I wasn’t in Venice long but managed to walk along the city edges one afternoon where I saw things resembling normal life. If you stray away from the main square you eventually end up in areas were things are a little quieter. I have no idea who this man is, but looking at this several weeks later reminded me of what I was thinking about at the time.
Amongst the canals and stone houses are things like a grocery store, a florist and a hospital. I saw city workers picking up the trash. It was those kinds of domestic norms that I found oddly comforting. Walking through an unfamiliar environment can be a disorienting until you recognize things that we have in common, then it starts to feel a little less foreign.
It’s nice to see the historic squares and cathedrals, but seeing how people live day to day is just as interesting. W all go through the similar routines of life, yet we are also products of our environment, language and culture. So casually observing the interplay of these in a quiet section of town can be just as fulfilling as standing in the middle of St Marks Square.
This is from one of the many terraces at the Hotel Arts Barcelona. We arrived here in the morning after an overnight flight from DC. In fact we were too early, so while waiting for our room I walked around to explore and take a few pictures. The hotel gets its name from the collection of public art in and around the hotel.
Unlike other areas, this is in a modern section of town and the outdoor art accents the area to give it a unique feel. It’s in contrast to an area like the gothic quarter, but like any big city there are distinct districts with completely different atmospheres.
Even though we couldn’t check-in right away the terraces and patios were nice places to decompress after a long flight. It didn’t hurt that they seemed to have an endless supply of complementary champagne while we waited.
We were standing outside in Vatican City when it started rain like cats and dogs. We wanted to see the basilica but that meant waiting in line for over an hour under an umbrella. So, as the rain wasn’t stopping we decided to hail a cab and head over to Rome’s shopping district. I have no idea where the “shopping district” is, but this is from there.
I’d recently been out taking photos in the rain in New York City. Doing it again in Rome felt a little familiar and I was glad I carried a plastic bag to keep my camera dry. I know this doesn’t sound fun, but I like these kinds of rainy day urban photos and I can’t help but get a little carried away.
It was one of the last days of summer holidays for Italians so the streets were already empty. Add to that the unexpected rain and the shopkeepers were standing around looking bored with nothing to do.
I took a bunch of photos there and ran for cover when the rain got too heavy. Sometimes we ran into a shop, other times it was an amazing cathedral, there are so many in Rome. Regardless, it was a much better way to spend the afternoon than standing in line under an umbrella.