Archive for December, 2017


Happy ending, happy beginning 2018

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My new blue-ribbon lion. Evidently some Byzantine sculptor decided he needed glasses. And the tongue?  Did he just swallow aspirin without water?

It doesn’t matter that New Year’s is my most unfavorite event in the year — it occurs every 365 days anyway.  But I couldn’t let the year get packed away in the back of the closet along with everything else without showing I’m still very much alive, and looking forward to unpredictable wonders in 2018.

Anchored out in the lagoon between the Giudecca and the mainland is the Fireworks Barge (or platform, or pontoon, whatever the technical term might be). The day will have been spent arraying all the explosives on this surface for the big show at midnight.

The New Improved Plan for tonight is to shift the thousands who will be in Venice to accept delivery of 2018 from the Piazza San Marco to a larger, less constricted space. Translation: The Riva degli Schiavoni down to the bridge of the Veneta Marina (church of San Biagio). Temporary fencing has been positioned to help prevent the celebratory drunken mob from falling in the water.  It does not appear to be unbreachable, but one can hope.

This system of helpful signs was inaugurated last year and evidently it worked well. Placing huge EXIT signs at the entrance to every tiny street and alley egressing from the zone of maximum crowdmass is obviously an intelligent security measure, considering that 98 percent of the partyers will not be Venetians and will not know where they are or how to get to somewhere else if some stressful urgency should arise.

Your last chance to flee before via Garibaldi, around the Naval Museum.

And in conclusion, Lino and I wish everyone a resounding “Saldi in pope!” A very profound and Venetian wish which means to stay firmly planted on the stern of your boat regardless of motondoso, gusts of wind, other boats cutting across your bow without warning in the dark, and whatever else may befall the hardy navigator.  I could go on, but I think you have grasped my point.

A slightly shipwrecked poinsettia did not follow my instructions.


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