Sunday, April 10, 2011
Who these young men once were in real life, I never found out. They each must have done something to merit a bust in the Borghese Gardens, but I rather liked the fact that there was no context offered to the foreign stroller wandering through this big green space in the middle of Rome. They had once been heroes of some sort and earned themselves public memorials. That was enough to know.
The ornaments adorning the gardens were intelligible to me aesthetically so I did not care whether or not they were intelligible historically. This attitude sometimes has been known to annoy other people, especially other male people who tend to believe that facts and dates are signifiers of reality.
My daughter thought the Borghese Gardens and Central Park in New York had a similar complicated rural-urban smell, a combination of trees and wet grass and warm asphalt and running water and car exhaust. These conditions prevail in California's big-city parks as well, but for reasons we do not understand the California urban park smell is quite different.