03 August 2017

Lost And Literary

I'm thinking, again, about one of the many times I got "lost" in Rome last week.

In previous posts, I've said that sometimes I mount one of my bikes and let it decide where I ride.  For example, I might sling my leg over Arielle, my Mercian Audax, and without thinking about it, I find myself pedaling toward Connecticut or the North Shore.  Or I might slide my foot into a pedal of Tosca, my Mercian fixed-gear and the next thing I know, I'm on my way to the Rockaways or Coney Island.

So, I think I can blame the bike I rode in Rome for leading me in circles and through far corners of the city--and even outside of it.  The pretty, shiny red bike I rented from Bici & Baci (which I recommend) led me, after my tour of the Catacombs, though some near suburbs and back into the city, albeit a far corner.  

You never know who you'll run into in such places:

Yes, the mayor New Yorkers love or hate has familial roots in the country that sent some of my ancestors to America.  Now, I'm all for a liberal immigration policy, but it might've been nice to have someone like Trump (Really? Did I just say that?) running the country, even if only for a day, when Rudy's parents were ready to get on the boat.  

Then again, it might've been nice to have Trump--or, at least, the immigration policy he just endorsed--when his grandfather was about to be deported from Germany. (I have to hand it to him:  It takes some doing to get yourself kicked out of the country in which you were born and raised!)  If this country hadn't let him in, he would've gone to...I dunno...Canada?  Australia?

Anyway, I won't speculate (at least, not now, anyway) about what New York City and the USA might be without Giuliani or Trump.  Just a couple of minutes after seeing that sign for Rudy's relatives, I wandered into a section of drab apartment buildings where the streets had some interesting names:

I know that all of them spent time in Italy:  In fact, James Joyce spent much of his adult life there.  He once remarked that although Italy, at the time, was plagued with poverty and mismanagement, it at least had a nice climate and lively intellectual atmosphere.  His native country of Ireland, he said, was Italy without those two things.

Even if his assessment were off, I couldn't blame him for living in Italy.  Could you?


  1. Oddly, reading your post, I feel a need to watch "The Bicycle Thief" once again...

  2. I love red bikes...

    Reminds me of the formula for weight of lock required, lighter the bike the heavier the lock...

  3. Steve--It doesn't seem odd to me at all. After all, I was riding a bicycle in Italy. Also, I see "The Bicycle Thief" as a "literary" film, if you will: It works in similar ways, visually as well narratively, to how literary pieces work as texts. (I'm sorry if I sound like I'm in a graduate school seminar.)

    Coline--I remember that formula, too. I think someone once argued that the total weight should be 50 pounds. So, if you have a 22 pound bike (which was very light at the time I heard this formulation), you need a 28 pound lock. If you have one of those 49-pound Schwinn cruisers, you only need a 1-pound lock.