Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wait. They eat those too?!

"Contrary to what Weston asserts, the habit of photographic seeing - of looking at reality as an array of potential photographs - creates estrangement from, rather than union with, nature." - Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag may not have actually written this. In fact, she probably did not. Mark Danielewski did, put her name on it, and included it as an epigraph to a chapter in his mad, maddening book The House of Leaves. I don't know about abandoning hope, but definitely tread carefully if you enter there. Having just finished the book, I can tell you that the estrangement is real.

So are the following photos. I can vouch for their authorship. They require neither doctoring nor, in some cases, explanations. Together and individually, they highlight aspects of the Italian nature around me. Some are estranging, while some are merely strange.
Maybe this refers to some other sport. Or a place. Or maybe it's a rare error and is worth more. Or spelling is not what it used to be. [Clothing differences could be a whole series, with Italian t-shirt slogans and the like occupying multiple volumes.]

"Watch out for the man in the low-rider bulldozer!"
Or maybe: "Be excited! The man in the small, open cockpit bulldozer is coming!"

Airline ticket, Chicago to Florence: $750.
Rental car for one week: $280.
Rick Steve's Italy 2007 Guidebook: $14.95.
Delicious lunch for two of wild boar proscuitto, angel hair pasta, and local red wine: $60.
Suggested donation at quaint, historic churches in small Tuscan hillside towns: around $3 total.
Going home from your Italian vacation with a replica Confederate flag: priceless.

An example of Italian ingenuity. Like with climbing skins, wooden clogs and sushi, I at first found the practice strange and am now a convert.

As this photo illustrates, many Italians lean their kickstandless bikes on curbs or steps to keep them upright. Sometimes, people leave their bikes like this on busy streets, in say downtown Florence, creating traffic issues, but that's another whole can of bachi. My question is, do you need to do this when your bike already has a kickstand? From my initial surveys, the answer would appear to be a resounding yes. The bike-pedal-on-curb technique must be used at no times less than all.
Lastly... fill in your own punch line.


leigh andrew said...

i love the bike trick - doesn't anyone lock them? or is there no theft??

nice confederate flag!


Fango said...

Yes, it's a good trick. As for locks, as in the Netherlands and probably elsewhere (?), most folks just lock their bike to itself (through the front or back tire). Some bikes have a disk lock of sorts that is permanently on the back tire, right by the brake.
As for the flag... well... I was in southern Italy by some counts.