the city of islands: death by tourism?

Venezia is a city composed of tiny islands. 120 of them, spanned by 400 bridges. Wooden or stone, humble or showy, everywhere bridges. Every time you cross a bridge you step onto a new island.  Long ago, these borders determined micro-communities, islands like tribes. People didn’t know their neighbors across the water. The communities were self-sufficient, each served by its own church. This explains why … Continue reading the city of islands: death by tourism?

travel notebook: alone in italia, day two

Cinque Terre teems with tourists. Scattered about the rocks like camera-happy penguins, people are: sinking into squats for the photo angle showing their ‘best side’ crunching on fried things served in cones dripping gelato (and offering bites to their dogs) brandishing walking sticks like weapons, the hallmark of the serious hiker carrying hot cardboard boxes of pizza down to the sea I can’t help but … Continue reading travel notebook: alone in italia, day two

the tourists, i

I wondered if people would look at anything. So I took Nothing, its inverse, and I put it high on a pedestal. I made half-hearted signs, no photos, please, and I waited. And they came, hordes: wandering, stuffed, eager to gobble more– not beauty, but what then? They pointed cameras at Nothing, and snapped snapped snapped. They threw peace signs and held ice cream cones and … Continue reading the tourists, i

shoebox in paris

Thoreau said, “I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”   It’s a fair sentiment, though with my budget, I’m more likely to be crowded on a pumpkin. Using AirBnb, the glorious startup that connects travelers with private homeowners in the perfect meeting of supply and demand, I’ve had the comfort of a … Continue reading shoebox in paris