Bernini’s St. Theresa in Ecstasy is in the Cornaro Chapel (Santa Maria Vittoria). Which means nothing to me, but the act of writing down the address for future reference seems constructive, especially with all the thinking I’m doing about Rome, a city I must see now that I’ve read Ingrid Rowland’s review of Robert Hughes’ new book.
I couldn’t get the book review out of my head as I jogged past Squalor and Ruin streets in South Philly on this perfect Third Day After the Solstice. A mile farther on, at Washington and Passyunk, I spotted what looked like a leftover Halloween scarecrow sitting in a deck chair outside a row house. It was a middle-aged woman wrapped in bright red and wearing sunglasses, facing the low but unobstructed sunlight beaming from the south.
I slowed to make sure she was alive and noticed she was a ringer for Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. She took off her glasses, gave me an ecstatic look, and said, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Odd Man.”
Just kidding, she didn’t say anything, not even after I wished her a Happy Solstice.