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Rome - Spanish Steps & Trinita dei Monti
This photo was taken one year ago tomorrow, but by Ruth Ann rather than by me; it was the second full day of our trip to Italy and Switzerland. I took many photos in Rome and Tuscany, but shortly after arriving in Switzerland my camera gear and nearly a thousand photos from 10 days in Italy were stolen. Ruth Ann kindly told me to make a copy of her Italy photos to edit as I see fit, and she insisted that I use her camera in Switzerland; aside from a few of my Swiss photos, though, I have not been in the mood to work with photos from that trip. But after a year, it's time to really accept that my photos are forever gone. A Google search for information on this part of Rome turned up a sentence I should have jotted down verbatim; it was to the effect that the Spanish Steps have been at the heart of tourist Rome since the 18th century. We certainly found many tourists there in late April last year. I've seen photos of this place with no people in view, and I've wondered what security force the photographer had to engage to clear it long enough for a photo or two. I wouldn't want this scene totally empty, but a bit less full would be nice. The church at the top of the steps is Trinita dei Monti; the second church on this site, it was built during the 16th century and consecrated in 1585. The Spanish Steps were built 1723-25 to link the church on Pincio Hill with Piazza di Spagna at the foot of the hill. There are 138 steps and the staircase is said to be the widest in Europe (nearly 300 years later, I didn't hear any creaking!). Even older is the fountain at the foot of the steps, part of which is visible; commissioned by Pope Urban VIII and completed in 1627 by Pietro and Gian Lorenzo Bernini (father and son), it is the Fontana della Baraccia; the boat shape was inspired by a boat left stranded by receding flood waters of the Tiber in 1598. The azaleas (in large pots/planters) were at their peak and added greatly to the beauty of the scene. The vertical perspective adjustment in Photoshop Elements was very worthwhile in processing this image. This truly is a cosmopolitan place: In the heart of old Rome, it is swarmed by tourists from many countries; the church (and the Villa Medici adjacent to it) is owned by France; the Spanish Steps were built with money left by a French diplomat; Babington's Tea Rooms restaurant (founded by two English women in 1893) is in the building on the left facing on Piazza di Spagna; the building across the steps from it is the Keats-Shelley Memorial House (both English poets died young, in Italy, in the early 1820s); and the Sallustian Obelisk in front of the church is Egyptian. For good measure, according to Google Maps, there's a McDonald's not far away. Information is from various online sources and the Eyewitness Tavel Italy guidebook (DK, 2010).Jerkface Smoking in Defiance of No Smoking Policy at Shea Stadium
So, Shea Stadium has (well, had, now, because it's officially closed and soon to be demolished) a No Smoking Policy, with people who are caught subject to ejection from the stadium. The game was over and we were waiting for the closing ceremony to start, this being the last ever game there. I'm sensitive to cigarette smoke. Not strictly an allergy, but my eyes start to itch and I can start sneezing, so maybe it is sort of an allergy. Anyway, I looked behind me and saw this idiot (who had already drunk close to his body weight in beer, or so it seemed and had been obnoxious for most of the day, and is a poor dresser, too) with a cigarette. So I told him there was no smoking. His response? Told me to go get a cop. Which I would've done, if one had been easily found, but most of the security was guarding the field and I didn't want to leave my seat because I was taking pics of the ceremony that had started, with former Mets players. I was able to move over a couple of seats, because the guys there had moved up into vacated seats (when a group of obnoxious guys who'd also drunk more than was probably needed for drunkenness and who kept standing and blocking my view of the field, but I digress, something I'm good at, had left after the game). So the guy, after I moved and turned my camera on him to capture this act of disregard for proper behavior in the stadium, came up to me and said, go ahead, take his picture. That shot was all blurry, cuz he was too close and moving. He went back to his seat and had words with my husband, and I snapped this picture and told him I was going to post it online. So, here it is. This one's for you, Mr. Jerkface. Stop buying cigarettes and use the money for a decent pair of jeans.
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