#249, Venice, Italy
Because Venetian building numbers are so uniform -- the red stencil/white oval that you see here is standard throughout most of the city -- searching for numbers in Venice quickly became about finding unusual settings more than seeking out numbers themselves. Here, the rolling font of the shop sign caught my eye. These vowels don't have serifs: they are full-blown freaks of nature with tails. And what's up with the half-inverted quotation mark? Something pagan must be afoot here, I thought to myself before slinking off to imbibe more vino.
The shop fronts of Italy, with their well-designed (if cryptic) signs, are a joy to take in and photograph. But striving to capture the signs of Venice came with its own price. While few things in this world freak me out more than a cart full of clown paraphernalia, I was S-O-L in this carnival-loving city. Clown and mannequin crap was at every turn. I had little choice here but to leave a vestige of this shop-window intact, weeping porcelain mask and all.