The “Selfie Stick” Epidemic

The selfie stick, that extensible cell phone holder/wand that provides a little longer picture-taking perspective, is so common in the U.S. that it’s almost been declared passe. It’s alive and well here in the European tourist areas, though. OK, on the face of it, there’s nothing wrong with a compact, collapsible tool that lets you take a better photo. I’d love to be the person who thought of it and is probably making a fortune from the idea. 

  
But… my difficulty comes from users who never collapse it. They walk around with their phones at the end of a 30″ stick, at all times in all sorts of crowds, oblivious to the danger posed to others. I’ve nearly been poked in the face a few times. It also seems like they’re just holding their $500 smart phone out on a platter for thieves. Sadly, there is still no common sense requirement for getting a passport.

  
San Marco Plaza is shown above late in the day, with the Basillica and the Campanille in stylistic contrast with one another. The ubiquitous pigeons, those “rats with wings” as New Yorkers have it, still rule and visitors still feed them. The weather is comfortably cool and easy – really nice. My travels here from Paris took 7 hours door-to-door and only involved a 1:20 flight. The rest of the time involved train, bus, and boat trips, and security checks.

Amusing Scene: White-jacketed waiters at the empty, fancy (over-priced, mundane food, surly service) restaurant with the power-awning, chilled seafood display case, and table cloths, staring wistfully at the little dive bar across the calle where I sit, the one that’s packed to the gills with customers happily enjoying the $2 piccolo of wine and low-price cicchetti.

 

Italian, German, and… Californian (!) beer on tap. There’s no escaping it.

 
And here’s something you don’t see every day in Venice:

  
Give this scene any romantic caption you like! The truth is they’re models in an advertising photo shoot. It was interesting watching her navigate the tourist hordes and bridges in her wedding dress. 

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