wood, pump water and do various other jobs.  Furthermore, the mill was the gathering place for the villagers.  While they waited for their grain to be milled, the villagers exchanged news and gossip and stories.  Millers were well respected not only for their mill’s output but also for their own weather forecasts, knowledge of engines and machines, and, of course, up-to-date news.

Long Island is an ideal place for catching the steady wind from the ocean and bays:  125 miles long, narrow – only 20 miles across at its widest, and relatively flat.  Thus, many windmills were built here and still exist here, particularly at the island’s east end.  As a matter of fact, the south fork of eastern Long Island contains the greatest number of surviving windmills in the United States.  Before 1700, Long Island also had many water mills, some of them powered by the tide.

Surviving centuries of time historic wooden windmills, reminiscent of old time England; dot the landscape of Suffolk County’s lush east end scenery.   Suffolk County holds 11 such windmills. Few of this style of windmill remain in the United States and it’s quite unusual to find such a large concentration of them in one area. In fact, local historians claim that Long Island holds the largest number of this type of windmill in one place.    The windmills found on Long Island were constructed in the “smock mill” style, so-called because their skirted design resembled a baker’s smock. According to historians, they are also called “cap mills” because the top cap of the mill rotates. They have oversized lattice blades and wood-shingle construction.

The historic windmills on Long Island were created by skilled artisans and many have been restored and are open for visitors to explore how lilighthousemapposterthese massive machines benefited early Americans and aided in their survival.    The mill at Water Mill is one of 11 standing windmills on the eastern end of Long Island, which may represent the largest such concentration in the United States. All 11 were built between 1795 and 1820 and are called smock mills, because they supposedly look like someone wearing a smock.      Though windmills played a role in the nation’s agrarian beginnings, they go back at least 700 years in Europe, where they were used to accomplish tasks essential to survival: grinding grain, sawing wood, pumping water and accomplishing any other job in which the wind could be used to do their work.

The first windmill on Long Island went into operation in 1644; four years after colonists from New Haven founded the town of Southold on the North Fork.  Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries,Long Island August 2013 087 mills played an important role in the economy and agricultural development of the east end of Long Island. This situation changed, however, when processed flour was sent east by train in large enough quantities to satisfy demand. Local farmers turned to growing potatoes instead of grain.   Now many of the potato farms are giving way to modern ”Hamptons-style” housing or are being used to grow grapes for the island’s burgeoning wine industry. The last operating windmill, the Hayground Mill in East Hampton, closed in 1919. Two others were made into homes.   Through the years, their usefulness over, the 11 standing mills were repaired only occasionally, and maintenance was perfunctory or nonexistent. Several mills were purchased by individuals and moved from their original sites. Two have been converted to private residences.

With the passage of time and damage from storms, the windmills faced extinction. But in the 1970’s, renewed interest by local residents and the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities spurred preservation movements.

The following is but a list of some of the historic Long Island Windmills:

faulkner1The Antigo Windmill, built in 1804 and is located in East Hampton.    The Mill Hill had been built up from a natural rise in 1729 on the common at the south end of East Hampton.    The Pantigo Windmill was built by Samuel Schelliner.

Old Hook Mill,    A windmill built by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1806.  The Hook Mill was restored to working order in 1939. Celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2006.  Located in East Hampton

Beebe Windmill       This windmill was built in 1820 by Samuel Schellinger for Captain Lester Beebe.  The Beebe windmill has been moved numerous times since it has been built.  The Beebe Windmill is the only windmill in the United States that is iron-geared.    It is located in Bridgehampton and is open periodically in season.

Gardiner Windmill –   Built in 1804.   Stands in its original place, and was built a few months after Pantio Mill.    This mill was built by Nathaniel Dominy V for John Lyon Gardiner and several others. The mill was completed on September 28, 1804.  The mill continued to operate until 1900.

Corwith Windmill –   Corwith windmill was built in the 1800s in Sag Harbor.  It was moved in 1813 to its location now.  Corwith windmill was operating until 1887.   Water Mill, NY Shinnecock Windmill at Stony Brook Southampton College, Southhampton.  This windmill was originally constructed in the early 1700s and moved from Southampton Village to its present location in 1890. It has been a fixture ever since the college opened.    Exterior viewing only.
Shelter Island Windmill  Built in 1810 in Southold by Nathaniel Dominy.  This windmill was moved to Shelter Island in 1839 and moved to its current location.  Not open to public.

