Dual-Wielding

This guy masterfully wields two bicycles around the Duomo.

Dual-Wielding Florence bikes

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Finishing an Apron

In Florence’s Mercato San Lorenzo, next to the Medici chapel.  A skilled artisan decorates a kitchen apron for me with a foot-powered sewing machine of sorts.  He says he is a born-and-bred Fiorentino.

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The man’s work mesmerizes me.  Years of practice make themselves apparent in his dexterous hands.  I gawk as he decorates four or five other garments before I am compelled to commission one myself.

Only about 35 blog-worthy Florence photos left to process.

Scuro

Florence Elevator

The apartment building’s elevator shaft was the only source of illumination if I came home after dark

While this Florentine excursion was a huge blast 99% of the time, I had a couple broody homesick days after week one.

I hadn’t connected with another human being on a profound level since I left Paris; the language barrier was really starting to wear me down.  Beyond the practical communication necessities, Italians tended to avoid recreational conversation with me, because my grammar was so poor (and it’s not much better now).

I came to Florence for a month alone, whereas study abroad students typically have at least a few friends from home with whom to share the experience.  In retrospect, I wouldn’t have it any other way– but before I made friends with some fun-loving Venezuelans, a pair of Durham language students, and a hard-headed Slovenian woman, I was feeling pretty far from home.

Walking around during magic hour is an international delight, redeemable anywhere the light touches.  It’s hard to feel homesick when you have a chill running down your spine from raw sensory ecstasy.

Motion at Night in Florence

In Paris I became increasingly concerned with capturing motion in my stills.  This was the night I re-kindled that spirit in Florence.

Florence CarouselI saw in Justin Lai’s photography some great carousel shots in California; above is my effort to re-create that sort of look in Piazza Della Repubblica.

Florence Bar

Bars in Italy are not like bars in America.  This is one of the first things one learns in one’s quest to feel less touristy.  Ordering a “caffe” will yield the equivalent of a concentrated American espresso, so if you want a more diluted coffee drink, you must order a “caffe latte.”Florence Mendicant ArtistsMendicant street artists make blown-up sidewalk images of 15th century Florentine artwork.  People stop and stare, offering a few euro here and there.

Are you starting to see the duality here?  Between our obnoxiously sophomoric, loud, fratty American culture, and the deep-seated profundity ubiquitously apparent on the other side of the world?