i haven’t been, but i hear it’s nice

All smiles in Milan, Italy.

Pig snouts and equine hamburgers (not pictured) line the cases at an indoor market in Milan.

A burlesque night at Sargeant Pepper’s in Milan only brought out a handful of the rockabilly kids, but did pack the bar, spilling out into the street for several hours.

An unexpected railroad strike kept us in Florence, Italy for an extra day longer than we anticipated, but there are likely worse places in the world to be stuck.

There’s an amazing little museum in Lyon, France that houses brilliantly ornate miniature scenes – many of which were created to be shot during big-budget films as part of the special effects in past years. This was part of a tiny but elaborate butcher’s shop scene. Well worth an hour of your time to visit Musée Miniature et Cinéma if you find yourself in Lyon.

But the real reason to visit Lyon is the food. Even just spending a few nights there, we stumbled into a cooking presentation on escargot soup in a plaza, and all of our meals were great despite a tight budget.

Some tips: go with a “pot” of the house wine plus a carafe of tap water to spend next to nothing on drinks. Also, opt for the pre-fixe menu at a traditional Lyonese restaurant away from the few tourist spots to get many large courses for a reasonable price.

In just a few days I had some of the best meals I’ve eaten in some time (maybe ever) and didn’t hit anything remotely high-end (like Michelin stars, etc). Lyon can cook.

On an unrelated note, Jenn and I were surprised to see none other than Pete Doherty and a buddy of his walking up a cobblestone alley toward the gallery district of Lyon on a Saturday afternoon. I was too surprised to break out my camera – apparently he had a show later that night. I was never sure why the owners of the now-defunct Safe Haven bar in South Slope, Brooklyn were vehemently anti-Doherty. I’m not necessarily up on Babyshambles or anything, but it’s hard to beat the likes of the Libertines, “Up the Bracket.” Solid stuff.

A bicycle thrown into the river in Lyon, France collects an assortment of algae.