That's the wall in the smoker's niche between my building and the Athletic Club next door. It looks like a Vulcan got beat up here.

It was one of the best Augusts, from where I sit. It felt long. It was hot. There was rain. It just seems like it was yesterday that I had my birthday dinner at the sushi joint, but that’s how it goes. It’s still remarkable that I had sushi for my birthday, since the usual cliche is Indian food, but a thick hot vindaloo just didn’t seem right. I do have a curry dinner on the calendar for September, though. I’ve seen the menu and there’s a dish whose name contains the word “monkey.”

At the office in the morning right now, considering things. Another cup of coffee? Perhaps. The usual order of the morning includes a fresh cup made to order, but this morning both tanks were full and hot, which made me wonder if there was some meeting afoot. When the New Big Guy (the NBG is the publisher) is in, the support staff fills the urns. If I go up now for coffee, the previous batch will be cold, and I’ll have to make more, and maybe I don’t need that cup.

Hold on HOLD on, NEED? The only cup you need is the first; after that it’s the cup you want.

UPDATE: I did get another cup of coffee. It was cold by the time I got back to my desk. No problem, you say - put it in the microwave!

Says this site:

So polyethylene (PE) coatings were invented. As you may know, PE is a type of plastic. It’s the same plastic used for plastic bags and drinking bottles. It’s sprayed onto paper cups to create the thinnest possible layer of plastic waterproofing. Most paper cups and bowls have this coating.

More recently, manufacturers have started using polylactic acid (PLA), a biodegradable plastic made from plant-derived chemicals, to coat cups.

It breaks down when nuked.

  Then there’s the lid. It’s plastic so of course it has a leaf-like structure on it.

What does 6 PS mean?

Number 6 Plastics: PS (polystyrene)
Notoriously difficult to recycle.

Notoriously! Like, John Gotti notorious? You can guess the etymology, and wonder how it went from being “noted” to “bad.”

What 428 means, we can only wonder. Probably an indication of a particular style and/or size, an industry standard.

So: another account of an internet peregrination, as we go . . .

  How do we get from the here . . .

To there?



I saw the scalloped beanie in a Quasicomic giveway c.1947. Can't find the exact image now.

There’s one character who has carried forth this kid stuff into the 21st century, and that would be who? Right.

Forsythe Pendleton "Jughead" Jones III is one of the fictional characters created by Bob Montana and John L. Goldwater in Archie Comics who first appeared in the first Archie story, from Pep Comics #22 (December 1941)

I had no idea that was his full name. Why should I? Never was an Archie fan, except for the obligatory phase in one’s early adolescence. Never bought a comic, but knew all the characters, and their temperaments. Jughead was lazy, Reggie rich and venal and scheming but inevitably insecure; Veronica was hot, Betty was blonde, Mr Weatherbee was the authority figure, Moose was dumb, and so on. Archie was a genial cypher.

As for the hat:

A whoopee cap is a style of headwear popular among youths in the mid 20th century in the United States. It was often made from a man's felt fedora hat with the brim trimmed with a scalloped cut and turned up. In the 1920s and 1930s, such caps usually indicated the wearer was a mechanic.[1] The headwear can often be seen worn in the films of the Dead End Kids. It is also referred to as a Jughead hat (so named after comic book character Jughead Jones, for whom the hat became an iconic piece), palookaville cap, devils cap, clubhouse hat, dink cap, rat cap, or Kingpin.

Jughead’s version is a crown whoopee cap, if you want to get into the specifics.

  The modern version sold online has a circle and a rectangle, with no details on either, intended to symbolize bottle caps or giveaway pins a kid might pick up.


  Which means that when this character in a "reimagined" Archie show appeared on TV in the second decade of the 21st century, he wore a hat style from his grandparents’ era.

Be warned that there are gatekeepers around the character, like everything else. Polygon:

Riverdale’s Jughead is no longer asexual, and that’s a problem for fans

The community speaks out

Apparently it’s asexual erasure.

Archie, we know, was drawn by the great Bob Montana, but wikipedia credits the comic publisher John Goldwater as the co-creator. You wonder if it’s a Stan Lee thing, again. (And I loved Stan Lee. But C’mon.) His early bio was anything but Riverdale perfect, but more like like Stan and the Superman creators and the men who founded Hollywood:

Goldwater was born in East Harlem, New York on February 14, 1916, to Jewish parents. "His mother died giving birth to him... and his father succumbed to grief, abandoning his baby and dying soon afterward," leaving the orphaned John to be raised by a foster mother, Rose Ettinger.

