Wednesday, February 28, 2024

3 Scenes of A Short Sweet Life on the Grand Canal (Snow in Venice)

28 February 2018: These are shots of what I believe was the last snowfall we had in Venice until the time we left in August of 2021. When we first moved to the city in 2010 we tended to get one snowfall with some accumulation each winter, but I think we had none for the last 3 years after this day pictured--and you can see the accumulation was minimal at that. (Gee, if only there were some hypothesis about why temperatures have risen and extreme weather events are becoming ever more common, then humankind would certainly do something about it.) In any case, the small snow man above perished not from warming temperatures but from a fall into the Grand Canal from his perch when the wind came up: ashes to ashes, dust to dust, water to water, in this case. But he seemed to enjoy the view for as long as he had it.


Saturday, February 24, 2024

Fortuna In the Pink Light of Morning

24 February 2014 (I posted this 10 years ago when I took the photo, but in a version that was too dark)


Monday, February 12, 2024

Through A (Plexi)Glass, Darkly

12 February 2014

I'd forgotten entirely about the above image, taken from the twin pontile of the one you see in the right corner of the image, while I waited for the #1 line vaporetto to take me in the direction of the Lido. (You can see a bit of a reflection from the glass through which I took it on the center of the bridge and other places.)

I never seem to have the time to describe the sense of, for lack of a better word, domesticity, that one eventually comes to feel after living in Venice for a long time. Constructed as it has been over many centuries, with not an inch that was not formed by human hands, everywhere one goes in the city eventually begins to feel lived-in, like a home. But a home with an infinite number of details to discover, tones and traces of innumerable lives not one's own, and nothing like one's own, as well as those still managing somehow to make their lives there, in spite of a mayor and a broader social and economic context that can see Venice and its lagoon only in terms of quick profits and resources to be exploited unto literal collapse.

But this image brings that all back to me, and some time in the future I might get around to writing more about that, and how it extends even out into the lagoon, if one has one's own boat. 

Contrary to the age-old banalities spewed by foreign visitors about Venice being a city of melancholy and death, to live in Venice, and to raise a child there, is to be struck by the unique kind of life possible in the city and the lagoon--life like no place else on earth. I wish more people, and more children, could experience it, before it is obliterated. Only if more people were actually resident there might it stand a chance to avoid obliteration.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Remembrance of Carnevale Past, Ca' Giustinian

Interior of Ca' Giustinian decorated for children's activities held there during the Carnevale season of 2013. Now the site of Venice Biennale administrative offices, it was formerly the Hotel Europa, whose guests included Marcel Proust, Verdi, Chateaubriand, Wagner, and George Eliot, whose new husband threw himself from one of its windows and into the Grand Canal during their honeymoon there. He survived this suicide attempt and would live for another 40 years but, sadly, Eliot did not fare so well; she died a few months later in England in December 1880. (7 February 2013)