Sunday, March 6, 2011

Eat, drink, laugh and sit in the coolest, most Euro- suave ways possible

Not too long after arriving in Venice, Robert and I were invited to lunch by an acquaintance of his. It was a societal gesture suggesting that we should make an effort to move from the “cocktail party” circle to the more intimate “dinner party” circle in each other’s lives. She is an American, who owns a place in Paris but prefers Venice and so rents a palazzo that fronts onto the Grand Canal. (The most lavish facades of palazzos are always on the canal side.) And if you are not familiar with the terrain, renting a palazzo on the Grand Canal is akin to renting a condo on Madison Avenue.

Robert and I arrived by the garden entrance to find the table set, with mimosa chilling, on the patio. However it was not long before we came to the general consensus that, even under the awning, the sun was making it far too hot. So the luncheon was moved to the shade at the front of the palazzo.

Throughout Venice the canals are flanked by fondamenta, which represent a dry land hybrid of street and sidewalk. However, as is the case along the entire Grand Canal, there was no fondamenta in front of her palazzo merely a large concrete platform that is only accessible by boat and therefore would only ever be used by visitors. It is in effect a large porch.
The Grand Canal is a busy place being plied by gondolas, private boats, and tourist laden vaporetti (the public transit water buses). While watching the ebb and flow of traffic I soon noticed the cameras and camcorders. The number of lens pointed in our direction defied chance, we were clearly a photo-op! I won’t even attempt to suggest that I felt scandalized or that the entire scenario was horribly invasive for I’d risk being struck by lightning. Self-conscious doesn’t even apply, but I did try to eat, drink, laugh and sit in the coolest, most Euro- suave ways possible. After all, I didn’t want to let my public down! I sincerely love each and everyone one of them. Kisses, kisses....

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