Went down to the office on Wednesday, which is probably forbidden. There’s certainly no one there to notice or say “nay, back to the street with ye,” and if there was such a person, I would wonder why a parodic version of a Medieval bridge guard would be in the elevator lobby.

New signs:

Put on your noticeably porous mask, people! For health! Yes, inside the office now we must wear masks. As I noted, there’s no one here, but perhaps the ventilation system is circulating the Covidian Miasma, and I’m like Spock in the radiation chamber at the end of ST II.

They’ve turned off most of the lights. I’ve never seen that. Emptiness, that I got used to. Darkness is different. Didn’t help that the day was all gloom and rain. I took my usual walk, cursing as I came across one closed skyway after the other. New signs on the floor at the Opus towers:

All of this "we're in this together" and "let's all pitch in" stuff lands on deaf ears, I think. I might believe it but I don't want to be hectored at every turn.

Which . . . makes me wonder. We look back on all the ads of the 40s with a reverent nostalgia - look at all that common purpose, gathered to defeat a great foe! Perhaps people tired of it then, too; it was far more prevelant, although they didn't have decals on the floors telling people to save fats.

Perhaps people in forty years will make the same assumptions about us.

There was one sign of new hope:

The Rand Tower, under conversion to a hotel for the day when people may actually come here again, has lit up its facade in a very romantic 20s skyscraper fashion. It’s a welcome addition. But everything still feels like a SimCity game where you’re in the teeth of a bad downturn, and any day now the nice buildings will be replaced with shabby, careworn buildings of smaller size.

Never quite thought that was realistic, to be honest, and don’t know why they did that. Hey, the economy’s contracted by 7 percent. Let’s tear down all the skyscrapers and put up shoddy 1920s office blocks stained with soot and tears.

Anyway, it's nice.

Nice, but empty. It's all empty.

For now. It'll fill back up!

We'll do our part!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other day we looked at a newspaper from Washington, Kansas. Today we tour its streets.

There aren’t a lot of them. The city has 1,300 or so souls. The Google page has a riveting view:

The view from above. You can see it’s a classic American small town, built around the courthouse.

The amount of lawn suggested they may have expected the town to be larger.

There is no OUMB.

This one went through some changes, right? But it’s two buildings.

Around the corner. So . . . it seems that the building couldn’t get Main Street footage, and deployed its breadth along the side street.

Naught but vampires upstairs.

Back to Main street: the Buckaroo’d awning pulls together different buildings like a sweaty, hairy arm.

 

It’s almost as if there’s a fungus that crept up from the sidewalk and remakes the building slowly over time as it rises.

One building! No, two buildings! No, one building!

Note the tall light bricks on the right . . .

Around the corner. Gah, that building with those bleached distressed bricks that looked good for a while, because they were new, and then everyone seemed to get sick of it.

What’s this moderne building doing here? What was it?

It's so cool. Not the best of the genre, but it must have made folks think "we're up to date." It's the old City Hall, btw.

Someone in town developed a chronological readjustment beam that brings vision of the past to the present, in their entirety.

Same idea on the same street - except this has more of a Deadwood vibe.

 

The definition of a small town right here.

 

They were proud of this! So modern!

Compare to the old one. Each was true to its time.

Here’s the courthouse. Older than City Hall . . . and still more modern.

And that's it.

That'll do. Motels await.

 

 

 

 

 
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