by Max Brantley
... That someone is supposed to open the line for free-flowing comments.
The picture from Venice above means nothing, except that it's typical of something you see turning any corner in this incredible city, where I just spent three days. I guess it's just become a real Epcot -- the swarm of tourists come to visit the real thing, not a Florida facsimile -- but I recommend it. If for no other reason than to visit the neighborhood wine bars with cheap, Kool-Aid drinkable wine and snack assortments for $1 (euro) per pop. See a snap below from a little bar near the old Jewish ghetto. Down the street, a merchant sold wine from huge jugs, siphoned into your own plastic bottles, for about $1.70 Euro per liter. And, if being healthy is more your thing, you can join a rowing club and pole along the Grand Canal, as the boys further along are doing.
Or, you can eat healthy. The second-to-last shot is from the famous Rialto market. Stunning seafood. Here, a marketer is scooping up scampi, not one of the weird creatures of the Venice lagoon, but tasty all the same. Fred Poe's recommendation of Trattoria Ca D'Oro stood the test of time with its grilled vegetable appetizer and particularly the pasta course, a suprisingly piquant plate of spaghetti scampi ($9). It's the last photo