Old Mill at Wainscott   Main Street; built in 1813 and moved several times.
Not open to the public.

Gardiner’s Island Mill   –   Built for the Gardiner family in 1795 and rebuilt 1815. Painted white.    Gardiner’s Island-Private Island   On the National Register of Historic Places since  1978,    Not open to public.   I actually got to see this Windmill when David Lyon Gardiner took the entire 5th grade of Gardiner Manor Elementary School (Bay Shore School District) to the Gardiner Family Island (Gardiner Island).   It was a fantastic opportunity for us to see the Island, and view the wildlife, buildings, etc. that many people don’t get the chance to do.

Southampton Mill    – Dates back to the early 1900s.
Southampton        Not open to the public.

Kathy Kiefer


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Mets July 28, 2013 142On a recent sunny, cool, yet low humid July Sunday in Washington, DC, once again I found myself at the Washington Nationals Ballpark to watch the Nationals play my beloved New York Mets. I am use to going to all the Met games when they come down to Washington during the season, but the thing that made attending this game extra special was having my brother, nephew, niece and one of my niece’s best friends with me at the game as well. It’s a treat for them to come up from their home to go to a game.  Mets July 28, 2013 136

For some reason, my nephew has decided to follow the Nationals, that’s his choice, but maybe one day he will end up liking the METS just as his dad and I do. If not, it will be alright. My niece and her friend enjoyed themselves and watching the game. Besides getting to spend time together, we get to enjoy something that we enjoy and truly get into the game. I have been known to come home from many a game with little or no voice from yelling so much during the game.

Mets July 28, 2013 150-2Even though I have lived in the Washington, DC/Northern Virginia area for over 25 years, once a MET fan always a METS fan as I say. As a die-hard life-long time Met fan , my fingernails are done in alternating MET colors of orange and blue, and my choice of what to wear (as any Met fan does) in an outfit that have the team colors as well. And that includes my earrings. Despite the fact that we lost big time (14-1) on Sunday, it Mets July 28, 2013 109 copiawas still a happy and enjoyable day for all of us. There is a magical air at any ball game with an anticipation of a good time. Everyone, no matter which team they root for, is quite friendly and willing to talk and visit with other fans around them. You share stories and information that is related to the game. It’s good sportsmanship and camaraderie.

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…….Kathy Kiefer


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The first trip that I remember going on with my parents was to Niagara Falls, New York, and must have been about 2 ½ years old.  I know my mom told me that they did not have a yellow rain          coat that was small enough for me to wear, so we had to improvise with the smallest one that they had.  I remember the different ways the water fell over the rocks and cliffs, some memory stayed with me all of my life because to this day, I like fountains, and water falls that are in so many places.

Growing up on Long Island, we went in to New York City often to events such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Easter Parade, also to go to the theatre as well as explore art museums.   We also explored county and state historic sites on the Island.  There were also trips upstate New York to visit my grandmother as well as aunts, uncles and cousins.


On one of the trips upstate,  we   took a side trip to Cooperstown, New York to the Baseball Hall of Fame which is a must see for any surecom & new york_nbaseball fan (as my brother and I were and we still are).   I have visited many interesting places in the State of New York growing up, such as going to the Adirondacks, Lake George, Sleepy Hollow (the setting for Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman).
I was in Girl Scouts and one of the trips we took was up to the United States Military Academy at West Point.  I also got to see the homes of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt who were also native New Yorkers.  Plus visiting Albany (the state capitol).

When I was around 10 years old we took a family trip at Thanksgiving to Williamsburg, Virginia, while enroute there we stopped and paid respects at Arlington National Cemetery at the grave of President John F. Kennedy.   (how ironic that many years later I would live in Washington, DC/Northern Virginia and be able to go to Arlington frequently to take pictures and more).  Talk about time travel!!!

