Zen and the Art of Scooter Meditations
Some of my best meditations are not on foot or sitting down but on two wheels. Meditations on what? Like how can I contribute to the great history of Rome? What can I do, what can be done? How best to suck the marrow out of the city and give something back? Because of my day job as an archaeologist and educator, I can get under the city's skin in unique ways. As a foreigner, heavily immersed in an American reality, I can still step back and approach issues from a different perspective. Still, it's tough to move within and outside of the archaeology-classics bubble and into, say, the fields of conservation and multimedia, lately on my mind.
On my scooter, I love cruising around the Quirinal and Viminal neighborhoods, slipping down toward the Roman Forum area through the Salita del Grillo- truly one of Rome's quietest streets (when cars don't pass) because of the still imposing fire wall of Augustus' Forum. Every time I cruise along the Circus Maximus, especially with the view of the Palatine, I'm reminded that it's another personal favorite.
On my bike, I head down along the Tiber River, usually with the family. We bike from Ponte Milvio all the way to Hadrian's Mausoleum, Castel Sant'Angelo, passing favorite modern monuments-- Richard Meier museum housing the Ara Pacis and the random face sculpture at Piazza Monte Grappa. That's about as relaxing as it gets. . . taking in the city and the river like an animated postcard.