Monday, January 12, 2009

Changing Times, Florence

I’m an American, and a New Yorker at that, so I am all for change – but I was really saddened yesterday to see that this very romantic old store has been turned into just another big name jewelry boutique.

Let’s put aside that this was a fur shop, that is a different argument for a different day. The interior of this place was pure 50′s Italian, all wood-lined and fixtured. The kind of shop that you just don’t see very often anymore, and really remember when you do see it. (Actually, I don’t know what exact period this shop was built so if any of our Florence friends know anything about the history of this place we would love to hear.)

The main reason I took this shot was not just the the dramatic lighting, but while I was admiring the store signage this little old lady’s head popped around the curtain to take a look at something down the street.

I love the shot the way it is – stoic, silent, elegant, reeking of old world glamour and the little movement in the curtain keeps it from being too stiff. However, if I’d been able to get the shot with the lady’s head in the window it would be hanging on my wall at home. The picture, not the little lady’s head – did I make that clear?


Close comment

Detach comments


  1. Paolo Manaloto

    January 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    it really is a great pic sart.

  2. Remah

    January 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    This picture looks as if it came out of a film noir. I love the lighting!

  3. Anonymous

    January 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    I think even without the head in the window, I’d love to have this on my wall.

  4. Brigadeiro

    January 12, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Gorgeous picture and building! Just beautiful!

  5. suzanne nelson

    January 12, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    A truly stunning photo.
    I hear your lament, Sart. it’s just like whenever i go to the East Village it looks more and more like the West Village which looks more and more like Mid-town, in terms of stores and businesses.
    Wouldn’t it be nice if the jewelry boutique had the insight to keep the old fittings and work with them ?

  6. lydia

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    that is an absolutely breathtaking photo.

  7. diane

    January 12, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    You are so right, Scott. Sometimes change is not for the better, and the more well traveled you are, the more of it you see. Your photo is lovely.

  8. Anonymous

    January 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    wow, the photo is beautiful, timeless. it’s breathtaking. i live in new york and i know exactly what you mean. i feel like every month another store, shop, boutique, cafe or restaurant that ive seen since my childhood closes down and a duane reade replaces it. its saddening. thank you for preserving a little part of this city.

  9. El Advisor

    January 12, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Love the picture. Reminds me of old Buenos Aires; and, being argentinean, also brings out a bit of sadness, as this is happening a lot in most traditional cities. Sometimes progress is not the answer.
    Love your work.

  10. Anonymous

    January 12, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    funny precision at the end,lol, about the little ladies’ head

  11. Emily

    January 12, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I like the lighting as well, a lot of contrast & drama.

  12. Anonymous

    January 12, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    I love the photo anyway, with that little fold in the curtain (which is telling but only once you know why it’s there). It’s like the child’s drawing in “The Little Prince.”

  13. LeWak

    January 12, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Very Film Noir. But it definitely provokes an important topic.

  14. Anonymous

    January 12, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    well i guess it would be ok it was American apparel.

  15. Caroline

    January 12, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    hey sart! this really bums me out too-i hope this isnt a sign of bigger things to come. where was the store located? i might be able to tell you a little more if I know exactly where it is.
    also, i’m sure you’ve checked it out, but if you haven’t, there is a fabulous little fabric store right past the arch in piazza della repubblica. right on your right as you walk through.

  16. Patricia Villablanca

    January 12, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Oh it’s poetically a sad photograph.

  17. Jack Daniel

    January 12, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Yes, you made it clear. Couldn’t you ask the lady to do it again so you can make shot of it? :)

    But it would’ve been really something if you were on time to make the shot with that lady.

    I’ll ask a friend of mine, who lives in Florence, about this shop and I’ll get back to you.

  18. jennifer

    January 12, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    i love this site!!

  19. Ivy Lane

    January 12, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Yes, You made it clear..and OMG, that picture is fab!

  20. xxxx

    January 12, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    i see what you mean. i miss the romanticism of the way, when i was a little girl, downtown my city had all these classic little independent shops. my dad and i would get ice cream from our favorite place w/ a jukebox. then when it was really late at night, we would walk around and i remember passing this dim old key shop, and it would be black and empty inside, but the door would be wide open.
    now there’s all these shiny new novelty shops and neon, plastic and all that, and a lot of rotation thru their space, but i suppose that’s inevitable.
    so. not completely related but i can relate to what you are saying.

