Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sunday Stroll

It is true that Venice is sinking, but not in the way that people always suggest when I say I am coming over here. It is not the water that is drowning this glorious unique city, but greed and abandonment.

There is a neighbourhood where I rented an apartment in May of 2000 and 2001. On MOnday, I stood on a corner talking to a Venetian friend who has worked his whole life making iron ornaments and fixtures for doors and balconies and windows. He pointed out to me the fruit and vegetable store where every morning I used to buy fresh strawberries for my breakfast. It is closed. Next door, the milk store. Closed. Then the butcher, closed.

The elderly barber on the Strada Nova, who reminded me so much of John, the barber, on West Broadway and Bayswater in Vancouver - he is gone. Years ago, a "regular" here told me that his brother lived at 33d and Fraser.Posted by Picasa

In the place of these real and necessary shops and serves there are stores hawking "Venetian" masks, copied and mass-produced in Asia, stores selling purses and wallets and T-shirts.

When the world ends, it will not be with a bang, but with a blizzard of T-shirts.

The Commune de Venezia - City Hall - protests that it has no money and that it has no power to scotch this very precipitous erosion. Like most politicians, they are liars and thieves.

Ah well...

In spite of all these complains and worries - and what is life without our daily deliveryu of complaints and worries? - Venice continues to be Venice.

In these photos, one sees a taste of two of the city's quieter "sestiere" or districts. Paris has its arrondisements and Venice has its six sestiere.

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