ArtDeco_428x269_to_468x312Another time when I was in the fifth grade we went to Miami Beach during Easter break from school.  An irony to this trip that while we were there we actually saw my fifth grade teacher down there as well (who was staying at a different hotel).  Totally unplanned!!!!   Other trips I remember were going to Plymouth Village, Massachusetts  (This living museum recreates Plymouth as it was in 1627, and does a great job at separating fact from the enduring (and completely inaccurate) legend of the First Thanksgiving. Historians and curators have paid great attention to detail, from the street plans to furniture, tools, and cooking equipment. Specially bred 17th-century livestock occupies the barns and pastures, and trained reenactors and artisans demonstrate how life was lived among the Pilgrims.                             In addition to information on the European colonists, visitors can find information on the Native American population at Hobbamock’s Homesite. Hobbamock, a Wampanoag Indian, lived with his family in Plymouth from 1621-1641, as part of a peace treaty agreement)    and is the site of where the Pilgrims landed in the 1600’s from England as well as going to Salem, Massachusetts to visit the place where there were numerous witch trials of people accused of doing unchristian activities.     (Three Historic Cemeteries. Salem has wonderful, historic cemeteries, including the Old Burying Point Cemetery on Charter Street, Howard Street Cemetery, and the Broad Street Cemetery. The Old Burying Point is the oldest cemetery in Salem, and in it you can see the graves of, among others, a Witch Trials judge, a Mayflower passenger, and architect Samuel McIntire. Cemeteries are open from dawn until dusk, and exploration is encouraged.  Since 1626, when Conant arrived with the first settlers, Salem, Massachusetts has been attracting people from all points of the compass. Many come to visit and some decide to stay and make Salem their home.

It may be most widely known as the site of the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692, but this colorful, coastal city has much to offer both residents and visitors: a culturally diverse population, a rich maritime heritage, an impressive display of historic architecture and amazing stories that span almost four centuries.)

We also went to Boston, Massachusetts.  I remember visiting Faneuil Hall and other historic places, following the Freedom Trail, and13112789-downtown-boston-massachusetts-skyline even riding in a Swan Boat. And even a trip to historic Sturbridge Village!!!!.   (Old Sturbridge Village is one of the country’s oldest and largest living history museums, depicting early New England life from 1790-1840 with historians in costume, antique buildings, water-powered mills, and a working farm. Visitors can view antiques, meet heritage breed animals, and enjoy hands-on crafts. The Village is open year-round, but hours change seasonally).

We went to Stowe, Vermont and visited the Von Trapp Family Lodge (the Von Trapps of Sound of Music fame).  This location is reminiscent of the Salzburg area of Austria where they were from and that is what drew them to the Stowe area when they emigrated here.  On the same trip, we also went to other areas in the State of Vermont, went to New Hampshire and into Maine where I remember going to Bar Harbor (a small island) and seeing lobsters being brought in as well as other fish being brought in by the fishermen (reminiscent of seeing fishermen bringing in their daily catch where I grew up in Bay Shore/Brightwaters).  I can safely say that I have been to every state on the east coast of the United States.

WYC_0007_TampaEarlyMorningSkyline_manual_680x367Another trip I remember was on a summer vacation from school, we drove down to Florida (possibly either 1972 or 1973) going first to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area where we went to Bush Gardens.   Then we drove to Orlando where we went to Walt Disney World (which was only the Magic Kingdom at the time).  A few places that I enjoyed was (and is) the Haunted Mansion, the Hall of the Presidents and the Small World ride.  There are other places at the Magic Kingdom that I enjoyed as well.   I have also been to the Outer Banks and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.   Kitty Hawk is the spot where the Wright Brothers took the first airplane flight.                The original Wright Flyer is in the National Air and Space Museum which is a part of the Smithsonian Institution.  A replica is in the museum at Kitty Hawk that commemorates this historic event.  In Ocean City, Maryland I have gone parasailing numerous times, each time I’ve gone up higher.   I have plans to go sky diving when the weather is nicer.  And have been to numerous historic sites and towns in Virginia as well.

I got to travel to many places while I was working for the United States Department of Justice; the first trip that I went on was to San tastefulsatx1Antonio, Texas for a week long paralegal conference.  It was exciting to be there and stay in a hotel along the fabled River Walk, where one can stroll and listen to local music, find wonderful shops and quaint cafes to eat and drink at.  I also got to see close-up the Alamo which was originally Franciscan mission.  I also had the opportunity to go to Sea World San Antonio.

