OK WordPress… what is up with all the geometry? This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge subject is “Converge”…I’ll let it slide this time because I really like shapes, specifically, round like the bagel I need in my mouth right now and Times Square. I guess it could be an appropriate category for Thanksgiving weekend with the coming-togethers of families and what-nots, but I prefer to take these challenges in the literal sense. I feel it’s more challenging to find photos that visually fit within a specific category. Otherwise you could pretty much match any photo with any category and say that that is how you interpret it. Cheaters!
I’ll spare you the picture of an onion bagel with cream cheese converging with my mouth and offer you this one instead:
It appears I have chosen another photo from Italy. You can tell by the giant stone church with the sweet ass balcony, the outdoor café, and the fact that there is only one person out in the city in the middle of the day, siesta and what-not. Choosing back-to-back Italy was an accident. As was this photo probably. Here is a random street in Bologna, Italy, one of the most interesting cities, architecturally, but also the dirtiest, as in trash. It looks like I managed to get a photo of the only street not up to it’s ears in garbage. Anyway, look how many converging lines there are! The wires up above, the patterns in the street, converging into each other on our end and then into the church at the far end.
Bologna is a curious place, with architecture unlike anything else you see in Italy, or anywhere for that matter. You can see the porticos that Bologna is famous for on both sides of the photograph. If you don’t know what porticos are, you’re not alone. I didn’t know what they were either until I went there and learned all about them from my very enthusiastic friend who probably loves shapes too. (They are the arched porch things.)
The porticos emerged between the 11th and 12th centuries because of a huge surge in the population due to students arriving at the oldest university in the world and urban migration. Extending the floor space of all upper floors of the buildings provided much needed space but required that pillars be installed in the street to hold them up. This became the norm and all new establishments were also required to have them. My first thought: “Uhhh why didn’t they just expand the bottom floor too?” After much digging I have an answer! Private owners were not allowed to build in public space. Expanding the upper floors did not count as taking up or building on public space like expanding the bottom floor would. Well played, y’all. They now use these porticos as walkways during crappy weather, as a way to block the super hot summer sun, and as a lighted walkway at night. I only needed them for 2 out of 3. The city of Bologna has almost 25 miles of porticos and they are all shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns. I’m fairly certain you could walk through the entire town and never get rained on. Peed on or spray-painted? That’s a different story.