I took the wrong jacket. It's green, and that's fine, but I had nothing shirt-wise that really matched. Then you realize: no one cares! Whew.

Where am I? Some of you will know right away, because of the stones in the wall. There are 149 fragments of other buildings. I do wonder whether some were . . . spirited out, shall we say.

While everyone was on the hop-on-hop-off, I walked - and built up an appetite. Ah, look: Chik-Fil-A, let's get some strips of spicy chicken, unbreaded. Fill me up for the rest of the afternoon. Eight dollars and 35 cents. It comes down from the kitchen above.

It was next to the Bob Newhart building. Hmm: is that googleable? Yes, the building comes up. It's been rehabbed, with the standard-issue International Style facade remade in a flashier style. When I was a kid watching the opening credits of that show . . .

. . . and I wondered if I would ever go there. It seemed so big. And so damp.

Oh, right, special banner! I forgot. We're in . . .

The obligatory shot of the great Chewing Gum Building, with the enormous Trump building behind.

All terra-cotta, and frequently washed so it gleams.

I visited the Tribune Tower, as noted above.

This building fascinated me when I was young, and could only visit these places in old books. The history of the Tribune Tower is well-documented - the competition, the influence of the losing entries, the peculiar triumph of Hood's Gothic winner. What you don't know until you're there is how damned GOTHIC it really is:

At a time when everything else was hurtling towards new modern forms, it's worth pondering why they went so far back. Perhaps the answer is banal and obvious: threatened by modernity, or at least its appearance, they went with traditional to provide an anchor for the brand.

The fact that it had connotations of faith and belief didn't hurt, either.

Close by: the very future that replaced the Gothic. Choose your adventure!

That's 401 Michigan, a big dullard.

Turn around, and the faceless shapes of the modern city looms:

Tomorrow: forgotten giants.






It’s 1957.

The car and the plane and the bus are eating into the ridership numbers. Innovation is necessary.

All Coach! Yay? The copy says if you want to actually sleep, as in “Go Pullman,” you’re better off taking the City of Los Angeles. This one ran between Chicago and the West coast, and it used to have sleeping cars, but it was discontinued in 1947, then brought back with streamliners in 1954.

Oh what fun after 17 hours

The presumed dress code. The ads suggested that one was expected to hew to the standards of the day. Pocket squares probably optional.

Was it so? I’d like to think so, if only to hold up a standard that shames our slovenly age. Obligatory response: Yes but that era was worse for the following reasons Sure, and that had nothing to do with expecting people not to dress like lazy children.

I’m guessing Union Pacific had a deal with Hertz.

In non-train advertising news:

  Those strawberry sundaes always looked like a bucket of guts.

Such details! Kids, you'll thrill to the realism!

From eBay, the actual item.

A bit less impressive.

I'm not sure the idea of "deserving" enters into it, but okay:

Are these meats cooked? Has this mayo been out of the fridge for three days?

“Pay such things no mind! The food has all the protection it deserves!”

What? I don’t know what that means. Protection from what?

“I shall serve sandwiches 'round the clock, constantly from midnight to midnight, resting not!”

Are you okay?

"No! No I'm not! I'm having an episode! I'm seeing bugs on the bread!"

Scientific tests prove that the waxed paper protects the vitamin nourishment, somehow. This message has been brought to you by - I’m not kidding - the Waxed Paper Merchandising Council.

They were also responsible for this record.

And for that we thank them.


Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do. Back to the 30s for some obscure comics. See you around.




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