  21. Amber

    January 12, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    this is so sad!

  22. tanyaaah

    January 13, 2009 at 12:44 am

    hahaha to the part about the lady’s head.
    this photograph really is peaceful. and i would probably say honest in a way too.

  23. Dominica

    January 13, 2009 at 1:33 am

    It’s so nice when stores are keeping the original interior…in Antwerp we have a few stores like that…for ex. the Massimo Dutti store has all the Art Deco items intact and I’m very happy with that !
    Great shot indeed !

  24. Flint

    January 13, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Still no photos! I’m so sad. I’ve been cut off from the wonderful world of the Sart. Help!


    January 13, 2009 at 2:01 am

    I will ask my boyfriend, he’s been living in Florence for the last 30 years.. anyway i LOVE your blog, its so inspiring! And im so jealous ur going to be in Florence………… sigh :(

  26. Anonymous

    January 13, 2009 at 3:08 am

    As a photographer, I find that it’s not the shots you’ve taken that you’ll always remember, not even the million dollar shots – it’s the ones you wish to have taken but missed that will be stuck in your head.

  27. Caterina

    January 13, 2009 at 3:15 am

    I really like you! A lot!

  28. Igor Tosk

    January 13, 2009 at 4:45 am

    very perfect



    January 13, 2009 at 7:11 am


  30. J.A.F.

    January 13, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Really Beautiful image Scott…classic, timeless.

  31. Taylorgotbeats

    January 13, 2009 at 8:23 am

    that photo is amazing, it looks timeless

  32. Diana

    January 13, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Your photo is great, but somehow, though black and white, I see the modern shop thru your lens and not the old one.

    I give you right about the old romantic shops disappearing.
    It reminds me of the movie:
    You´ve Got Mmail with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Cheesy story, but the old book shop of Ryan was so nice.

  33. Isobel Saoirse Dylan

    January 13, 2009 at 8:55 am

    I understand why you would have it on your wall!

  34. fabio

    January 13, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Mi piace. I love it. Lot of poetry.

  35. Federica

    January 13, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Great photo, makes me wonder if something traditional is going to remain to this town.
    Many unique Florentine shops, such as the one you’ve pictured, have closed in the last decade. and that’s really a shame! Unfortunately, the rents for shops in
    Via Calzaiuoli or in such central streets are so high that even the best stores can’t afford them. The bad thing is that the ones who take their place are always famous chains of stores that you can find in any city in the world!

    I will try to discover ASAP if Carnesecchi has either permanently closed or has just simply moved in a less expensive area (that’s what I hope!)

    Thanks again for your job :)

  36. SDG

    January 13, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Sometimes progress stinks. I love this photo. Makes me long for times gone by, which is the point. Nicely done.

  37. Anonymous

    January 14, 2009 at 7:50 am

    congrats on being keenly connected to such observations and emotions. the picture and your sentiments made all the rattle fall quiet.

  38. Anonymous

    January 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    seriously, probably one of my favourite photographs from you.

  39. Mu

    January 14, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Amazing picture! It makes me feel something like a weird mix between melancholy and cosiness.

  40. Anthony

    January 15, 2009 at 5:33 am

    I am not sure if it is so much “progress” as the economic situation – there are shops closing all over the place in Florence.

  41. Sandy

    January 15, 2009 at 10:45 am

    You tickle my funny bone! What an expressive photo though. It reminds me of some of the store fronts in my hometown this year.

  42. Tiger Fodder

    January 19, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I want a print of that!

  43. erynchandler

    January 21, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    i love you site and new i’d seen this shop/awning before. turns out when i studied in florence i would see it everyday from my bedroom window!

    see link below (bottom right corner)

  44. b00ts

    January 22, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    i love this picture. BUT i laughed SO loud when I read the last part. hahaha

  45. msly

    July 15, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    I lived in Firenze for a year and it was a pure, surrealistic escapade and a s series of epiphanies during a turmoil period of my life. All alone in a small town with kind strangers leading to beautiful friendship – we explored the town with intense passion. That was in the year 2000 and I hope to one day return and feel the same romance as I did. I heart Toscana and will forever be my love at first sight.

  46. David

    December 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Masterpiece pic!

    [email protected]

  47. Scene Makeup Girl

    December 1, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Oh Em Gee! I can’t believe this picture! LMAO!!!

Leave a comment

Related posts