Part two.

It's a grim stretch. But it wasn't always so. You can tell by this apartment building there once something close to optimism in the neighborhood, and you get the sense that it had more neighbors. Fire and gravity, the usual foes.

It seems empty and forbidding.

But it has satellite dishes. Who lives here has machines that communicate with machines above in space.

We met Benedict last week. The end of the block has an old sign, but that's not what caught my eye. It was the facade. Truck it in and slap it on:

How long since it's been a good street? Twenty years? Forty?

This is a commercial street in a major American city:

No one planted that tree. It's there because there wasn't anyone to take it down.

I hope he was covered. He was probably covered.

The wood is gray with age, and useless; you can push your way in. You can bet someone has, recently. A good dark space for bad things.

A solid commercial building from, oh, the 20s. Gutted and bereft.

They did the usual modernization, but didn't spend much. Nice to see they carved some space for the cartouche over the door. Naw, that's nice! That's classy. Leave it.


Down the block a bit: looks like windblown fabric in a Baroque painting.

Something fell on the sidewalk and there it stays.

Unrecognizable, but if you look at the right you can make out the usual contours of a Teens / Twenties commercal structure. Bad Mansard and cheap faux rock-facade wasn't enough, they had to paint the fake rock.


They were all of a piece, a long low building with shops and offices and apartments. Modest, appealing, bourgeoise, useful.

For sale.

Any takers?