Went downstairs today to snap this.

City Pages began life as Sweet Potato, a free weekly. In the 80s they were the “edgy, artsy” free weekly, head-to-head with the Reader, regarded by the CP audience as “the Greeder,” because it was aimed more at “yuppies.” The Greeder people called CP “Shitty Pages.” A similar war played out between the StarTribune and the Pioneer Press-Dispatch. Newspapers mattered; of course they mattered. That’s how we knew things.

The StarTrib bought it a few years ago. It was closed yesterday, because it was supported by bar and restaurant ads, and there weren’t very many of those anymore. I worked there for a few years, as a columnist and feature writer, before going up to the big leagues.

Not surprised, but still. Another loss - although this one doesn’t feel particularly sad. It seemed overdue. On one hand I think there’s no appetite for publications like this, and on the other I will always believe that a good tabloid would sell like crazy, if they did it right.

Busy day, so I've little to add. What? you say. Surely there were fascinating details to be gleaned from the most banal of interactions! Alas. I had a nice chat at Traders Joe about dogs with the clerks. I can sum it up thus: we all have one and we love our dog and dogs in general.

Before that someone left her cart in the middle of the aisle, at an angle, and I had to move it, and the person was surprised and apologetic,as if stunned such a thing could possibly happen. I just didn't feel like doing the "no problem!" thing you do to be nice and civil, and it struck me why: first of all, the prickly brackish mood I'd had the entire day, and second, I was wearing a mask.

Somehow it seemed as if that relieved me of a simple social obligation I'd felt before. Because they can't really see me. Makes you remember how important faces used to be.

Also, when I say "no problem," I don't mean it it all, because solipsistic people who have no cart awareness drive me nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Part two of our visit to the storied town of Muskogee. It's not usual we do two-part Main Streets, but for some reason nearly everything I saw looked interesting.

Not necessarily good or beautiful, but they don't have to be either to be interesting.

The Railroad Exchange building. Went bankrupt immediately after construction, as it turned out no one wanted to exchange railroads. Ha ha!

Due for a renovation, but plans were sidelined due to budget constraints.

The era summed up by those terra-cotta additions has entirely faded from mass consciousness.

Sez me, anyway. Not mine, and not yours, but in general? No one sees this and thinks about the styles, sounds, politics, history of the era from which it came.

It happens to every era.

This gives you another look at the main street. Oddly inert.

Grown-up stores that sold grown-up things, once.

It was someone’s idea of urban renewal.

Ah: our old friend the Eyebrow. Always a sign of a chic place that sold the latest styles.

I don’t know what it was, but many people do.

 

That’s actually rather cool, in an uncompromising way. Board of Education Science and Technology - Best!

Can’t help thinking it was something else before, though. And they redid the sign.

 

I’ve seen a few temples of the era, and they don’t strike was the loveliest example of the worship hall.

Well, when it comes to making it up as you go along, I’ve seen worse -

Actually, no. I haven’t.

I feel bad for this one. Heck, I feel bad for most of them. But to have such an important entrance, and have it disregarded and disrespected like this - to throw away the integrity of the whole building, it’s just a shame.

Not much better at the end of the block.

Modern as can possibly be, and now “retro” or some such word, with all the cultural meanings lost. This was forward looking, space-age, chrome-plated light up a Marlboro and have a cold beer in an aluminum can because this is America, jack.

Really, that’s all in there.

Changes of getting a room tonight might not be good

Or a meal.

Ta da, etc. That'll suffice - see you around.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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