Saturday, 28 February 2009

Ups and downs in Genoa

In this past month or so that I have been living in Genoa, one of the things I have enjoyed most has been the numerous quirky modes of transportation. My journey into town in the morning is usually uplifting, involving a ride in the stately ascensori of Castelletto. They spill their contents into a tunnel - here is its exit.

This says 'When I make up my mind to go, I'll go to heaven in the Castelletto lift'.
As for the return leg of my daily commute, let's just say it puts the 'fun' back into funicula.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Keep it up

On a precarious pedestal half-way down the steps outside the Sacre Coeur at Montmartre, above the bracelet sellers and portrait artists, there was a man who had achieved total mastery over an art form practised by many little boys: the keepie-uppie. This guy was king of keeping the ball alive - flicking it, kicking it, or, as the photo shows, spinning it on a pen balanced on his foot, all the while moving sinuously in time to the hip hop he played on tiny speakers. A small crowd seemed to forget the February drizzle as they filmed him on their camera phones.

A few steps up, there were at least a hundred people encircling a middle-aged man wearing a black, button-down-collar shirt and saggy blue jeans, with hair that hinted at a frustrating half hour spent in front of a mirror trying to achieve 'Rockabilly'. He had an acoustic guitar and he played La Bamba.
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