In his youth, the teenage Goldwater hitchhiked his way west during the Depression, leaving "New York, hopping freight trains and bumming rides to the Midwest, where he worked for a time in Hiawatha, Kansas as a news reporter. Assigned to school sports, he hung around with football teams, meeting the players and the girls they attracted, who would later supply him with ample comic material.”

Goldwater had hitchhiked to the community at the age of 17 and started working at the Hiawatha Daily World. He said that he got fired by publisher Ewing Herbert Sr. after a scrap involving the daughter of the newspaper's biggest advertiser.

A few years later, "he continued west to the Grand Canyon, where he worked at a lodge," from which he was dismissed for "socializing with the female help." His employers paid for him to travel to San Francisco, where he saved enough money (again working as a reporter) to travel by ship back to New York. On the boat, "he met two young women bound for the novitiate... [b]oth fell for him, which later gave him the idea of the Betty-Veronica rivalry.”

I suspect a lot of this is self-produced hagiography, but the bones are probably true. You do wonder if the inspiration for Betty and Veronica were nuns-to-be.

Anyway. One of the early characters in his comic books was the Shield, a guy who wore “patriotic American costume” before Captain America.

The origin story of The Shield appeared in Shield–Wizard Comics #1 (Summer 1940). He is really chemist Joe Higgins, the son of Lieutenant Tom Higgins. Tom was working on a chemical formula for super-strength which the Germans were after, and is slain by German saboteur Hans Fritz in the Black Tom explosion, for which Tom was blamed.

The Black Tom explosion?


The Black Tom explosion was an act of sabotage by agents of the German Empire, to destroy U.S.-made munitions that were to be supplied to the Allies in World War I. The explosions, which occurred on July 30, 1916, in New York Harbor, killed four people and destroyed some $20,000,000 ($500 million in 2023 dollars) worth of military goods. This incident, which happened prior to U.S. entry into World War I, also damaged the Statue of Liberty. It was one of the largest artificial non-nuclear explosions in history.

Laws were passed right away to beef up national security and intelligence, and it fell to the Bureau of Investigations - the precursor to the FBI - to enforce them and, well, investigate.

And that’s how we got from Jughead to Hoover.












Our second week in town.

It’s like it’s hitching up its skirt to avoid the flood waters.

What was it? Not a post office, not with those windows . . .

Ah. A place of benevolent protection.

Looks like the previous building’s more secular brother.

The plainness of the building helps, because that’s a super-modern 50s rehab.

I’m hoping it’s just awaiting its inevitable conversation to senior housing, or maybe Exciting Downtown Lofts for a younger set.

Can’t tell, can you? Something Lodge. I mean, obviously Masonic, from the compass, but the rest . . . well, let us Google.

Patmos. An ancient city; the name was appended here and there in Masonicland.

Start from the top and work on down; you’re almost surprised to hit . . .

. . . the Buckaroo Awning. It’s as if it’s hiding from you in plain sight.


Fifties infill; probably not a bank, unless that sign is covering the night depository.

Left to right: Sleepy, Perky, and Congested.

It’s spare enough that it could be new. These days you can fake the old classical style a bit easier than before.

“Well, I cancelled all the leases, and I’m looking for a new kind of tenant. Someone who’s not uninterested in the world, per se, but just doesn’t want to see so much of it.”

“Why sure, Alvin’s boy can design you a building. He does nothing but draw buildings all day.”

Wow: it’s almost an OUMB, but it’s kinda cool, no?

Also LETHAL. It’s like a bank that can slide your head right off.


Rehabber's basic idea was to let us know what it looked like, and how you made a conscious decision to make it look worse.


I have to say: yes. It’s a mess, it’s top-heavy, it’s amateur modernism, but it always made a difference at a time when a lot of downtowns were just sinking into disrepair and bricked-up windows.

Why did I snip this?



Finally: THAT is impressive.

Ah, there’s one more.

All in all, a surprise. It has some nice remnants, room to improve, stuff to fix, but it doesn’t seem dead.

That’s always a relief.


Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do; motels await.



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