Re: travel in Italy- & NYC?

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;>
Date: 12/09/04-09:07:21 PM Z
Message-id: <>

On Thu, 9 Dec 2004 wrote:
> My informations about Italy are partisan and very personal because I know
> the problem since I live in Verona, one of the most visited town in Italy
> and I see quite everyday of the year the tourists tours......

Actually Daniele, I'll, as they're supposed to say in poker, see you one
and raise you one. I live in Greenwich Village, which has become one of
the "most visited towns" in the US, even, arguably the world, since 1957
when we arrived... Then, our street in particular was considered
nowheresville and the entire area passe'. Today, judging by the traffic on
Bleecker Street, for instance, we could even have a higher % of tourists
than Verona !

However, on the bright side, because there is a *commercial* benefit from
keeping the old character (ours is of course only 150-180 years old --
Verona probably 3 times that (?), we do have protection for many of our
buildings and height limits -- otherwise we'd look like Houston-- and I'd
bet you do too, or you'd look like, what? (Milan?)

We can't get into a restaurant on Saturday night, and we've lost most of
our neighborhood amenities, eg, dry cleaners and grocery stores, to
tchochke tourist "attractions." However there are some neighborhood
features that are part of the tourist allure (Rocco's pastries, John's
pizzaria, Murray's cheese, etc.) that would probably have become Starbucks
and Gap otherwise. (And likewise in Verona?) Meanwhile there's still much
that's not only admirable, but advisable (and here, before anyone jumps
down my throat, let me recommend an article in Oct 18'04 New Yorker,
"Green Manhattan," that explains why).

Not to mention that every so often when a tourist asks me directions, they
seem delighted to talk to a quaint little old native, occasionally even in
French or German (tho I wish they'd tell that to my Block Association).

And we do have plenty of stuff to photograph: Today on my way home from
the gym, for instance, I came upon a rip-roaring blazing 10 or 20 alarm
fire on 6th Avenue at Bleecker Street -- first floor of a 19th century
walk-up, with the flames blazing out the windows (I've seen a lot of fire
department action over the years, but never flames actually shooting out
the window, cartoon style), with the ambulances & the stretchers (tho
nobody seemed to be in them) and the police and the streams of water in
OUR direction, plus of course the rubberneckers, including enthralled
tourists, who probably think we stage one of these daily. Sad to say, by
the time I overcame my intention NOT to get sidetracked into this subject
and hauled out the camera, the flames were gone .... but the billowing
smoke was also very picturesque, even if not as gruesome as a mashed
squirrel.... In truth, as Ansel Adams failed to say, pictures are


Received on Thu Dec 9 21:07:36 2004

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