May 10, 2009

A Room With A View

An all-literary and cinematic favorite of mine must be named as A Room With A View by E.M. Forster, a coming-of-age narrative in the glorious country of Italy, the land of pleasure and also self-discovery (see an image from the 1985 film above). When I stayed in Rome a few years ago, I had view just like the one above much to my literary delight! I would like to pay tribute to my many beautiful rooms with views. I adore views. They put me at ease and fill me with the promise of great things. High perspectives that reveal stunning panoramas of nature and historical structures. There is something utterly satisfying in looking down on a place, the normally towering structures suddenly tiny and toy-like.

In college, I had the luck of always living on the top floor, a fortune I cherished. I never had to deal with the "thump-thump-thump" of upstairs neighbors. Freshman year, my desk was nestled in a little dormer that overlooked leafy trees and the stately dormitories of Boston College's Upper Campus. Sophomore year, by chance, we scored a suite on the sixth floor of Vanderslice hall, one of the premium housing opportunities for sophomores. Our common room had a large window that framed Alumni Stadium, which was especially beautiful to behold when lit up for football games. A favorite pastime of mine during that year was to sit by the large bay window and gaze out at a burnished sunset behind the black outlines of the Chestnut Hill treeline.

My views continued when I studied abroad in Bath, England for a year. I lived in an eighteenth-century building that overlooked the River Avon in the oldest part of Bath. I had a breathtaking view of the river, the Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths, and all the stunning structures. It was a surreal life. Bath is an incredibly idyllic place and I feel so very fortunate to have lived there. I wasn't able to find any digital photos of that view, but I was able to get two photos from my other window that shows one of the seven hills that surround Bath (the third picture is a view of the city of Bath from my favorite perch on one of the hills).

During my senior year, my window (my room was on the sixth floor of Ignacio) overlooked the steps going to middle campus as well as the back of St. Mary's Hall, where all the Jesuits at BC reside. One day during my Senior Week, I looked out the window to see some of my dearest friends all walking back from a trip to Newton Center. These woman are citadels in my life. I am so grateful for their friendship!
The last view I had the good fortune to possess for three nights in Los Angeles, California. I stayed at the Hyatt Hotel in Century City, the site of some major studios during the Golden Age of Hollywood. My hotel was neighbor to the old MGM lot where Judy Garland once lost her heart on a trolley and Fred Astaire earned his twinkle toes. I was there for business, which meant I had to rise before dawn every morning. This also meant that I was able to experience the brilliant sunrise, mixing with the smog and skyline of downtown Los Angeles.

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