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Thursday, December 6, 2012

If Naples is a Mecca, then Venice is Heaven


















The train arrived after dark. Got off the train and asked for a taxi. Someone pointed straight ahead are the taxis. I thought I had misunderstood because the only thing in front of me was a marina of some sort, not a car in sight. Suddenly it became kind of eerie because even though people were out and about, and you could easily hear the echo of high heels and dress shoes walking on concrete and cobblestone, the sound seemed to resonate and sound very distant then very close again. With that the city seem to ring with this sound like a slow dripping faucet, and the slosh of the water against the wooden gondolas. And above all of that was this aroma in the air. Not good, not bad, just a smell of wet, soggy rottening wood. It was like going back in time. The buildings were all very huge and very colorful or very cold ancient stone. The whole place seemed like a ghost town, and all the people seemed to float about their way. When I got off the "Aqua-metro" my hotel lay directly in front of me so this was convenient. And directly in front of it was this large statue which I could not exactly make out exactly who it was suppose to be or represent, but I was anxious to find out at day break. After checking in my room, I headed out to find something to eat. the front desk person had given me a map and verbal directions and it sounded really easy, and only 5 minute walk. Nothing could have prepared me for what would go from a 5 minute walk to what seemed like an hour of being in a giant maze of sharp turns, bridges over waterways, and dead end alleys that either led to a solid stone wall, or a plunge into what appeared to be dark cold water. Even with stopping along the way and getting more directions, it only takes about 10 steps and you will be lost again guaranteed, because there are more corners then you can count, and you cannot tell the difference between a walk way and the courtyards. Finally morning came and this ghost town had been transformed into a sight that cannot be explained with words. The architecture is centuries old and magnificent, The whole place looked mythical. It must cost a fortune to live here or so I thought, but I found out that the average rent is only $600 and that is waterfront property, but no garage. The gondola drivers seem to have it made because everyone wants to ride a gondola and the charge is about euro 120 an hour. I had arrived at the perfect non-tourist season, so I was able to get a great deal (no I won't tell you what I got because you'll try and get it). I had spent a good part of the day walking around aimlessly knowing that if I didn't see it the first time, there was no way I would be able to find my way back to it. After hours of cutting in and out of alley ways, and courtyards and working my way around the tourist from the cruiseships that had arrived, I finally struck up the deal that landed me in a gondola. Seeing the city from in the water rather than the sidewalk is very nastolgic. In canvasing and scouting a good location to do a fashion shoot, I concluded that it can be done just about anywhere from any point in Venice, as long as you get it early in the morning and don't even think about it during the summer tourist months. The cooler the better. Now if you follow my fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/#!/Bluestilling101, you might be waiting to know the conclusion of the italian woman standing next to me, and the man with the camera. I thought I was blocking or interfering with this woman's photograph so I leaned back  to get out of her shot. When the man showed her about 2 or 3 photos where I had gotten out of the way, the man finally spoke up to me in good english (even though he was italian) and stated that his wife thought I was a celebrity, and resembled jazz bass guitarist Victor Wooten. Upon hearing this I approved a photo with her and it seemed to make her day and mine too. I gave her one of my business cards and told the couple to keep in touch with me. I hope they will because I have business here in Italy and I see quite a few trips on the horizon.

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