It was night and the sea was shining as we flew
along the coast. The moonlight showed me the seas and rivers.
On my first New York morning I did everything differently
than I did at home. I drank tea, ate left-over sushi and looked
through an exhibition catalogue. Two stories struck me. The first
one was about Emanuele III, the king of Italy, who was supposed
to have been a man without humanistic interests. One time, Emanuele
III opened an exhibition of landscape paintings He stood for a long
time in front of a painting with an idyllic valley and village nestled
in the mountains, and eventually went over to the museum director
and asked: “How many inhabitants does this city have?”
Moreover, I read that Italian thrillers, which take place in Manhattan
translate “uptown” and “downtown” to “upper”
and “lower” city, so Italians who haven’t visited
the city imagine Manhattan as a village, where, like in Bergamo
or Budapest, half of it lies on a mountain and half on the ground.