Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I knew that if I stayed in Venice long enough I would see it. I did not really want to see it, and I hoped that when it did happen it would not happen me, and but I knew that I would see it, sooner or later. The “It” being somebody falling into a canal. Actually, I did not see it, but came along immediately after the fact. When I came to the scene I at first saw a woman in her 60's along the side of the canal drying something off. Then I saw that that something was a camera, which was obviously very wet. I was puzzled at first, because it was a very nice sunny day. Then I saw some other we things, including a jacket that was obviously soaked. Next to all this was standing a man of similar age to the woman. I had not seen him until then, who was wet from head to toe. He seemed to be alright, but he had obviously taken a tumble down some steps into the canal. It was clear that he had done something that I have always had the wisdom never to do, or at least never had the courage to do, which is to venture down a couple of steps toward a canal in order to take a picture.
I fancy myself an able photographer. I will venture into out-of-the-way places to get a picture, but I will not put myself at any substantial risk, and will not put myself in danger of falling into a canal. I have often come to the end of a street in Venice that terminated at a canal. At the end of these streets are always steps down to the canal so a person can get in or out of his or her boat, whether the canal be high or low. These are tempting for the earnest photographer, but when approaching them and considering stepping down, my good sense, or my fear (there is a thin line) has always said: “no, stay back,” and I have always stayed back. I attribute my not having fallen into a canal to this.
If you are reading this it is most likely because you went to our website through an interest in coming to Venice. If you have an interest in coming to Venice you may already know that there are many canals in Venice; the city is cris-crossed with them in an arrangement that can only be described as medieval. They are a unique color of green and very beautiful, and one cannot help but to want to photograph them. But I point out that they are, really, part of a vast sewer system. Katherine Hepburn suffered from a chronic eye infection, which she attributed to falling into the canal while making the movie “Summertime.” So, as a public service to those of you who speak the King’s English sufficiently to be able to read and understand this blog, there are thousands of places from which one may take pictures of the canals in Venice without going onto the steps leading to the water. They are slippery, being basically wet and often moss-covered marble, and you will fall in. If you are lucky, you will only get wet, but there is a good chance that you will also break your crown.
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