So Rome's city council, distressed that the city's myriad cultural and historic locations were being over-run by tourists shoveling various foodstuffs into their faces, has put in place a scale of fines for committing the crime of eating and trying to get some culture at the same time.
On one hand, I really do understand this. I'm pretty regularly dismayed at how grungy some of our best tourist spots in town can be...though truth be told that may be more about the natives than the visitors. Which is distressing.
On the other hand, though...well. It's funny. I was about to try to make the point that there's nothing wrong with walking and eating at the same time, but then that's for sure one of those Americanisms that draws a bit of ire from people who arguably know better than us how to enjoy their food, like Italians and the French. I love street food (OH HEY--did you know tonight is the last Night Market of the year?! Come see us send off the summer in Chinatown! [rain or shine, beeteedubs.]) as much as anyone, but the best street food is really hand food--stuff you don't need utensils to eat, like tacos or danger dogs or charred meat on a stick.
So street food is one thing...but maybe not all foods should be street food? I think what I'm coming around to is that most foods should be eaten sitting down to allow for a certain amount of savoring. Yes. Writing this all out has helped me come to the conclusion that if, say, you get a cup of gelato at our 13th Street store and then stroll over to City Hall--particularly if you're a visitor--you're inevitably going to be too distracted by both phenomena to really appreciate either. I mean, you can't really delve into Philadelphia's most awesome, hand-crafted, perfection-embodied creation if you're trying to take in the world's largest masonry building, right?
So. For sure come get some gelato! And some espresso. But set a spell before you go zipping down the sidewalk. You're never going to really appreciate the little chunks of candied hazelnuts in our bacio gelato if you're walking.
And really--last Night Market of the year tonight! Come say hi!