I hate to get all calendrical on you, but that’s it. Summer’s done. Except of course it isn’t, but it is, but it isn’t, although yes, it is. And so on. I’ve really enjoyed this ration, and I’ve never been less happy to see Fall arrive. That will change. Adapt, adopt, and so on.

It’s odd what you recall: my boss said that everyone thought the summer was too short because we didn’t have a good June. It rained all the time. I don’t have that memory at all. It seemed a good mix; it wasn’t cold; it was bright.

Wasn’t it? I mean, I didn’t have that faint panic you get when summer comes out of the gate and stumbles for weeks. Like you finally get a night on the town and you’re stuck in traffic for an hour trying to get to the restaurant.

So, what have we today? What did we do today? The usual: work in the empty building, a walk around downtown, a good lunch - although I have to note that the portions in the Traders Joe Columbus Brand Chicken Breast have shrunk. I took it out and thought: Depression Chicken. Goes with the Depression Pizza, the brand I will never buy again because they decided that SMND, or Sudden Massive Noticeable Dimunition on all fronts - cheese, toppings, sauce - was the way to go. I used to get two lunches out of the chicken-breast pack. I still get two, but they’re thinner sandwiches.

You will eat less and be better! Or, as this graphic put it:

It’s fake. The WEF has zero self-awareness and / or zero effs to give, but they wouldn’t put those giveaway lines in there. Yet.

Amazon has been running ads on Twitter, and they’re some of the worst things I’ve ever seen. They must be intentionally bad. They have to be. But even knowing that we’re supposed to know these are bad doesn’t help. The aesthetics are so ghastly you cannot conclude that the culture has become so debased it trots out shite knowing it’s a miserable mishmash, but hey, IRONIC CRAPPOST INTERNET CULTURE, right?

I even hate the slogan: that reading feeling. This is supposed to be relatable, for every ninny on the gram who writes tfw. It also has a resonance of feelies, which probably eluded the ad team.



You might think, well, that’s a one-off, and the garish emoticons and extruded type and general strenous badness is just to get our attention, and maybe appeal to people who think oh yeah, I remember that reading feeling.

No. There are many. R. L. Stine Goosebump letters and EXTRUDED CHROME

It is intentionally painful

But could it be worse?

It could be worse. And it is

In a way, it poses a terrifying thought: by reusing all the worst and most cliched typefaces - that "Love" is from a million paperbacks - are they signaling that these are now cool, because they have a "retro" vibe?

People do not like them.

People are correct. Although it's a bit ironic that they use that animation style to make the point; it was an overused cliche for a while, too.


Now, this year's Above-the Fold Kul-chah Feature, or ATFKF.

This one is  - well, it's red.

The Meal in Honour of Ambassador Cornelis Calkoen, Jean Baptiste Vanmour, c. 1727 - c. 1730. You can find out more about his mission, here.

Says the museum:

As part of the ceremony, Calkoen attended a meeting in the divan or council chamber of the palace, after which he and his retinue were offered a meal by the grand vizier. This meal is shown here. At centre, across from the grand vizier, Calkoen sits on a low stool, flanked by two interpreters.

I think it's really about some guys trying to find their contact lens.

Did you look over there

Here's our guest of honor:

The museum also notes that "The sultan could listen (unnoticed) behind the small grilled window above – hence called ‘the Eye of the Sultan’." Then there's the place where the sultan can see what's going on, known as the Ear of the Sultan.

Can we see him up there if we play with the shadows and contrast sliders?

Why yes, we can.










I have “Vernon Avenue” for this stretch of LA, but it seems to be half Manchester Avenue. Not sure it matters. It’s one of those scraped and battered old retail strips in the big city, a break from our small town stories.

I cannot figure out what they were thinking with that roof.


You might think that a third floor had been removed, but the cornice seems to original. And it varies in elevation for obscure reasons. If it’s all one building built at the same time, why the asymmetry?


An older view . . .

. . . giving way to something lesser, shuttered and unfriendly, with a few elegant carved capitals indicating better times.


Well, I guess no burglars around here has any idea what a “ladder” might be.


This poor, poor theater. At least they left some of the decoration on the cornice.

It was originally the Balboa. Cinematreasures says it’s now a collection of sound stages for filming. So there’s that. Better than the fate of most.

Modern enough to indicate the block was still in the pink in the 50s.

But close by, a row of shops that has to hail from the early days of LA.

Love that mast on the right, a piece of Moderne no one seems to prize.

How not to modernize a storefront, on the right.

On the left, a reasonably acceptable version of the glass-block rehab. It’s okay. Doesn’t fit, but it really doesn’t fit any building unless it’s original. Doesn’t mean it’s not welcome. It just doesn’t fit.

Another fine Moderne facade, ill-treated.

I think this is what drove me here in the first place, believe it or not.

I was looking through old LA papers, and saw some real estate news about new commercial structures. The ornamentation looked interesting, so I wanted to see if it was still around.

It's hanging on.


OUMB, from the California Spaceship style.

Could almost be a Ralph Rapson, with that emphasis on the top mass. I actually like this one; the angles help. Chase would be advised to let that roof line show itself, though.

Classic 60s California, with a hard-times vibe. You know there was once neon and music drifting from the cars as they waited, or the bays where the employees worked.

Another one of the commercial buildings I looked for. Spanish decorations in the finest style!


Close up: sigh.

LA, where Spanish-themed buildings sat next to Space-Age signs for car washes.

And, of course, a HOUSE, just sitting there, somehow absorbed by its neighbor.

LA has endless stretches of streets like this.



That'll do - Motels await, even though the end of August ought to be the end of it. What with summer and the time for road trips over.

Hah! It's not over at all.



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