Well, look at this! The needless opening essay that describes in detail what would be immediately obvious if you just started clicking away.
Why? There’s a good reason. It can’t be to explain the site, because it’s self-evident: a collection of main street postcards from the post-war era, going up to the late 60s. You can find that anywhere. You could go on eBay and look at what people are selling. You could go to Flickr and find groups devoted to showing these cards.
But this site is different. First of all, I try to provide some context and elaboration, and if I’m not too bored I try to find the location on Google Street View so you can see what it looks like now. It’s rarely a happy sight. The great age of neon, of downtown signage, is over. The old buildings no longer wear gaudy jewelry. Sometimes it’s because the city passed a law against the signs, fearing them to be ugly or a public-safety issue. They were old; the bolts could come out of the bricks, and they could fall. But mostly because they thought they were ugly. Beautification, that was the watchword. So they took down the beautiful signs and planted trees.
Great. Trees. Don’t see many of those around.
Then again, what I just said would be obvious if you’d just started clicking. So why am I writing this here? To provide visual balance. Otherwise there’d be a big blank space, and that looks peculiar. So let’s see if this fits . . . hmm, better increase the font size.
There. Now go look at the cards.