Sunday, August 26, 2007

I Walk the Middle

Downtown Ancona is nestled between two sets of hills, the second of which ends in cliffs that fall to the sea. In the very bottom of this little valley is a street that goes from one end to the other, each end opening up onto the sea. This is the 'elbow' of land that juts out into the sea which gives the city its name (ankon is greek for elbow).

Recently, the downtown section of this street (Corso Garibaldi) was permanently shut off to all but foot and bicycle traffic. This plan, approved by our mayor, Fabio Sturani, involved re engineering the flow of traffic downtown so that anyone coming from the north into downtown enters through the new tunnel and drives DIRECTLY IN FRONT of our facility.

Anywhoo - those who have shops along Corso Garibaldi have supposedly seen a drastic decrease in business and about half of them are complaining by putting neon stickers in their windows protesting the creation of this isola pedonale (pedestrian island) saying that the island isolates the shops from customers.

It is funny to see how the mind of the Ancona people works. They are so used to there being traffic on this street that even now, though the street is completely empty of cars, they walk on the sidewalks. I, on the other hand, am proud to walk the middle. I embrace the new Ancona and am excited to see it transformed, renewed and to see old ways made new.

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