May 2015

The bus stop photos

by Rebecca Bricker on May 24, 2015

I spend a lot of time waiting for buses in Florence. I don’t have a car here, which is torture for this L.A. girl. The waits can be 15 minutes or more. I yearn to put keys in the ignition and GO!

I’ve learned to distract my impatient self by taking photos while I wait and have amassed quite a collection. I call it my Bus Stop Series.

I look around for interesting details. At some bus stops, that’s a challenge initially. But there’s ALWAYS something that eventually catches my eye.

I remember an English teacher I had in 6th grade. He once put a trash can on a table in the classroom and told us our assignment was to write 50 things about it. I hated that assignment. What a waste of time, I thought then. (I think that’s what I titled my report, at least enjoying the pun.) I inspected that trash can for every scratch and ding and was nearly beside myself by the time I reached 50 Things.

But I must admit it helped trained my eye to see the details.

I’ve seen so much at bus stops in Florence. Lovely architectural embellishments. An interesting face at a window. Artistic graffiti.












Even if the subject matter isn’t riveting, I use the time to practice taking shots — holding the camera with one hand and carefully framing the picture so that window shutters and ledges aren’t crooked. And then I practice doing this quickly so that I’m better able to capture a fleeting moment. So many of the photos I take happen on the fly.


One day recently, I was at a dream of a bus stop. Facing me was an old palazzo whose balconies were draped with wisteria in bloom. I focused on the wisteria at first but then zoomed in on the artistry of the wrought iron.








And then I noticed the reflection in the window of the buildings across the Arno, behind me. Shimmering, refracted light from the water’s surface danced on the underside of Ponte alla Carraia, where two lovers kissed.


I turned back to the palazzo and saw a man eating gelato…

This dream of a bus stop happens to be across the street from my favorite gelateria. So I had to get a dish of chocolate-mint called “After Eight.” I savored each little spoonful, blissfully lost in my bus-stop world…












And can you guess what happened next?

I almost missed the bus. 😉