The next trip I went on was to Atlanta, Georgia, where I was helping at a workshop for Criminal Attorneys.  In my spare time, I went to underground Atlanta located at Five Point, this is an area of old Atlanta that sustained major damage during the Civil War when Atlanta got burned by the Northern Soldiers.    I was fortunate to be able to go to the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum and the typewriter she used to write “Gone With the Wind” plus some other items that were her inspiration for the novel (Gone With the Wind is my all-time favorite book and movie).  Also spent time exploring other parts of Atlanta and outside the city as well.  It was fascinating to be in such a place.

foto_montana_005_glacier_national_parkI have been to Billings, Montana for pre-trial conferences and meeting with witnesses.  I remember one of the times there for meetings it was in holiday season and it was snowing.  There was to be a holiday street festival and one of the highlights for me was the hot roasted chestnuts which I hadn’t had in years.   On one of the trips to Billings, I had the opportunity to drive to the National Park Site of Little Big Horn, where American troops fought the local Indian Tribe, and the American soldiers lost their lives, including their leader, General George Armstrong Custer (he was a West Point Graduate and he is buried back at the Academy).




I made numerous trips to Denver, Colorado, went to Colorado Springs, Colorado (where the training center and Offices for the DenverColorado_0UnitedStates Olympic Committee is located as well as Pike’s Peak).  I found and interesting mining town called Georgetown which still has a working mine.  I found in Denver, the Molly Brown House and Museum.  Molly Brown may be better known as the Unsinkable Molly Brown.   She got the nickname Unsinkable for having survived the Colorado floods, and the sinking of the Titanic.  She rose up from poverty to rich and was never go backwards.  The house and museum give the visitor a glimpse of a time and era gone by. And to show how the rich and neuvorich lived.


saltlakecityI went to Salt Lake City, Utah for meetings and visited the Mormon Temple area, which was impressive even lit up at night, and felt fortunate to be able to go to a concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir while I was there.  ON a subsequent trip to Elko, Nevada I had the opportunity to drive back from Elko to Salt Lake City and to drive along the Great Salt Lake and Bonneville Salt Flats.


I have also been to Reno, Nevada (for meetings, not to gamble); Phoenix, Arizona; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Sedona, Arizona, Norfolk, Virginia,  Los Angeles, California; and San Francisco, California.  I remember going to Old Town Albuquerque and getting Turquoise jewelry, and pottery.  In San Francisco riding the Cable Cars, going to Fisherman’s Wharf, Nob Hill, and Ghirardelli Square and even crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.  I’ve even been to the Grand Canyon.

The first trip overseas that I took was to Denmark, seeing the sights such as Tivoli Gardens, the Little Mermaid statute, spending time kopenhag-danimarkaexploring the fascinating capitol Denmark.  Visiting the home of Karen Blixen (the author of Out of Africa) and the gardens behind the house, going to Ellsinore Castle (which is the setting for Shaskespere’s Hamlet, other parks and castles plus so much more.  In addition to visiting with famiy while I was there.  I was also able to take a boat tour of the canals of Copenhagen. Plus checking out the stores such as Royal Copenhagen and others.  And shopping along the Stroyget for bargains.  There are many beautiful parks and many castles all around this wonderful country waiting to be  explored and discovered.



parisriverI had a  few hour layover in Switzerland and got to do a little exploring in Zurich, plus on my next overseas, had a little layover in Paris, enroute home from Italy.   My first stop in Italy was Rome where I spent several days exploring the eternal city.  Going to the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica was a thrill in itself (the seat of the Catholic Church) to be able to stand in the same place as the Pope was amazing. And to see it with my own eyes and close up!!!! Going to the Ruins and the Forum, The Trevi   Fountain Borghese Gardens….and more.   I took the train from Rome to Pisa one day, and went to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and even got to see the Church of the Miracles while I was there.   What an awesome experience that was, and an architectural wonder the Leaning Tower is and the detail on both the Tower and the church is beyond description.  Pictures can’t do it adequate justice.  I then took the train back to Rome.

From Rome I went to Verona for several days.  Verona is the setting for three of Shakespeare’s plays: The Taming of the Shrew, Two vacanze RomaGentlemen of Verona and Romeo and Juliet.                                                Legend has it that one rubs the breast on the Statute of Juliet you will have good luck in love and in your life, the balcony at the Casa de Giulietta.     The House of Romeo, Tomba di Giulietta, Piazza delle  Erbe (since ancient  times continues to be used as a vegetable and fruit market),  Castel Vecchio, Piazza dei Signori, Piazza Bra,  Corso Cavour. There are so many beautiful Chiesa’s (churches) in Verona as well as in Rome.                Roman Theatre and so much more to see , experience and to do.   Such a wonderful educational experience so much better than any textbook.