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February 09, 2009



This is an interesting entry. I don't know what exactly the folks of Pisa were thinking when they decided to cover the whole city with grass & asphalt. Even the best make some mistakes sometimes. I think we might be acutely aware of their blunder, especially coming form North America, where the landscape has by default been blanketed with the stuff which is a petroleum based product & all of it's ensuing problems such as decreasing rainfall & global warming. I agree with you in one sense that the stream of data entering our consciousness has been numbed, I think in part because our expectations of what we receive from the urban environment is so abysmally low. But when we go to Italy, it stands out or "pops". It's all in the context. I went to Pisa, the tower & church is cool, the bapistry is a bit "institutional" & I didn't spend much time lingering in there as compared to Florence. Other than seeing folks standing on what I believe was some grass with an arm out, & one palm held vertically (I thought they were doing some weird form of tai-chi, but they were having their picture taken "holding" up the tower), I didn't find Pisa at all that interesting, but still glad I went anyway. I know the people of Pisa will hate me for saying that, since they have a long standing rivalry, as do most other ancient city states. I can only hope that Pisa will reconsider it's options from what appears to be a place fairly rich in public space. Clearly asphalt isn't the answer in this situation and makes Pisa somewhat underwhelming.

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