Yesterday was long, so today will be short. Worst Bleat Week Ever! Also, I’m feeling happily lazy. It’s a five-piece week but I still feel like I’m slacking. have to do a video for a colleague who’s leaving tomorrow, and I’m behind. Column due. Naturally, I went grocery shopping in the evening.

Light snow. Sometimes I listen to talk radio, but it angers up the blood; sometimes I like to settle into the warm bath of the BBC World Sarvice (as I call it, in my own unique way, because of the Oirish accent of the lass who does the top-of-the-hour ID) and listen to a story about a gay musician in Togo who has started his own plastic bottle recycling company.

Sometimes, the Old Time Radio channel, which plays the crap alongside the good stuff. Well, after the good stuff; alongside would be confusing. Today they had “Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons,” which ran forever and was one of the dumber mysteries ever put on the air. It’s worth it just to hear Mike, the Irish assistant, say “Saints presarve us” in every ep - something Bob and Ray parodied without mercy in “Mr. Trace, Keener than Most Persons.”

Some days I wish I lived in a world where Bob & Ray always had a job.

Today I listened to 30s British dance music, 87% of which has Al Bowlly singing. It does wonders for your mood to heat these ancient comfy numbers while crawling along the road in the cold and the dark. Switched to the satellite radio, and Boston was playing. Lately I’ve been forcing myself to listen to songs I know by heart, because once a song attains a certain status in your life you never really hear it again.

It’s a great piece of 70s prog-pop. It really is. And I can imagine them sitting around saying “It’s the hook from ‘Sweet Jane. Is that a problem’?” They look at each other, and finally someone says “nah.”

Anyway. Sorry. More fun tomorrow in larger quantities. This would be a bad day to push the 2019 Fundraiser, asking for a buck a month or three or so, right? After such a meager portion?

I will anyway! Because it's the Worst Bleat Week Ever! CLICK HERE to subscribe or donate, however you wish. All money save 10% goes to Natalie's college fund. Tomorrow, by the way, more updates from far-flung Brazil, and an amazing picture.








Queer as a clockwork orange upper class it's just not cricket numbskull have a kip is she 'avin a laugh Union Jack clotted cream knows bugger all about nowt. Whoa, he left the placeholder copy in! Yes, he did. Got your attention, though.

Aurora IL is described on wikipedia as a suburb of Chicago, but the population is 200K. Hell of a suburb, if that's the case; do they think of themselves as such?

Let’s start with the knockout: whoa!



The Paramount Theatre in Aurora was commissioned in 1931 by J. J. Rubens for one million dollars. It was designed by esteemed theater architects C. W. and George Leslie Rapp. It was the first air conditioned building built outside of Chicago. Paramount intended to bring such large theaters to all large cities across the country, but the Great Depression effectively ended these plans. The theater opened in September 1931 with appearances from Paramount film stars including The Marx Brothers, Jack Benny, and Burns and Allen. It is capable of holding 1,885 people; originally it held 2,125, but capacity had to be reduced to conform to fire codes.

Fully restored.

And now, the rest of the story.



“Here’s the design! Hope you like your bank.”

“Uh - we’re the fire department”

No old man, however dignified he may seem, should wear Crocs

You suspect the original religion moved to better digs, and a dollar-store version moved in.


If there’s any natural fit for an old bank building, I’d say it’s a mattress company. It’s what people used as a bank, after all.


Architect, tongue hanging out of the corner of his mouth as he concentrates: I have to find a way to concentrate people's attention on the door so they can find their way in

That’s some quality Prairie School ornamentation, complete with the roosting-bats motifs.



The Keystone Building is the largest private office building designed by George Grant Elmslie. It also may be the largest office building designed in the Prairie Style.

A perfectly fine old office building. I may be misled by the cornice hues, but looking at the proportions indicated by the windows, I wouldn’t be surprised if they tacked on that back section later.


Terracotta gems like this are often found intact, since even the usual gang of vandals felt abashed at painting this or covering it up.


You really, really want to pull that second-floor string course down to see if all the floors will resize proportionally.

Obligatory Ugly Modern Bank:

See terra-cotta, above.


Buildings like speak of a prosperous time. Beauty can be accomplished with any budget, but when you’ve a few bucks to burn you can go Gothic and the smart people will love it.

Glitch in the matrix; wall skins imperfectly coded


That’s a hellaciously impressive vista for a town of this size, and a sign of how good things were going in the 20s.



Not a small amount of illegal spirits were consumed in that structure, I suspect.

The Aurora-Leland Hotel had all the modern amenities of the time, including telephones in every room. Topping this skyscraper was the Sky Club, a dinner and dancing club outfitted with elaborate decor and furnishings of the highest quality. The views from the Sky Club as well as its elegance made it a place to see and be seen by local socialites. "Swanks" from Chicago thought the Sky Club a fun place to take their dates. Philip K. Wrigley, fan dancer Sally Rand, and the singing cowboy Gene Autry are some of the famous names seen there.

Housing now, of course. One final note:

The tower is also known for being a popular spot for committing suicide. Many have taken their own life by jumping off the 22 story tower into the river below. Because of this, many believe the building is haunted. Those who live in the now apartment complex claim they often hear moans in the elevator and smell foul odors throughout the building.[citation needed]

That'll do - the theme continues in the update, which has two more weeks to go. After that, the return of Restaurant postcards, and you know what that means - the first true sign of Spring, Motel Postcards, can't be far behind.

(It's at least 12 weeks away)




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