The act of finding something valuable or delightful when you are not looking for it.
Also, the name of one of my favorite little restaurants on East 60th Street, the one with the frozen hot chocolate
Some people travel because they have a thirst for seeing places of historical significance. Some, for the art, some for the music, a great many for the food and wine. But I have to be very honest here. I travel for the experience of experiencing things first hand and, with all apologies to the historians and art lovers of the world, I get my kicks out of those delights that I often am fortunate enough to find at the exact times when, alas, I am not looking for them. I'm a real, live, died-in-the-wool (whatever that means) lover of serendipity. I breathe, sleep, eat, live and die for the opportunities to find things I am not expecting or not looking for. The more out of context, the more unique, the more utterly off my chart that which I find finds itself, the happier I am. These are the moments that I never forget.
The winter, even though the calendar tells us should be wrapping up soon, goes on. It has been one of my least favorite. I used to brag about my exceptional prowess with dealing with the rigors of The Old Man. Loved snow. Never complained about the cold. Took winter walks. As long as I did not have to drive, I was happy to sit and watch snow fall. Used to strap on my cross country skis as quick as I could say "Jack Frost". But, times have changed and I really hate these grey days and need to shift my focus to brighter things in life so, for a while, I am going to write about some of those bright moments when, during my last trip to Italy, I allowed myself to become swept away and, camera in hand, recorded some of those serendipitous finds. Maybe they only spoke to me. It doesn't matter. They spoke. They were not put in their places for my amusement but it was in their places that I found amusement or at the very least, something to think about - even better, something to talk about, even better, something to remember.
So, here goes, first installment........
Meticulous in every way. Streets clean and safe at all times. Hardly any graffiti anywhere (except for the ancient and somewhat smutty alfrescoes in the Piazza Comune which we shall talk about later (after the kids go to bed). It really stopped me dead in my tracks the first time I came across this one.
"The poop (nice version) of the dog, is the mentality of the master" In other words, curb your dog lest you will be perceived of as a shithead.......
Next, for something entirely different.
It was such a sweet moment. It made me happier than a bowl of Leonardo Da Vinci's ever could. Serendipity. Ohhhhhhh.
And, then, there's this one...