A Private Viewing
"These make me think of great works of lost art," my husband said, surveying the stack of photos I was preparing to scan.
I took the pictures he was looking at in Strasbourg, France, in 1992. Strasbourg is known for its gorgeous cathedral, a stunning structure of high Gothic style that took generations of artisans and laborers just over two and a half centuries (from 1176 until 1439) to construct.
When we lived in Heidelberg, Germany -- about an hour and a half from Strasbourg by train -- the city had another notable artistic aspect: Namely, the stencil art graffiti that covered the walls of buildings in certain quarters of the city. The graffiti tended to be located in the city’s older sections, where labyrinthine narrow streets (more like alleyways, really) wended and wound.
We would go to Strasbourg once or twice a year. One summer, we rode our bicycles there from Heidelberg, an undertaking that should only have taken us six or eight hours but that ended up requiring over a day given the various wrong turns and false starts we made along the way. We took shelter for the night in an inn in some tiny village, and were startled awake by a frenzy of fireworks: Only then did we realize that we’d chosen to undertake the journey on the day before Bastille Day.