Monday, January 21, 2008
Yesterday, The Husband, La Bimba, and I were in the car on our way to Capodimonte to hang out in the sun. Because of the traffic on Via Roma, The Husband decided to go through the Sanità, a Neapolitan neighborhood like no other. People think the Quartieri Spagnoli is deep space Napoli, with its tight vicoli and videogame-speed motorino traffic. But the Sanità is a world apart, a neighborhood lost in time. It's hard to give words to the feeling one gets in the Sanità. You have to take a stroll or a drive through it. Anyay, yesterday was a sunny Sunday and the inhabitants of the Sanità were barbecuing in the square, hanging out the wash, standing around, sweeping their steps. A couple of motorinos driven by 10-year-olds whizzed past. The streets are steep, narrow, and wind up and over the city. Some apartments have amazing views of the Gulf of Naples and the trash-besieged city that curves around it. More than once, a car came toward us along an unmarked one-way street. Sometimes the other car backed up to let us pass, sometimes we hugged a crumbling wall to give way. At one point, The Husband asked a local, an older man who was holding back his young grandson, a cutie pie on a little trike, dying to cruise into oncoming traffic, "Is this a one-way street going up or going down?" The man replied, "It's one-way going up if you're going up and one-way going down if you're going down."