Monday, October 13, 2008

Venetian Cat Hits Australia! Cat Bauer - Venice Insider for ninemsn


Cat Bauer Venice insider

Award-winning author Cat Bauer has lived in Venice since 1998, and is still learning how to navigate the labyrinth. Her blog, Venetian Cat, has been featured in the Financial Times Weekend Magazine.

Are you wondering what I have been up to? I hope so! I have a very good excuse for being lax, which is that I am now the Venice Insider for ninemsn, Australia's number-one interactive media company. It just went live yesterday, October 13, 2008. Please have a look:

Venice Insider: Cat Bauer

Channel 9 is an Australian television channel, but they write it "nine." (If you are American, compare it to NBC or CBS or ABC.) This is from their site (they do not capitalize "nine"):

"About ninemsn
ninemsn is Australia's number-one interactive media company. Over 8.6 million people* visit ninemsn each month, representing 73 per cent of active Australian Internet users. ninemsn is the Australian home to popular Microsoft products such as
Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Search and delivers well-known content from the Nine Network programs including Getaway, the Today Show, A Current Affair and National Nine News. It also represents popular Australian Consolidated Press (ACP) magazine titles online, including Ralph, Cleo, The Bulletin and Woman's Day. Across the entire network and over a range of categories, ninemsn aims to deliver content that informs, entertains and engages its audience. * Source: Nielsen NetView November 2007."

I have never been to Australia, but the first man I fell in love with was Australian, so I do have first-hand experience with the culture, which I will describe as "zesty, individualistic." I was quite old, age 27 -- I am very particular with my love. He is now in Paradiso, hopefully watching from above. So, this one's for you, Barry!

It was hard work because it required that I go against my artistic inclinations, but, as anyone who knows me can testify, I am capable of putting my nose to the grindstone when the need arises. Since the world-as-we-know-it is in the process of deconstruction, I switched into pragmatic-mode and produced (hopefully) an informative guide as to What's Real here in the Magic Kingdom. I had a short amount of time in which to perform this feat (about three weeks).

In addition, I was working under extreme duress. One example: my beloved Apple G4 12" Screen Powerbook was ailing during the Venice Film Festival, and then died a mysterious death in the middle of the ninemsn effort. It was sad, because I had personified her, and called her, affectionately, "GeeFour." Apple does not make 12 inch G4s anymore. (That is not my G4 in the photo, but a distant relative -- they all look alike, but, of course, their souls are different, depending on the owner:)

So, every day I ran over to the Internet Point to work. The people who worked inside the shop were so simpatici, they deserve a mention. My office-away-from-home was what used to be the Gas Store here in San Polo, and is now in the process of becoming... something else. They sell clothes, play hip music, and have five computers inside the store -- the kids who work there are incredibly cool. For instance, after I wrote the Natalie Portman piece (GO: one of the employees told me he had walked Natalie Portman over to our local Giorgioni Theatre a couple of nights before, where she stood in line with everyone else to buy her ticket. Ha! Yes! That is why she couldn't attend the fabulous ball -- she was busy being a human being!

I don't know the address of the internet point, so I am going to run over there right now. I will be right back.

Okay. Now I am back. I will describe my journey, so you can better understand Venice. On my way over, I poked my head into Do Mori, which is one of our oldest... bars... kinda, sorta. There, inside, was Count Francesco da Mosto. It is the full moon as I write this, so my energy is a little wild. I bubbled all over Francesco that I had put him on the ninemsn website (GO: and then apologized to the people whose conversation I had interrupted.

Then I had an ombra with some Venetians, a red wine ombra, which is a little glass of red wine. Ombra means shadow, in the sense of shade from the sun. So, we drank some shadows together and we cracked some jokes, one of which was "all intelligent Americans live in Europe," and then I continued on my journey.

Here is the info: The name of the Internet Point is Gas Point, and the address is 1572 Calle dei Boteri, which runs parallel to the main drag, Ruga Rialto, but further back. The cool Venetian kids are Francesca and Alberto. So, if you need to use the internet by Rialto, go there. Or if you want to buy some Gas clothes, or whatever kind of clothes, for reasonable prices, go there.

Then, on my way back, I stopped inside my Friendly Local Neighborhood Tobacco Shop owned by a young married Venetian couple, Cristiano and Claudia, who doesn't like her name because it is based on "Claudius," the Roman emperor who, although having some excellent qualities, was cruel and deformed. (I can assure you that the Claudia inside the Friendly Neighborhood Tobacco Shop is beautiful and sweet, especially because I often see her interact with her husband, Cristiano, side by side.)

Inside the shop was Gino, who is one of the sons of Antica Drogheria Mascari. I said, "You are on ninemsn. Over eight point six million readers per month. It went live yesterday."

Gino said, "How much do I have to pay?"

I said, "You should pay, but it is gratis. No, wait. You must give me some chocolate."

Instantly, Gino handed me some chocolate. Seriously! I had interrupted him in the process of slicing chocolate with a penknife -- I don't know why he was doing it -- he was behind the counter, so I couldn't see. Now, Gino does not belong in the tobacco shop behind the counter. He belongs inside Mascari behind the counter, so, the fact that he was inside the tobacco shop was a little strange to begin with, and that he was slicing chocolate at the precise moment I asked for it was even stranger.

Gino said, "You must write that I pay immediately upon demand." I stuck the chocolate in my pocket, and he scolded me. He said, "You cannot put chocolate in your pocket. It will ruin your jacket." I said, "I want to eat it at home."

Now I am home, and I have eaten the chocolate. And that, my dears, is Venice.

Ciao from Venice,


  1. Hey, I just want to let everyone know about my new website - This Australia website is free and you do not need to register to use it, with over 10 000 new posts daily its is the best way to meet and chat with single people in Australia.

  2. You do realize, I hope, that a "Dogheria", were it actually to exist, would make slats, and a "Drogheria" is a sort of drug store like Mascari?

    Even the ninemsn article got it wrong... better luck next time.

  3. Thanks for catching that typo, Anonymous. I will immediately replace the "r."