Roadside Ruins (click image to view full-size)
Sicily - Theatrical Friday Photos - Is a journey across the enigmatic island using photos that conjure emotions reminiscent of the theater. I am more and more returning to my theatrical roots and seeking inventive and resourceful ways to tell you my stories. This is one of them.
We left the airport at Trapani in a rented Fiat Punto our Garmin Nuvi GPS device had not been updated in 3 years, and roads in Sicily are museums for allied bombing runs from the 1940s. Then, there was this structure in its abandoned glory. Nino Rota played in my head and I fought the urge to look for sheep to herd. In reality I barely took enough time to stare at the gorgeous wreck before getting lost a few more times on the roads that go and go yet no distance ever seems overcome.
Deep into our hike in the Parco dello Zingaro nature preserve. (I know I am paraphrasing the name of the place but I just can't write the whole thing every time) we found this man and woman wearing matching bikini bottoms. Sicily is often purported to be a patriarchal society, but from the looks of it I would have to disagree.
The first day we came to the ruins at Selinunte we were turned away by the parking lot attendant. The place was supposed to be open till at least 6PM but since it had rained a little they assumed no one would want to come and they collaborated to frolick and boot silly visitors like us. Of course on our boot day we were with a local who said she and her friends used to come to Selinunte to frolick themselves and I imagine them young, beautiful, smoking, and making poses from the sides of ancient Greek vases. We returned here another day and got these shots.
I wanted to be doing some Aeschylus when I stood in this space. I wanted to hear my voice as Creon telling that little bitch Antigone what's what. Instead I shot the shit with some Spaniards, took some snaps, and walked a bit more than I wanted. I simply could not get in the golf cart with the old people. Although I know one day I will.
We visited Mazzara del Valo. This is a town few books or people ever told me about and I am not sure how it goes unnoticed. In many ways it is the most northern city of Tunisia. I mean this in a flattering sense as Sicily seems to embrace people cast out or down and if you are an underdog you are likely loved here. The large Tunisian population here share their art, their language, and their cuisine. The Catholic Cathedral there is a nice counter to this piece of art below.
I can't help but hear the Dave Matthews lyric "where are you going?" when I see this mural. All along the streets of Mazzara are these amazing murals. Banksy would be proud of what the local immigrants are doing here. The island is all immigrants according to Luca. I like him very much.
Luca is an immigrant from Milan. He built his own water filtration system. He studied English for 3 weeks and speaks it quite well. I think his only vice is smoking and in Sicily it is not a vice or even bad for you. Don't read the lies on the cartons.
This is Nino Barraco, he talks to the vines and they listen. Nino makes extraordinary wines near the ancient town of Marsala. His winery, Vini Barraco is a small space with barely the room to move about. The size of his space is directly opposed to the size of his heart. I have met few wine people in my life as passionate and dedicated to plants and family as Nino. He is talented, kind, and grows every herb I have heard of in his backyard. Seek out these wines and you will be pleased.
I did not meet this guy, he just looked like a badass and I wanted to take his photo. He is right out there on the street cutting meat. Look how shiny clean his ancient scale is. I bet he may have been in on some interesting talks and games of chance in his day. He probably has a cousin in New York.
The town of Erice sits high above the larger town of Trapani. Looking out to sea from atop the walls at Erice one can see the craggy coast of Sicily give way to beaches, towns, and then more crag. This dream image makes me think tropically and want to stage helicopter cams outside of the coffee bar. Absurd is so the norm and especially when buying local cookies.
I leave you where we began. The Garmin whizzed and banged while its pseudo-feminine voice rattled about in its standard equivocations. On the hill to our left were these flowers. I now have 2 shots from here that I love. I like the style. I want to have dinner here even if it is just me and my imagination. It has always been just us.