The snow has returned and no one is happy about it. The flurries began in earnest around noon, but since Earnest is a hundred miles to the south we didn’t notice. Ha ha! Never get tired of that one. No, they hit downtown hard - one moment nothing, then you look out the window and it’s all white. Everyone sighs and thinks of their commute and the long days ahead.

A foot, possibly two.

It’ll be gone by Monday. But you could say that about almost anything.

It’s a good day to get out the “Black Hole” DVD and remind myself what a disappointing movie it was. (It’s also a day to wonder if I should have written “it’s a good day to get out the ‘The Black Hole’ DVD,” since that’s the title of the movie. ) The ending was interesting, being the most hellish thing Disney had done since “Fantasia,” and I’m disappointed that the memes today didn’t have a red robot with spinning knife hands inside the blurry photo.

Possibly no one remembers it; no loss. And I can’t find my copy. It’s like it fell into . . . (record scratch) a deep well! This is odd, but I won’t bore you with why. Now I REALLY WANT TO SEE IT, of course. That would pass. The opening was very promising, at the time; it was mostly a Grid, and grids were sci-fi and futuristic. Computers made these pictures! Computers were really good at grids! Then there’s John Barry’s theme - if Star Wars was going to have John Williams, then by GOD Disney was going to get the other famous movie-score John. By then he was into his extreeeemely long attenuated melody phase, but it’s interesting because he adds flourishes that make you think of madness, or the spume of a sea-tossed storm.

But then there are cute robots and the feeling that it’s all made for 14 year olds. Not like Star Wars! That was made for 18 year olds.

Even in the trailer you can feel the disappointment build in the hearts of those who'd been hoping it would be top-notch sci-fi:

But about that ending.

This, at the time, was some full-strength nightmare fusel oil, and completely at odds with the movie.


When I mentioned Fantasia, I'd forgotten how much this sequence calls back to the forest cathedral, if the scene had been set in the hallway to the coke lounge in a New York disco.


AND NOW, the Dept. of Misc presents an old favorite.

Miss Merry Morris, who would later go on to found 3M, encouraged the lonely readers of this romantic fantasy magazine to write to other lonely people who wanted to touch a piece of paper that had been handled by a stranger.

Maybe it's just me, but . . . well, you'll see.

Good for her! Full of brio.

But what does Fifty-fifty girl mean?

Okay, well, let's move along.

Translation: oh, you know what he's talking about. Seems rather obvious.

Okay, certainly not all the lads are female impersonators who are known to many movie stars, NUDGE NUDGE. Who's next?


Moving right along:

You wonder if she ever got sick of telling everyone all she knew about groceries.








If you recall, last week we took a look at a depressing area of a major American city, complete with blocks of apartments that had been abandoned, trashed, and finally leveled. Surely it's going to get better, you ask. And what does this have to do with a downtown?

Not much. But it's a commercial strip, and that's what this project is all about.

What the hell was this?


A gas station, perhaps - it has four bays. Also looks like it had a drive-up window. It seems out of place - new and cheerful, old and odd.

Open! Come on in!

Sure we’re open! No, it doesn’t smell very fishy in here, we’re proud of that. Say, come over here behind the counter, I’ve something to show you. (murder intensifies)

“Say, Mr. Architect, how did you know everyone in the church is a Mason? Just a guess?”

No longer a church. That’s such an odd thing to say. The church isn’t a church anymore. When you’re a kid you believe a church will always be a church. And you’re usually right.

Still a church.

Looks like the sanctuary got some new skin-cleaning prescription.

The quality of these buildings suggests a previous life as a prosperous era, middle-class and above, with good social stability.

St. Philomena Church. Interior shots here.

Not all of them had the stony gravity of the past. This ark style was popular for a while. Too long, if you ask me.


It had a cupola once, I’m sure.

They gave up on one side, and boarded the windows, but the street side view still has glass.

Wonder what the lobby under that arch looks like. Whether there's some light fixture left from a 1960s "modernization."

"Say, let’s used a lighter brick for this one. Someday people will want to block up all the windows with plywood, and it’ll look nicer.”


If there wasn't an Italian restaurant called "Vesuvius" in that spot once, I'll be disappointed.

I don’t know when this picture was taken. Could be rehabbed. Could be gone. Could just sit there like this for another 20 years.


Apparently the City Fathers anticipated a lot of foot traffic around these parts. Perhaps they were dealing with impromptu parades complete with brass bands, five people across.

Firefighters would have to pack a lunch to make it from the hydrant to the store.



It's an everyday curse to a neighborhood to be full of the trappings of a time when things were nicer.

The building in the banner picture. Somehow, if you paint over everything, it doesn’t look depressing and abandoned, even though it’s obviously depressing and abandoned.



I get angry at these pictures.

All the money moved away and no one cared enough or had the scratch to keep it looking civilized.

Looks like it was taken over by another building that’s pretty damned happy about it


Everyone’s, and no one’s now


There’s a broad wall from the Good Days now covered with neighborhood murals, and they’re not unnerving in the least:

Recent pictures show they're all painted over.

Nothing made here any more


The end.

Best to start again, perhaps. But how?

That'll do - see you tomorrow.





blog comments powered by Disqus