The sky spat rice today. Birch and I went out for the morning walk, and all of a sudden a torrent of tiny hail came hissing down, bouncing off everything like buckshot on a steel hull. We ran back - well, I ran back and he was keen to follow - and waited it 0ut under the gazebo. It was furious. And then it stopped, as if the switch was thrown. And melted. Later it rained, and there were snowflakes, but the sun came out and it rained some more. It’s like winter went live a day before they got the bugs out of the code.
Busy day getting ready for a houseguest, and writing many things. Had two pieces due this morning, and have to write one more tonight. Forgive me if I pad this with a nice fall picture, part of the sequence we began last Friday:
The world, denuded.
Green Acres: It’s passed from common culture now, and that’s sad.
No, seriously. It became an inventive, absurd, and surreal show, with its roots firmly planted in old radio. I think I’ve mentioned this before, as I say with increasing regularity, but the layout of the shows was a throwback to the Fred Allen / Jack Benny types of programs, where recurring characters showed up, did their bit, and flounced off to applause. You knew you’d get this character doing the Southern Blowhard Senator bit, this guy doing the breezy bandleader, this ethnic stereotype, and so on. Same with Green Acres, no doubt because A) it was a familiar, sturdy format, and B) the writers came from old radio.
It’s on Amazon Prime now, so perhaps the Younger Set can rediscover it. I’d never seen the first episode. It bears a look.
Instead of just showing us the Douglas leaving Manhattan for the environs of Hooterville, it takes the form of a TV documentary about a man who leaves the city.
Mr. Daly was game for anything. Within reason, of course.
We start with . . . the Douglas' glamorous apartment!
A reminder that that fancy fussy French shite was more influential and popular than the pop-art or ultra-modern styles some people think characterized the era.
The "documentary" follows him through the apartment, the camera apparently moving through solid walls:
Modern art side-by-side with old pieces: the height of sophisticated style.
Mondrian and Tiger skin.
I thik the painting on the left is a Clyfford Still, and that makes me think the other ones are as well:
That's the balcony we see when Lisa Douglas says she just adores a penthouse view.
This is the penthouse view:
I saw that every week as a kid and wondered where it was, because if you could see this you lived in Glamorous Rich Person Territory. I never thought:
Why was one side white?
Here it is:
The ground floor view from a few years back: completely undistinguished corporate Miesian boredom:
The spare lobby probably has a 60s style I might like. From the website:
Following a recent multi-million-dollar renovation, 777 Third Avenue has been fully restored to its original splendor. The preservation involved replacing the original terrazzo plaza and adding new ginkgo trees. Inside the magnificent U-shaped lobby, the owners carefully restored the Italian Calacatta marble and added a lustrous shine to the East Indian laurel wood. A massive overhaul of the building’s elevator cabs provided for the replacement of carpeting and plastic laminate with rich, elegant materials that mirror the lobby's design aesthetic.
Plastic laminate. Gah. Anyway, why is one side white? I think they expected to build another wing. As far as I can tell from floor plans, the service core backs up against that wall, and perhaps it was intended to serve an annex?
It's 1971. Sweet Jeebus, what a miserable year.
Everything about that. Everything.
The Comet! It has everything! Are you ready for a list of its amazing accessories and features?
Cigarette lighter? But of course. The real surprise is the lighted ash tray.
Lighted. Of course, the bulb will be covered in ash after a week and the thing will be so stuffed no light will emerge, but it’s there.
It was an old nameplate, going back to the early 60s, brought back for another run, 71 - 78. Great name. Wonder how it drove.
A ’74 restored Comet, a little googling tells me, goes for 39K. Oy.
"Port and starboard . . . mirrors”
Basic pitch: mom will need to pay for hairdos after you’re dead, fella.
That’s an amazingly small amount of money for a car to modern eyes.
I think, in retrospect, that car ads realized using the words “under” and “six feet” probably didn’t help allay concerns about small-car safety.
Hey, who needs color
“Speed-o-vision, so you can see everything as soon as you turn the set on.”
How long did people have to wait before Speed-o-vision? Four, five seconds?
“Where shall we go and smoke this year, my dear?”
The chair tells you these are people of means and taste. The coffee cup and the white rug tells you they are not real people at all.
That'll do - and probably less tomorrow! It's a hellacious week.