Went out to dinner in a little French bistro. Ate about sixteen atoms of food. I had some crustaceans that yielded no more than a tablespoon of meat, but the mustard and the, oh, I don’t know, the drizzle - probably some truffle oil made by a family that has been making truffle oil for six generations - it was marvelous. The main course was a literal log of chicken.

“You had the chicken?” My wife said. “And not the lamb?”

“I feel bad for lambs,” I said, “And I wanted to see what the French would do with the blank slate of chicken.” Make a log of it, as it turned out. My wife had something that looked like an abstract sculpture in a lake the hue of fresh uranium. All quite fine.

The waiter had a Star Wars tattoo, the Jedi order. I asked him if he played Knights of the Old Republic, and he had, and asked, somewhat surprised, if I did. No. Not an RPG / 3rd person guy. I don’t like hovering above a character’s back. More of an FPS guy. Ever heard of Dark Forces? He had not. I said it was a Doom clone that got pretty good, and he should look at some YouTubes to see how things have changed.

I later realized he was probably not born when Dark Forces came out.

Someone posted this on Twitter, and I had to investigate.

It is difficult to reconcile two things: I barely remember it, and it was around in the 80s. C’mon, man! The 80s, just the other day, right?

I don’t know if I went there. That’s the unnerving part. I recall drive-in trips in the late 80s for dates, and a newspaper story. We thought they would always be there, so there was no haste to go. But then they were gone.

This one was special.

You can hear the Jetsons theme, can't you?

Don’t know if that was so.

It was dark red brick, with varying colors. This made it modern, but not futuristic. There's a difference.

To get a better idea of the materials:


In Fargo there was a drive-in on the north edge of town. The Star-Lite. I’ve no recollection of going there when I was in the playground demo; I do remember being sleepy when we came back from the Farm, rounding the corner where the old highway merged into the streets of Fargo. I’d see the enormous silent images up on the screen. It was a great, strange dream.

Later when I went to the Star-Lite in high school I saw the playground area. It seemed rusted and disused.

Anyway, back to France.

Dump 'em off; they don't care about the movie, anyway. Don't worry - they're constantly observed  by a Gerry Anderson marionette!

Primp all you like and hope the Coke bottle worked

Social distancing:

I drive past the site twice a week. I think about it once a year. If that.



It's Thursday! Time for cul-chah

1833. Attributed to Auguste Desperret.

Auguste Desperret (1804-65) was a French artist who produced political cartoons and caricatures for the republican satirical weekly La Caricature, edited by Charles Philipon, which flourished briefly in France following the relaxation of press censorship brought by the July Revolution of 1830. That revolution brought an end to the authoritarian rule of King Charles X, who was forced into exile and replaced by the ‘July Monarchy’ of Louis-Philippe I (who would in turn be overthrown in the revolution of 1848).

This one’s a puzzler. Playe? Google translate has no help.

The bottom left cage says Ste. Pelagie - okay, we can figure out that one. A prison, seen here.

A prison, seen here.

Ah - could they all be prisons?

Google La Force, and voila.  Playe, still don’t know. The names on the keys don’t translate. IK don’t know if the guy is allegorical or a real figure.

But you get the idea.










Fifty-six thousand souls, the size of Fargo when I was growing up. But not an oasis in the middle of nowhere - it's a Cook County burb, and old. It split off from Cicero in 1908.

State of the art mid-century civic building. It has a spare self-possession, right? The antithesis of baroque!

Then again

I wonder if that’s a later imposition.

OUMB, I think.

Let’s make sure the second floor looks like something taken from an enormous bridge in another city!

“I’m just tired of people tryin’ to get inside, that’s all. None of their business.”


I wonder what use the second floor was designed to accommodate. It has the effect of making the bottom floor look underscored.

They certainly spent a dollar or two.

You wonder what went down for this. No doubt some people said “ahh, those old buildings were perfectly fine, then they gotta tear ‘em down for this? There used to be a half-dozen different buildings. It was interesting to look like. Not any more.”

“The plane just clipped ‘er before it crashed, right over there in that lot.”


Compact little civic structure; make a nice castle for garden gnomes.


“What we’re gonna do is jack ‘er up and put two floors underneath instead of on top"

You know this has to be some sort of auditorium, right? They did this with the big blank brick walls of the stage house.

But . . . this doesn’t seem like a theater.



Nice little ghost sign. Makes you wonder . . .

. . . what was up against it for all those years, and why the part that was exposed is more vivid.

Like a family portrait where one of the daughters insists on wearing the most modern style, and everyone else is formal



Opened November 16, 1939, replacing an earlier Princess Theatre which was destroyed by fire. This theater, the last of four in Harriman, closed in 1999. However, a restoration was planned by actor Muse Watson (the guy with the hook in “I Know What You Did Last Summer”), who lives in the area. Renovation and restoration work began in 2003. Renovations were completed for a March 22, 2012 reopening as a live theatre.

Prepare to visit a Lost World. (Theater is seen around 2:28)

Fair guess: old Post Office.

Looks as if it should’ve been a train depot of some kind.

  It has two names. Swift . . .
  And Lake.

I am haunted by sights like this: old signs of prosperity now abandoned to the elements.

This one, next door, same thing -

I think I found an old picture on a map of the city.

I went back to look for details . . . .


That'll do; see you around.




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