about venice in words & pics, with and without my 9-year-old son
There was so little traffic in the lagoon at that hour yesterday, Andrew, it really was quite peaceful.
Thanks for another beautiful picture.Today I really miss Venice and I am roaming the internet to find something comforting. For more than 3 months now my italian Avvocato have been negotiating my purchase of a small place in Cannaregio, just by the Fondamenta Mendicanti, but the negotiations grew to a grinding halt. The vendors kept stalling and my wife and I relized we couldn't take it any more. Either they want to sell or they won't, tertium non datur. I have decided to put my dream of Venice up on the shelf for a while at least. I'm sorry to use your blog as a wailing wall, but I just felt like expressing myself in Writing. Please erase if you find it inappropriate, but please keep the wonderful Pictures and stories coming.Best Regards/Andreas Jonsson
Thank you for your kind remarks, Andreas, and I can completely understand your disappointment and frustration at finding a small place you like and then watching helplessly as the whole venture somehow goes off the rails in spite of your best efforts. The only thing I am glad about is that the problems at least began BEFORE you had handed over money. Watching a deal in Italy collapse before you have tied up a lot of money in it is bad, but having it collapse after the seller has received your funds is even worse--and quite possible. I guess the "bright side"--and I say this with a good dose of irony--is that local papers have recently reported that there are presently 1,000 houses ("case" was the word used, not "appartamenti") in Cannaregio that are unlived in. 1,000 vacant houses in just that one sestiere! So you would think there would be plenty of affordable housing for residents to live in there, as well as places for others to buy--but this does not seem to be the case. I should find out more about this. I don't really understand it at present. I hope when you start to look again you'll find a place you like even more (and I have not forgotten about our exchange about the canal image).
About a hundred years ago my great-grandfather suffered what we could call an agricultural mishap involving a millstone. After applying the traditional remedies and some DIY surgery he had to be taken in a sleigh for 6-7 hours to the regimental surgeon who could, more skillfully, carve away what remained of two crushed fingers. Since then, that has been some kind of standard in my family against which all others failures, misfortunes and mishaps are measured. The outcome is usually "Oh well, at least there was no need for amputation". I would really have liked to have a place of my own in venice and perhaps gradually move there but that won't happen right now at least. Three strikes and you're out, right? :)We didn't loose any money, apart for some minor fees for the Avvocato for the preliminary deeds and negotioations, so there is really not much to whine about. As for the vacant houses I suppose it's Mea Culpa... The houses are probably empty because they have been bought by people like me who maybe won't live permanently in Venice. The apartments are probably rented to tourists more or less legally. We were also planning to rent the place for parts of the year to have some income from the apartment as well.
Well, that old family story certainly keeps things in perspective, Andreas--here's hoping you never even come close to surpassing it! But three strikes only applies to baseball--it has nothing to do with apartment hunting in Venice (and should have nothing to do with the US legal system either though in the 1990s, alas, it was considered a great idea to adapt it there also), so who knows how things might work out. I still have to find out about those 1,000 empty houses in Cannaregio, and it might also be interesting to ask Jane Da Mosto about an idea I recently saw attributed to her regarding how even people who don't live here full time can nevertheless become important contributors to repairing the city's quality of life.