06 January 2005

The Devil's Workshop

Surfing, Part I

A favorite pastime, image-googling various things under the Florida sun, led me this morning to the website of one Badiene Magaziner, which contains, among other highlights, a jarring picture of Walkyrean violation:

I confess to having no familiarity with the madame's art or career, but the picture evidently speaks a thousand words.

The picture also recalls my last meaningful heterosexual act. The city was Verona, the year was 2000. I found myself at the courtyard of the tour-approvedHouse of the Capulets, where a bronze statue of Juliet stood, tarnished by the elements save her right breast, which remained golden in the Italian sun.

At another moment, after witnessing a large group of 10-year-olds (must be on some school-related excursion) rush up to rub it from all sides, I was told (by Frommer, perhaps) that the act brings the sure blessing of true love. Not wanting to miss out on anything (but puzzled by a 10-year-old's interest in love, much less true), I touched too. The breast was cold; I felt out of place.

Here you'll find a picture of Chris and Andy (don't know them) bisexually abusing the tradition in 2002.

Even ladies are allowed to touch. Here's Sheila partaking of true love (don't know her either).

Casa Giulietta is at Via Cappello 23, Verona. Time Out suggests beginning a particular tour of Verona at Piazza Bra.

In related news, The Times reports that another long-standing tradition at the same location is evolving to keep up with the times. "Lovers who plaster amorous letters on 'the House of Juliet' in Verona are causing such damage to its medieval walls that in future they will have to express their passion via text messages and the internet." But a quick google search didn't locate such a site. They may still be grappling with impossible issues: "It was unclear whether the electronic system could cope with the characters of Oriental languages for Verona’s many Asian visitors as well as English and European languages."

Parting thought: what about a virtual breast of Juliet, for those who can't travel but are nonetheless deserving of true love? (Enterprising net-techies: imagine the traffic; breastofjuliet.com is still available.)