Hard to describe the emotions of the day. So, you might say, don’t. Really. Spare us all, yourself included.

Ah but I must. Problem? This: It’s so damned disheartening to come across the below-the-fold feature folder for next week and discover it’s empty. I had the entire year done, I thought. In fact, I have it done for next year through March. But here’s a big gap. Perhaps I presumed there would be a Hiatus, as in the Olden Times when I’d swan off for two weeks in the summer, but those days . . . well.

So do I really, really want to spend two hours on it? I suppose. After everything else is done - it’s a four-piece week.

That’s one thing. Another might be the fact that Daughter gets on a plane and goes back to school.

You know, that might be something more disheartening. Checking . . . yes, it is. It’s normal! It’s the way of things. We’re lucky she was here this long. It was supposed to be three weeks, and turned into two months for reasons I needn’t go into here. But it’s the same as last year, during the Covid Evacuation - things felt normal again. Come home from work, shout hello to the end of the hall, maybe stop over, linger at the door. Or I’m working in my studio, and footsteps, “hey dad!” And it’s news of some project, or something she saw online, or a tweet she wanted me to favorite if I wouldn’t mind. It’s dinner and post-midnight treadmill-run chat. It’s the occasional errand together, it’s buying dinner for three instead of two.

It’s just all of us here together. And then, again, got-dammit, poof.

This being the fourth such poof.

What precedes it is a sense of pervasive unease that comes with contemplating imminent change. Sometimes the change is good, as with last week's trip; sometimes it's . . . this. In either case there's unease. Waiting to adapt to the next definition of ordinary.

Well, put on a happy face. How? Just go to YouTube and study the thumbnails for the same annoying mask of feigned glee that seems to characterize every video. For a while it seemed as if this was a neckbeard nerd-culture review channel where someone who is technically an adult is unboxing a Funco Pop of a character from a Star Wars cartoon show; now it’s everyone.




If you see me making this face, assume something is terribly wrong.

Have we visited this theater before?


The Alcazar d'Été was a Café-concert which opened in 1869, at 8 Avenue Gabriel in Paris, and closed in 1914.

The old Café Morel behind the Élysée Palace was acquired in 1869 by Arsène Goubert who at the time was owner of the "Alcazar" at 10 Rue du Faubourg Poissonière. He gave it the name "Alcazar d'Été", and the "Alcazar" became "Alcazar d'Hiver". It is today the "Pavilion Gabriel”.

Still standing.

As for Anna:

Anna Thibaud (14 December 1861 – 18 April 1948) was a French singer. She had a wide repertoire, attractive stage presence and excellent voice. She performed at important venues in Paris during a lengthy career.

Here’s something that tells you how much you don’t know about an era, its music, its assumptions - but you think you could know, given enough time.

An 1895 reviewer wrote that Anna Thibaud . . .

“is the leading lady exponent of la chansonette among Paris artists at the Café Concert. Of late years there has been a marked return of the semi-sentimental and semi-gouailleur kind of ditty invented by Béranger and his school. Mdlle. Thibaud has made a speciality of the songs of 1830, and sings them in a costume which, while avoiding the grotesque peculiarities of the fashion in vogue when Charles the Tenth was King, is sufficiently rococo to give a touch of local colour to the words which accompany the tunes once so familiar on the left bank of the Seine. ... Mdlle Thibaude possesses to a rare extent l'art de dire, she has a pretty voice, and every word of her song tells. She also takes a special delight in the kind of songs she has made popular, and has taken great pains in each case to discover the original air. In addition to her engagement at La Scala, she is often asked to sing at private patties, where her repertoire is very much appreciated by the hiy lif.”

What does that mean? High Life? What?








You hate to look it up, lest you find it was named for George Winner, a postmaster, instead of something else. Such as “the town was named for being the victor in a contest to thrash the most hay” or something. Let’s google . . . Ah!

Winner was laid out in 1909, and named for the fact the town had emerged the "winner" as the county's most successful trading point.


Jim Palmer, Hall of Fame pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, played for a college league team in Winner in the summer of 1963. He said "There are 2,500 people in Winner...There are four girls in town, two restaurants, one movie, no TV, no air-conditioning, and the temperature is always about a hundred.


Well, we’ve seen this countless times. Evidence of a downtown rehab to lure back the shoppers, empty corner stores that looked like the Nice Place for Nice Things.

Let's see if it's worked.

Hmm. The OUMB isn’t that U, and it really makes you wonder whether they stuck that curved window on an old 50s structure.

Your lawyer can frequently be found on the roof, wearing pointy shoes and smoking a hookah

On the left: a small Greek building that committed a crime and had to be imprisoned.

The building on the left expanded into the one on the right and wanted to make sure things stayed that way.


I too had SimCity designs that didn’t work out as expected

Have a seat on the bench! Look around and enjoy the revivified downtown!

There’s your theater.

The old Ritz. You’d be surprised to see what it looked like once.


The problem with those great old signs? Once the struts and supports rusted, I think most owners just said “nah” and didn’t bother to replace them.

I don’t know what eldritch moss is covering the sign and I do not want to know


That’s adorable:

Somehow I don’t think it’ll ever be twinned.

This is the most Dakota tableau I’ve seen in a long time.

It’s the empty bench looking towards the street that somehow completes the scene.

This one BUGS ME

. . . because I can’t figure out the brick. Did they redo the corner when the building next door also got a new facade? Because the ground-floor entrance / window area brick doesn’t match the top. Except it does. Except it doesn’t.

It’s the skinny appliance deliverman from the “Money for Nothing” video

“Treats and Treasures”

Well, yes, the color does make people notice it, I’ll give them that.

But it’s a bit much, and overwhelms the fine old classical details. At least we have the pediment again.

Wonder what the sign said? Wonder if they’ll ever pull it down.


Angled wood to ensure modernity and up-to-date attitudes. Winner: a can-do city! Just look at this wood and how it’s tilted.

Different stone styles to indicate two eras. The cool 50s stone on the left, the more sedate, rote, and no-doubt cost efficient basic brick of later decades.

One doesn’t get that winning feeling, but the locals might well tell you different.


That'll suffice; see you tomorrow.



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