Friday, February 24, 2006

Report from Bologna ( two ) - " Extra! Extra! "

When I lived in Amsterdam in the early nineties I derived some special joy spotting young Italian tourists. They were easy to recognize, because they walked in groups of eight - at least - along the streets of the old centre. All of them were too warmly dressed for the season, and all of them were caught in some marijuana vision.

It might be easy to loose yourself in a crowd, but you're never alone in a company. To Italians it is very important to find some ears for their small talk: chiacchiere, as they call them. These talks have a wonderful quality, that is almost grammatical. They make for the blank space in between two paragraphs of heavy duty.

Bologna has many doors. This time I enter one that is designed for two horses and a carriage. Behind those doors the secret life of a courtyard evolves itself, mostly held in the firm grip of a sound coming from some window. Flights of stairs lead to apartments, where five or six students live together, unaware of the memory that will grow upon them, once they've left the city.

The kitchen is the meeting point. From there the excursion to a party in the periphery started, hopping from one bus on an other, and walking endlessly through well lit streets in no-where land as part of a group of ten, all happily chiacchering.From this kitchen a telephone call to ex-mercato 24's Ricky found me a place to perform, only three days later. Also from this kitchen we parted to another kitchen in Bologna, where I heard about an idea to make 'sonic photographs'. After a three hours ride way up to the north of Italy we ended in Pati's kitchen.

I returned to bologna two days later to share a beer with Francesco and to be offered a bicycle by Fleur: ex-mercato might be a bit far for me and my rucksack.
The next morning I was gently left asleep by someone who sneaked in to make some coffee, because also coffee has a grammatical quality. It starts a new chapter.

In Bologna you walk under a baldachin ; the vaults rest on pillars. Those pillars add an eye-angle rhythm to the walkabouts. The never ending baldachin gives the impression to be on your way to a secret meeting. Cars look outdated; they are just too big in the narrow streets. They hobble along like tourists who are absorbed by their city map.

The students come here, because everybody comes. the coming and going of all those everybody's has created a wild-life of bars with a great variety of entertainment, be it political, cultural, gastronomical or autonomous: it's perfect for having chiacchere, but also perfect to find new friends and new loves, all within walkable and sometimes cyclable range.

ex mercato 24



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