It's a cloudy dreary chilly day in Dallas, which is fine because it all goes well with my mood today. Downtown, the streets are filled with people on their way to lunch.
I've just ducked into one of my favorite places called Porta di Roma, a Chinese takeout place. Just kidding, it's Italian food. The name means 'gateway to Rome', but no matter how many doors I open here I can't see Piazza Navona through any of them.
The food is really authentic and the view is great because it's directly across from Neiman Marcus, the famous high end retailer. People watching is at its best in Dallas here. You can see millionaires pull up in chauffeured stretch cars, or maybe a homeless guy wearing a baseball cap with wings slowly pushing a shopping cart with watermelons dressed like Cabbage Patch Kids (tm).
As for myself, I need to stop back into Neiman Marcus today because:
a) my personal shopper there has rent due soon and keeps tweeting me
b) they finally have their secret cookie recipe for sale as in the urban legend, or
c) I want to see if the sardonyx bowls that were full price last year on sale now
As is the case when taking tests, 'C' statistically is the right answer.
Sardonyx is a type of onyx / calcite with just the right red / brown colorations that nice sconces and lighting fixtures try to copy with patinated glass. But, this is the real mineral deal that was used for thousands of years and usually worth more than gold.
In Venice, in the treasury of the San Marco cathedral, they have wonderful sardonyx treasure cups taken back in the fourth crusade like this one with the lower section in the rare stone.
Going back further, first century Romans created great works with it as the cup of the Ptolemies and 'Great Cameo of France' below.
I'm kind of a sculpture guy first, so you can understand my appreciation for a material that is so workable like this from a carving standpoint, and also has such beautiful color and translucency.
Some nice sardonyx sconces are called for in my media room. It's probably not a good idea though to just hang the Neiman Marcus bowls on the wall with duct tape and bailing wire? I think they were $11,000 last year.
Some slightly random snippets of Norwich history
19 hours ago