Wednesday is the day I take the long walk around downtown. Mean wind today. Not too cold; upper 20s, but that wind can flay. I kept to the skyways, and toted up some more absences. Two Starbucks have pulled out. And remember that “Louvre It or Leave It” peculiar museum I mentioned a few weeks ago? I found the main office door, located on the ground floor of the Northstar.

That helped me learn a bit more about the now-closed museum and the people behind it.

And then there’s this:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a reference to that fraternal order outside of its original context.

It’s fictional, of course. Or should I say phyctional. But here it’s a company. I’m a bit surprised this hasn’t been scraped off the glass to prevent, you know, HARM. What with the implications.

And there’s a statue, sitting outside the office, looking up at you with a rather direct gaze.

Elsewhere, I saw something that made my blood . . . sag. Then boil.

First of all, there’s this:

Are we in the Post-Covid era now? That’s nice. I approve. Let’s all get back to normal.

Not so fast there, pal. Not so fast.

Imagine doing this for the next two years.

CNN today: I've had my Covid-19 vaccine -- now what can I safely do? Your questions answered.

The day has finally come. You've received the second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine currently on the Western market -- Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca.

Does that mean you're free to go about life as you did before the pandemic once immunity kicks in?

You know what the answer is, of course.

Sorry, there is no immunity passport yet, experts told CNN. There are still safety precautions you need to follow in order to keep you, your loved ones and everyone else safe and protected from the deadly coronavirus.

"Can I cross the street?"

Sorry, there is no safe way to cross the street. There are still safety precautions you need to follow to keep you and everyone safe and protected from deadly car impact.

"Can I eat a sandwich?

Sorry, there is no safe way to eat a meal. There are still safety precautions when it comes to chewing and swallowing you need to follow to keep you and everyone safe and protected from deadly good choking.

We continue:

1 Can I please stop wearing a face mask?

“Let's "face" it: The answer is no. Try to think of a face mask as your new best friend, one that you plan to cherish and appreciate for a good, long time. Here are five reasons why.

The article also says you shouldn’t travel at all, and you probably shouldn’t go to a restaurant, because you could be a silent spreader. The article is full of coulds and mights, which translate into imperatives.

On Sky news today: life cannot return to "normal" until COVID is eradiated world wide.

By the way, the banners this week are all empty scenes of downtown.

This used to be my favorite restaurant.

It was called Atlas. It had occupied this spot for 20 years.

And now . . . a new feature that will bring some cul-chah to our Thursdays. Obviously, I wrote this earlier.

A consortium of Paris museums put a metric loade-de-merde of art online. I have not chosen these examples with care. I have curated nothing. Most of these are chosen at random, because that's the fun! The serendipity, the stories, the things we might no otherwise have chosen to explore.

It says: EAST WAR. / BEGINNING OF HOSTILITY. The Question took a step.

It’s 1839, so that would be the Second Egyptian-Ottoman War, which lasted until 1841. The fellow on the left could be the Pasha, Muhammad Ali of Egypt.

Readers up-to-date on matters of the world knew who the others were.

The details, if you’re curious:

In 1839, the Ottoman Empire moved to reoccupy lands lost to Muhammad Ali in the First Turko-Egyptian War. The Ottoman Empire invaded Syria, but after suffering a defeat at the Battle of Nezib appeared on the verge of collapse. On 1 July, the Ottoman fleet sailed to Alexandria and surrendered to Muhammad Ali. Britain, Austria and other European nations, rushed to intervene and force Egypt into accepting a peace treaty. From September to November 1840, a combined naval fleet, made up of British and Austrian vessels, cut off Ibrahim's sea communications with Egypt, followed by the occupation of Beirut and Acre by the British. On 27 November 1840, the Convention of Alexandria took place. British Admiral Charles Napier reached an agreement with the Egyptian government, where the latter abandoned its claims to Syria and returned the Ottoman fleet.








You might think “Trailers? Campers? RVs?” No. That’s in Iowa. This town is named after the Indian Tribe, as are the RVs, but there’s no connection.

Someone really, really hated this building.

Or something bad happened, and it needed to be wrapped in bandages.


A website about an event in 2019 said the building was a Pontiac dealership in the 30.

A nice old building that seems to be well-maintained . . .


. . . but it’s still blinded, as if the Texas sun was eventually too much.

Scared and somewhat traumatized, the old Ritz Theater:

Now, a paen to the Flapper / Jazz age, or at least its remnant cliches.


If you asked me which I prefered, the answer would be "Next question, please."

It’s as if it was buried by lava, and recently unearthed:



One of these brothers was prudent and careful; the other just lived life:



Seems a bit small for a hotel, especially when you see what’s coming.

Once upon a time:

Better. A sign of a town that cares about itself, no?

Why would you do this to a lovely old graceful structure?

I think we’ve seen this before: mail-order decoration, a piece of Paris style hoisted above dozens of American small-town streets.

Unite! You have nothing to lose but your axes!

It’s a fraternal organization. Don’t know how many Woodmen there were in this part of the state.

Hello, this is big:


Interesting capitals.

Not a going concern, perhaps?

No, not a going concern.

It was the Nazareth Hospital.

This is amazing.

Well, as we like to say, we know what this is:

The old Grand.

Anything else? Not really. But we must, sure, there's probably something else to note . . .


Why yes, it is a bit bigger than you might expect in a town this size. It was the Baker.

The story of the Baker Hotel begins in 1922, when citizens of Mineral Wells, concerned that non-citizens were profiting off of the growing fame of the community's mineral water, raised $150,000 in an effort to build a large hotel facility owned by local shareholders. They solicited the services of prominent Texas hotel magnate Theodore Brasher Baker, who gained fame by designing and building such grand hotels as the Baker Hotel in Dallas and the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, and managed the Connor Hotel in Joplin, Missouri.

Architect Wyatt C. Hedrick based the hotel design on the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas, which was known for its water and baths. Construction began on the hotel in 1926, but was stopped after Mr. Baker made a trip to California, where he visited a hotel with a swimming pool and decided the new Baker Hotel must have one in the front of the hotel. The swimming pool was placed on top of an already-completed basement, which was used as a work area for the hotel and a changing area for guests. An Olympic-sized pool to be filled with the curing mineral waters, it was the first swimming pool built at a hotel in Texas.

Currently under renovation, the wikipedia page says.

Again, from the same guy who did the Nazareth vid.



That will do. Continuing our day of Urban Studies, you may now peruse some main street postcards.






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