Venice Carnival 2014

What happens in fantasy 

can be more involving than what happens in life–

and thank goodness for that.

Roger Ebert


Among my favorites in posing, Nhaelle de France

If you can visit Venice only once in your entire lifetime, time it for Carnival and bring the kids!  This annual winter festival of masquerade and fantastic costumes can be traced back to the beginning of the 14th Century when months before Lent, everyone in town wore masks to break down social barriers and playfully defy differentiation between nobility and the common people.

Today, an international crowd of 3 million revelers congregate and make time to dress up in their original and fantastic creations or an elegant wardrobe of authentic period pieces.  Those in full regalia are so very kind and accommodating in holding a pose for your camera.  Can you imagine the time and effort each costume takes to create and transport, never mind wearing them all day in heat or cold for the two weeks of the fabulous Venice Carevale.  I’ll let the photographs speak eloquently for themselves.   You bet it wasn’t easy choosing which creations to exclude here.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what your fantasy costume might be.


Christine et Eric Plas

followed the yellow brick road from France


Almost a kiss by Pierre and Dominique


If you were wondered “Where’s the party?”


Should we tell?


Anabella from Estonia checks her makeup


I just love how the background complements this ensemble


I’m a night owl who didn’t know

catching the rising sun could be such fun

with Jeanne of France 


A rose and a serenade for mi amore

on Burano Island


Love the shadows matching the pointy hats on

Monika and Peter Gowitzke from Germany


The opulence of this flamingo theme

is one of my Carnival favorites



A most adorable party peeper


© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

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Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother


Best Movies Set in Venice

Is it worthwhile to observe that

there are no Venetian blinds in Venice? 

William Dean Howels


Bongiorno!  Today I transport myself to what may be the closest thing to time travel.  I’m headed for the Carnivale in Venice where they celebrate the centuries old festivity of wearing masks and elaborate costumes from the 18th century.  I promise I’ll take you along with me so my next few blog posts will feature everything Venetian.   We begin with a few movies I’ve enjoyed featuring eye candy from her iconic sights.

Dangerous Beauty

The glamour of 16th century Renaissance featuring the life of legendary courtesan, Veronica Franco, with Jacqueline Bisset playing the role of aging mother.



Flashbacks on the glamourous Hollywood life of Cole Porter with his wife, Linda Lee, whom he met in Paris in the 1920’s where Americans were inventing new lives of freedom.  Kevin Kline plays the elegant Cole, always witty on stage, charming in front of society, writing the pain into the soundtrack of his life.  My favorite Ashley Judd plays the nuanced role of Linda who nurtures his talent and indulges his preference for men.  Why, oh, why is the woman always the one who has to re-arrange her life to suit the man (even when he’s gay)?

Cole Porter De-Lovely Movie Kevin Kline Ashley Judd

Wings of the Dove

Two lovers plot to gain the inheritance of a sickly, rich American (“the richest orphan in the world”) by stealing her affections.  A film based on Henry James’ famous novel.


Casino Royale

James Bond’s world tour of casinos ends with the fantastic sinking of an abandoned palazzo on a Venetian canal.


The Tourist

Johnny Depp plays the unlikely mystery lover of Angelina Jolie.  Watch out for my dream necklace in the final scenes.

The Tourist movie set in Venice


Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Return to Me


Who is king of your heart?

A Valentine poem in case your Prince Charming doubts…

Return often and take me,

beloved sensation, return and take me —

when the memory of the body awakens,

and old desire again runs through the blood;

when the lips and skin remember,

and the hands feel as if they touch again.

Return often and take me at night,

when the lips and the skin remember.

Return by CP Cavafy (translated by Rae Dalven)

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your favorite erotic poem

or best Valentine gift ever.







© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Gentleman’s Guide to Love

Men should think twice

before making widowhood women’s only path to power.

Gloria Steinem

Lisa O'hare Bryce Pinkham Genleman's Guide to Love on Broadway

Lisa O’Hare and Bryce Pinkham (Photo by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

How low would you go to better your circumstances?  What if bumping off a few inconvenient relatives could secure your fortune?

In Broadway’s new musical comedy, the Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bryce Pinkham plays the part of penniless Monty Navarro, who is desperate to keep his socially ambitious love from being snagged by a more well-heeled suitor. He sings and frolics on stage while hacking his way up the family tree to be the next Earl of Highhurst.

This musical score delivers chuckles rich with witty lines and turns of phrase.  I was completely riveted by the virtuoso, Jefferson Mays, who plays the parts of all the eight D’Ysquith family members Monty sets out to eliminate.

A Gentlemen’s Guide To Love And Murder
At the Walter Kerr Theatre
219 W 48th St.
New York, NY 10036
Run Time: Two hours 20 minutes

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) if you’ll dare take your Valentine on this date.  And if you want to impress with seats in the two front rows, bring an umbrella to keep yourself dry from the performers’ passionate oratorical “showers.” 😉


Photo by Joan Marcus

Lauren Worsham for Gentleman's Guide to Love on Broadway

Lauren Worsham (Photo by Caitlin McNaney for


One of the characters played by the incredible Jefferson Mays (Photo by Joan Marcus)


Joanna Glushak, Lauren Worsham, Bryce Pinkham, Lisa O’Hare, and Jefferson Mays (Photo from


Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

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