Odd day. Sunny start; got cool; pounding rain, with flooded streets; blaring sun; more rain; spectacular sunset worthy of the view from a ship over the great grand ocean, warm, then cool. Everything in a day you’d want in a day. Halfway through the month and there hasn’t been three typical summer days in a row, but as I said, I’ve no expectations of this summer. If I don’t end up offering a cigarette to a lady on a rock, that’s okay.

What is that in his boat? A something from a necklace display counter?

Spent some time with Daughter today, since she’s going away for the weekend to a friend’s cabin, and then comes back for half a day before going off to camp for a week. The standard summer Family Drought. Picked her and friends up from the bowling alley tonight, and that was as life should be: sitting in a parking lot at twilight under a great neon sign, laughing with your friends, driving home with the windows down blasting "Walking on Sunshine" on the radio. As long as I don't sing along. I am allowed to indicate the guitar's over-reliance on one particular note with my right hand.

Most ordinary moment; also the best.

Read a piece about a new news app, which collects what your friends are reading. The developer said other such apps use algorithms to figure out what you want to read, and they’re impersonal and inexact. The actual quote was “It’s bull($#,” because that’s how impressive, honest, passionate people talk. Anyway, it’s the “Instagram of News,” using the modern construction that explains things. It’s the Uber for Horse-Manure! It’s Twitter for Dental Floss! A brief summary is here, complete with non-professional voice-over and winsome indy whistling music and all the other twee touches that make my molars ache. I wish them well, but I’ve no interest in getting everyone I know to start using an app so we can SHARE news.

Mostly because I’m tired of sharing. The term annoys me. It’s really starting to grate. It makes it sound as if the act of posting a link is an act of generosity. It’s just linking. When you link, or post, you’re putting something up, often with a comment; sharing implies that the other person now has an obligation to look at it, an obligation to be grateful, as if some communal cup has been passed. I am sharing my french fries with you! Thanks, but I’m having ice cream. Why don’t you LIKE my french fries? Come on! Look at my french fries!

My twitter stream is a firehose of links, but I don’t feel as if anyone is sharing anything with me. There’s no moment of mutual experience. Passing along is not sharing.

Perhaps - no, most likely - it's because I have an archaic view of the word, a pre-Internet / social-network view. Or possibly it's just a buzzword everyone applies to something to make it seem more important than it is. There was an article on Medium the other day about photo-sharing apps; you create groups and share share share the whole damned day long. There were 45 of them. Forty-five.

Or do I just sound cranky? At least I'm not telling you that YOU'RE SHARING WRONG or YOU SHOULD STOP SHARING. It could be crankyness. Had a big crank-rant at the workblog today about these things, culminating in a Gawker network piece that said STOP TAKING CRUISES because the author saw a slideshow about crime and disease. He had taken one cruise himself, I think. For a day. But YOU SHOULD STOP. STAAAAHP. Bossy little nit.

Let’s have a little class in the Lies of Art.

From the height of the office with my phone on maximum zoom, I saw this. It’s a man, alone, following the shadowy imperatives of infrastructure, which subtly shape our lives and direct us in ways we don’t entirely apprehend.

And then there’s this.

A woman alone in the plaza, but connected to someone else via the phone. The great emptiness of the world and the tenuous, invisible lines that bind us to others.

The whole shot:

Oh, modern life: missed connections, different directions, alone in realm that is, while common to us all, still sterile. No - wait, it's sterile, but it's common to us all.

And a second later half a dozen people walked crossways across the plaza and it was difficult to draw any conclusions from it.




Part two. Combine economic retraction with natural disaster, and this is what happens.

Things fall down, is what happens.

The trashcan is a particularly poignant touch. Wouldn't want these streets to be ruined with litter. I wonder if that was a bar; probably so. Someplace that was bright and fun, for a while.

No loans today.

What was the building next door? A men's shop, name starting with J, judging from the tile left over. That rounded 30s touch is a mystery; what was the point? Aside from coolness and beauty.

The waterspout seems not only to be useless now, but always so.

The corner was glass once, but shut up when the world contracted and turned its back.

R. Schulz building. Space available on the second floor.


The names changed as the building expanded. Whether this was before or after, I don't know.

Bustling, once. Commerce below, perhaps a dentist upstairs. A watch repair shop, a tax man. A milliner below. Just guessin, but something like that then. And nothing like that now.

Good heavens. How to read this? I'd guess that the facade above wasn't stripped, but was originally quite spare - the windows suggest as much. The black stone could belong to that era, or the post-war renovation below, although the stuff under the big long window doesn't fit.

Surely there are records. Surely there are some who remember a steak at . .

Next door, odd capitals and some sort of crest:

There's so much to fill up it's unlikely any of it ever will. The amount of dead space will overwhelm any attempt to bring the place back.

Looks like it was repurposed before the storm hit. At least we know what it used to be. Did cars drive through those front doors?

Kress gave up long ago, but left its mark, as it did all over the south.

A New Beginning?

Stay tuned.

Hey hey: motels. Five for your amusement. See you around.



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