<— See that little black banner?

The tiny, dare-I-say stripper stripe in the center of the photo that unwittingly says MACRO?  That is a social litmus strip.

For the past few months, our friend Little J has been staying with us, and I have taken it as an opportunity to impart to her my wisdom earned from years of experience in the field. Wisdom like:  Bikini waxers should always come from a more hairy culture than your ethnic background. And Don’t waste your time wasting your time with a time waster.  And finally, Tight jeans are not a fit but a mentality. Though barely into her 2nd decade, Little J is a quick learner.  She has no longer frets over unspoken conversations and is quick to the draw when relationships go past their due date.

My most recent revelation may have been my best.  Contemporary Art weeds out the worms. Last weekend, I dragged Little J, The Professor and X to the newly-redone and re-opened MACRO, at its 2nd location in the Nomentana neighborhood of Rome.   To be honest, we had just wanted to do a drive by, but we were forced to forge ahead on foot when we couldn’t find the MACRO’s entrance.  It’s a slip in a long block of modern buildings– ironically just down the street from my least favorite bus stop– and completely unnoticeable.   It’s also the exact opposite of the undulating, white cement shoebox known as the MAXXI.

The MACRO inside and out looks like its channeling the 1980s  + David Lynch, and hooray for that.  The tall black glass doors hide an entirely black entrance with an asymmetrical red box in the center.   What’s in the box? I have no clue and that is why I think this would be the perfect first date theory for Little J to test.    You see, I don’t think many people really like contemporary art, but waste a lot of time trying to “get” it.  Or worse, trying to admonish it, much like dancing in Footloose.  Thus, any contemporary art museum/gallery/space is the perfect litmus test for a potential suitor, separating the closed minded from the out-there.

As Little J and I agreed, the 1st floor caffè gets a gold star for its mod red and black decor and Espressamente Illy outfitting.  *Yep, Illy has quite gorgeous caffès around the world and MACRO has one.  (So does Via Urbana in Monti.)  And I loved the bathroom with the random glowing red-orange cube/sink.  Perhaps what separates MACRO from the rest of Rome’s recent architectural masterpieces (think:  MAXXI, Ara Pacis)  is the roof terrace.  You can walk around the slate roof.  Perfect for the romantic, urban kiss.

MACRO Via Nizza angolo Via Cagliari, Tuesdays to Sundays 11am to 10pm