Thursday, September 20, 2007

Boxes on the Bridge

Ponte Vecchio

A Jewelry Boutique

The Ponte Vecchio in Florence is well known throughout the world, not only for its architecture, but also for its fine jewelry boutiques. The bridge is lined with these tiny, expensive jewelry stores on both sides. The thing that is most interesting about this bridge is how the boutiques close. They fold up from every direction, and when they are all closed they look like a series of wooden jewelry boxes. I observed one of the boutique’s transformations. First, the entire glass case was pushed in and the wooden panels beneath the cases were then picked up and stacked inside. Then, painted wooden covers were flipped down from above and pulled out of slits on the sides. Finally, a small wooden door was unfolded and locked into place in the center. The end result looked like an ornate wooden box. From the outside one would not be surprised to find jewelry protected within.

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