July 27th, 2002

Fishy Circumstances

Venice seeks a new brand image

The commune of Venice is opening up a new logo competition, in search of something catchy and memorable, along the lines of Milton Glaser's I (heart) NY design. I suspect only graphic designers and PR firms need apply. But if you're interested, here's the info and the commune's details on it!

Does the city need it? A good PR effort usually isn't a bad thing for a city, but Venice is, of course, a rather well known little place. The article reports that the goal of the advertising campaign is to "attract a higher quality of tourist, while moderating overall numbers, which at times threaten the fabric of the fragile archipelago. ". The phrase "a higher quality of tourist" is an amusing one, if you think about it. That'll be one renting out some of the empty palazzi (hmm, do renter protection laws apply to EU citizens as well?), hanging out with the Save Venice crowd (which largely seems to be composed of the very rich, and the not-very-rich-but-nobly-titled), and splashing out at the Casino. Bonus points for those who throng to the Biennale for the right reasons.

Save Venice is based in New York. (I think some of the others are too, but I forget offhand). Surely it's not entirely coincidental that the winning entry in this competition will be presented in New York, come December. (Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Save Venice. But it really is based in New York and hosts lavishly elite and expensive parties).

If the city really wanted to even out its tourist flow, it would encourage more visitors to come in November or February. The place is delightfully vacant of the crowds those times of year. Perhaps it could find a way to turn aqua alta into some sort of exotic tourist experience?

(Speaking of the Veneto, the whole series of grocery store product bombings there reads like a joke (and has been going on for years now): a tube of tomato paste exploding; another in a jar of mayonaisse; most recently, a jar of nutella starting to make ticking noises as soon as it was opened. Except its serious. One woman lost a few fingers to one of these explotions, and the perpetrator hasn't been caught, last I knew).

(Also on the subject of people who live in the Veneto, the Ragbrai riders are nearly done with their trek from the Missouri to the Mississippi rivers. Good luck!)
Fishy Circumstances

Quiet Day

I've felt very unproductive the past two days, and have been sleeping a fair amount as well. I skipped music night last night since my heart just wasn't in it. What have I done? I returned Lindsay's sunglasses for her camping trip, and she gave me tasty pumpkin muffins. I talked to my grandmother. I read the newspaper. C. came home from work after an hour and, thanks to Lindsay, we ate at one of her favorite restaurants, Urban Thai. My portion of pad thai was substantial enough that C. and I split the leftovers between us for dinner, followed by a piece each of leftover birthday cake. STILL an amazing cake. We'll have the last slices tonight. Mmmm.

The camping trip fell through, after everything, and so Lindsay joined all of us for brunch. (Mitzi's is the best informal place to have brunch I know of thus far in this city.) My houseguest and I finally discussed methodology for about an hour. That's the entire sum of worklike activity I've engaged in. I feel I do know more, and we definitely have very different styles of thinking. I can confidently say she's a rationalist and I'm an empiricist. But it was useful and a good start. We might go to a movie tonight. (Bourne Identity or Minority Report, not because I want to see them, but because C. does and this'll get one of them out of the way).

I am now the proud owner of the "Mystery at Hogwarts" game, but haven't played it yet.