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21 June 2010

around the neighborhood

nobody comes to trieste if he isn't offered a new job or an extra day on his tour of venice. it isn't a popular city and the majority of italians only know about it because of the bora wind, which is tolerated as an inevitable feature of life. then people arrive here by chance and are astonished by its beauty, vivibility (it was rated best italian city for quality of life this year) and diversity. trieste was one of the oldest parts of the hasburg monarchy from 1382 until 1918, so the town has quite a viennese influence and style, which, mixed with the mediterranean blue, makes of this an unique city.

 beautiful view on trieste via monocle

my neighborhood is pretty central, being one of the first core districts that welcomed the expansion of the city in mid-nineteenth century. it's number 5 on the map and it's called barriera vecchia, meaning old barrier, because it divided the inner city from the periphery areas. it saw intense construnction activity along the intersection roads leading to the suburbs. 

though this is where james joyce lived from 1904 to 1920, where his personality developped and matured, and where he improved his art of writing, i don't think it's an attractive urban area. it's all about cement and cars and it may look unfriendly because of the nazi writings spotting on some walls.

but its main boulevard is tree-lined, which makes it greenery, and that's where we found our perfect place. by being on the third floor of a modern and well maintained building, then, it's sunny and closer to these chestnut trees. the view from the windows and balconies of the front really gives you the illusion of being suspended in nature. 

moreover, we're only a few blocks away from an awesome park, engelmann gardens, a green oasis in this highly urbanized area. 

a few days ago i wanted to see if i could find other things around that make me smile and feel happy. so i did a photowalk and here i'm sharing the result with you.

a beautiful and majestic corner building to start with.  trieste has many of them and i'm planning a tour of them soon. i want them in my album.

a mysterious presence that reveals the city's lonely, alluring, conservative and taciturn spirit.

an attic for those lucky residents who can enjoy the privilege of a life at the top.

a more classic residence down the road, but still for a privileged bunch (alice believes a witch lives on the room on the up right, since it's always closed, so when we approach this house she's always secretely silent).

adorning precious details.

a cute flower shop that adds more color to the densely trafficked streets.

fresh products that remind there're rural places somewhere.

neat and oldfashioned shops, with rich art of tradition inside (aka shoemaking here). 

a yummy bakery

a creative way to add a personal touch to the bar furniture: a bizarre bench.

all in all, i feel i can't complain. i've always thought that, if you're happy at home, you're happy everywhere. i don't need to be surrounded by beauty to feel good, i'm not such an aesthete.

in a letter to 'dear abby' a reader complained that a gay couple was moving in across the street and wanted to know what he could do to improve the quality of the neighborhood.

her suggestion -'you could move'.

abigail van buren


  1. Wow, good stuff! That's very similar to my Suburbia post the other day.

  2. thanks bobby. i told you already that you inspire me! i draft ideas and then they come out. now i'm working about my maroccan travelogue and that's taking ages ...


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